“Theater games are a process applicable to any field, discipline or subject matter that creates a place where full participation, communication and transformation can take place.”
Innovator of 20th Century Improv
Traditional training methods provide information that affects what the learner knows but may not automatically change a behavior. Creating change is about breaking a pattern and replacing it with a new way of thinking. Improv-based learning helps individuals break patterns in order to respond in new ways and influences others to do the same.
ImprovHub’s program for organizations focuses on:
Good businesses are built on good relationships, both inside and outside the company. Good relations rely on good communication. ImprovHub provides individuals with skills to improve communication within and without the organization. These skills lead to efficiency, innovation and growth, which leads to a better business.
Sample improv principles/exercises/ insights
Improv Principle: “Agree.” This is the first rule of improvisation. Always agree and SAY YES. When you’re improvising, this means you are required to agree with whatever your partner has created and vice versa.
Improv Exercise: “So how do you know each other?” Two players create characters and a scene where they describe how they met. They have to agree with each other as they make up their collective history.
Insight: Respect what your partner has created. You won’t agree with everything you hear. No matter. The benefit of this kind of exercise is developing an open mind, an environment in which ideas thrive and innovation is welcome.
Improv Principle: “Yes and.” This is the second rule of improv. After you agree, you add something of your own that builds in a positive way on what you’ve just heard.
Improv Exercise: “Group storytelling.” The leader points to player #1, who begins creating a story. After a couple of sentences, the leader points to player #2, who has to continue the story without hesitation. This procedure continues with all the other players in the group, usually standing in a circle. There may three or more go arounds, depending on the size of the group, before the leader ends the story.
Insight: Accept what is brought to the table and build on it. This kind of suspension of thinking isn’t important, but sometimes it can get in the way. Exercising “yes and” builds optimism and creates a positive, more constructive perspective.
Improv Principle: “Really listening.” The goal is to let the words you hear resonate within you before you respond. You learn to avoid preconceived notions.
Improv Exercise: “Which is like.” Standing in a circle, players free associate with what the person to his/her right has just said. (“Which is like butter.” Which is like milk.” “Which is like cow.” and so forth.) This activity continues multiple times around the circle. Then the players stop and try to restate in sequence what each said.
Insight: Good listening skills make you a better colleague and a better communicator with your clients and customers. The game also forces you to be truly present in the moment without rehearsing what you are going to say as soon as the other person stops talking.
There are many other examples of how to apply improv techniques to building the organization team. For each training, we tailor theater games to your specific needs. Contact us at (912) 659-4383 to discuss your needs for our services.