Improv is similar to Duo; instead of practicing a scripted piece beforehand, though, partners receive a prompt and create a performance. The maximum performance time is six minutes.
You and your partner will receive a topic and have three minutes to discuss with each other an idea for a performance. You and your partner can portray only one character each during the performance, and dialogue should be equally shared between the two students. You are allowed to use two chairs for your performance.
Topics include either a statement (e.g. a child reveals a secret to their parent) or a line (“I have to tell you something”) that must be incorporated into the performance. You and your partner can make the performance humorous, serious, or both, but there must be a clear conflict/problem that needs to be solved. You must have an introduction at the beginning to set the scene, and there must be a solution to the main problem at the end.
You are not allowed to use profanity, sexual innuendo, or excessive physicality in your performance.
Tips and Tricks:
Figuring out the main conflict and solution is most important. This should be the first thing you and your partner discuss when preparing.
Because you and your partner can only portray one character each, make sure these characters are interesting. While you don’t have to create complex or complicated characters, they should be people your audience wants to learn more about.
Because the goal of improv is to think on your feet, you only need to prepare a basic outline with your partner. This outline could include: the two characters, the main problem, a few steps the characters take to prepare the problem, and the solution to the problem. Small details like jokes, blocking, etc. are okay to prep if you have extra time, but these should come later.
To make sure you and your partner know when your performance is officially ending, it may help to prep a specific line that will be the final line of your piece.
The big rule when it comes to improv is to never say “no.” If your partner says something during the performance (e.g. “Do you want to grab dinner?”) and you say no, that stalls the conversation.
Another rule of improv is to say “yes, and.” This keeps the conversation going (e.g. “Yes, when are you free?”)
For more detailed practicing tips, check out the KHSSL handbook (Improv starts on page 29).