Games, Line Games, and Group Scenes

I took Adal’s Harold class, as well, and he introduced a vocabulary that I found very useful in thinking about group games (see the glossary below). I find that group scenes with an associated line game, such as, “Everybody get in here…” are typically easy to initiate but not necessarily as fun to play, so recognizing that one could really make the game more of a united effort by making it less scenic was a revelation to me.


Group Game – an element involving multiple improvisers, where the presentation is made out to the audience, in effect breaking the fourth wall, and where the improvisers speak with one voice, tending to avoid words like “I” and “you” in the process. Machines and a stage picture tableau as one might find in an opening could work, as could infomercials.

Group Scene – an element involving multiple improvisers, where the improvisers are directly addressing each other, often using words like “I” and “you” to express different perspectives.

Line Game – games in which the goal is to one-up the previous thing said (tennis ball, striped tennis ball, golden-striped tennis ball, etc.); the difficulty is inversely proportional to how far out one is on the line of things said.


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