New York Manipulation
The best way to explain this one is by example. one player leaves to room so that they don't hear the suggestions. Ask for an activity. Ex: Mountain Climbing. Instead of a mountain, they are climbing a... Ex: Sponge. And instead of climbing with a pick axe, they are using a... Ex. Hockey Stick. The player who left returns and does a scene in which they are manipulated into climbing a sponge with a hockey stick. Oh ya... and it's in gibberish.
No Laughs
Do a straight scene. Whenever a player gets a laugh, an offstage player replaces them in their role and continues the same scene.
Number of Words
Each player asks for a number between one and nine. Do a straight scene. Each player can only say lines that have the assigned number of words in them.
Offstage Dubbing
Do a scene in which the players offstage provide the voices for the players onstage as those players mouth the words.
Old Job/New Job
Ask for two professions that have nothing to do with one another. Someone in the scene plays a character that is now doing the second job. HOW the job is done is affected by the first job. Ex: Vet/Auto Mechanic. The mechanic, might check a car for fleas, neuter a van, or put a milk-bone in the gas tank.
On the Brain
Ask for a suggestion. This suggestion will be what one (or more) of the characters in the scene will have on their mind and will affect HOW they do things. It is more powerful if WHAT they do has nothing to do with what is on their mind. Ex: Someone has windmills on their mind. If they were playing baseball they could... pitch like a windmill, get enough strength from the wind to hit a home run, play for the Dutch team, etc...
One-Hundred and Eighty-Five
All the players stand on stage and ask the audience for a noun. One player steps forward and says, "One-Hundred and Eighty-Five (insert noun here) walk into a bar..." and finishes the joke. It doesn't always have to be in a bar, but that's the general format of the joke. Repeat until even Jeff is sick of the game.
Do a straight scene. At any time during the scene, a "caller" freezes the action and asks questions like: "What do they find in the bag?" or "Who's at the door?" The audience answers, and the scene continues.
Party Guests
One player leaves. Each other player asks for an occupation and an attribute. The returning player is throwing a party and must be manipulated into figuring out what each of his guests is.
People Watching
This is best explained by an example involving players A, B, and C. A waits for B and C to leave before asking for a suggestion. A asks for something like, « Whenever B takes a step forward, what will I do? » The audience supplies an answer like, « Yodel. » Then A leaves, and B returns to ask something like, « Whenever C says a word starting with W, what will I do? » The audience supplies an answer like, « Run in a circle. » Now C returns as B leaves again and asks something like, « Whenever A touches me, what will I do? » The audience supplies an answer like, « Bark like a dog. » Everyone returns and performs a straight scene. A watches B who watches C who watches A, and anytime the appropriate action is performed, they react accordingly.
Physical Contact
Do a straight scene. Players can only talk if they are touching another player.
Pivot (Also: Balance)
See "Balance".
Press Conference
Ask for a topic. One player makes a brief announcement related to the topic, and the other players ask questions pertaining to the announcement. Each player should identify themselves and the newspaper, magazine, TV show, etc... that they represent (Ex: James Spanner from Popular Mechanics), and that should affect the type of question that they ask.
One player leaves. Ask for one or more famous proverbs or clichés. The returning player must be manipulated into saying the proverbs/clichés.
Ask for an audience volunteer, and do a straight scene. The players in the scene cannot move except when the volunteer moves them. To take a step, have the volunteer tug on pant legs, and have the volunteer be careful not to hurt the players.
Rapmaster Theatre
Like "Typewriter", except there are two or more players rapping and doing beat-box instead of a "Typist".
Do three straight scenes from the perspectives each of the three characters in the scenes. Each of the characters can preface the scene with a little blurb about how their perspective is different (but try not to give away the entire scene).
Rashoman Date
Like Rashoman, except that the three people in the scene are the two people who went out on a date, and the person who set them up. Another person can progress through the scene by asking each person how the date went, and then flashback to the date.
Rhyming Scene
Do a straight scene. Speak only in rhyme.
Right the Wrong
Ask for some REAL event in which someone was wronged. Act out this event, but this time, the story has a positive spin on it.
Ask for a benevolent organisation or activity. Conduct an interview with the leader of that organisation/activity. The interviewer asks progressively tougher and more scandalous questions, and the guest justifies each as being good things. Remember that all accusations are true, and the guest should support them whole-heartedly.
Scene from Nothing
Do a scene.
Scene in Three Genres
Do a (short, neutral, and action-packed) straight scene. Repeat the scene three times in three different genres. (Ask the audience for one before each scene)
Scene with a Blank
Ask for the "Blank". Do a scene with a "Blank".
Scene without a Blank
Ask for the "Blank". Do a scene without a "Blank". Try to make the fact that there is no "Blank" in the scene important.
Scenes in a Minute
Ask for a suggestion. Do as many quick scenes about this subject as you can in the time limit of one minute.
Scenes You Never Saw
Ask for movie (a REAL movie). Two people perform a scene that never occured in that movie. An offstage player yells, "Freeze!". The players onstage freeze as the offstage player tags one player out and assumes their position. The players ask for a new movie, and do another "scene you never saw" from the new movie starting from their frozen postions. Repeat.
Do a straight scene. During the scene, one player (or more) will have a script that they will consult during the scene, and their lines of dialogue can come only from that script. The other players justify as usual. Another alternative is to leave scripts on the floor, and anyone can pick up any script to read from it (sort of like "Fishbowl").
Three players leave. Ask for three words and write each of them on a piece of paper. When the three players return, tape one paper to each of their backs. They must manipulate each other into saying their word.
Ask for a movie that has no sequel. Perform the sequel (Or the trailer to that sequel).
Shared Story
Two people tell a story about an event that happened to both of them. One player talks until the other players cuts them off and continues the story. Repeat until the story ends.
One player leaves. Ask for two or three objects, and some way in which these objects are different than normal. The returning player is a shopkeeper that must be manipulated into selling the objects to the other players.
Should Have Said
Do a straight scene. At any time during the scene, the audience can yell, "Should have said!" and the players will have to change their last line of dialogue. Try to make the change as drastic as possible while maintaining the same enthusiasm.
Sit, Stand, Kneel
Do a straight scene. At any given moment, only one player can be sitting, only one can be standing, and only one can be kneeling. You can add in leaning, too, if you're so inclined (pardon the pun).
Slide Show
Ask for a topic. Conduct an interview with an expert on the topic. The rest of the players freeze in wacky positions to represent slides that the expert has brought. The interview should focus on describing the contents and context of the "slide'.
Slo-Mo Olympics
Ask for a mundane activity. One or more players will be performing the mundane activity as a sport. Their actions are all done in slow motion as two other players provide play-by-play and colour-commentary.
Space Jump
Start a straight scene with one player until an offstage player yells, "Space jump!" The onstage player freezes in position, and the "Space jumping" player joins them and starts an entirely new scene. Repeat about three or four times. In reverse order, each player finds a reason to leave. When they do leave, the scene changes back into a continuation of the scene that was being performed before they jumped in.
Split Screen
Imagine that the stage is a box. Cut the box in half and exchange the left and right side of the box. This means that left side of the stage corresponds to the right side of the box and vice versa, and it also means that there is an invisible wall running down the middle of the stage. Got that so far? Do a straight scene in this configuration. If a player leaves the stage, that player has a complimentary player that steps on the other side of the stage to continue the scene as the same character. Remember: if you are on the left side of the stage, you have to face to the left to talk to someone on the right side of the stage. Zen, isn't it.
Step Word
Do a straight scene. The first line has one word; the second has two, etc... When nine words is reached, start descending until the scene ends with a one-word line.
Stop and Go
Do a straight scene. If a player is not moving, they must be talking. If they are not talking, they must be moving.
Storytelling Die
The players line up onstage, except for one player who is the "pointer". Ask for the title of a never-before-told story to be narrated by the players. Players speak only when the "pointer" is pointing to them, and continue each other's sentences (sometimes mid-word). If a player starts their segment with the word "and", a stumble or hesitation, or make no sense, the audience can yell, "Die!" to kill them off. The "dead" player goes offstage, and the remaining players tell a new story. Repeat until one storyteller is left, and they usually get to start the next scene.
Straight Scene
Ask for a suggestion. Do a scene inspired by the suggestion.
Stunt Doubles
Do a straight scene. At a point in which an action in the scene is to be taken, the players can yell, "Stunt doubles!" Offstage players replace the players on stage and perform the task in an "action-packed" way. The players yell, "First team!" and the original players return to their roles to continue the scene.
Ask the audience for two super-powers, a super-weakness, and an evil weapon. Act out two short situations that illustrate how the superhero uses the powers to solve problems, and then the villain tries to use the weapon for some nefarious plot. The Superhero uses the super-powers to defeat the villain, but the task is made difficult by the super-weakness.
Switch Commercial
Two people perform a commercial for a type of product that you don't normally see advertised. At some point, one of the offstage players yells, "Switch!" to switch off one of the players. One player lifts their hand to cue the audience for a new product. Repeat.
Switch Interview
Two people conduct an interview on a topic supplied by the audience. At some point, one of the offstage players yells, "Switch!" to switch off one of the players. One player raises their hand to cue the audience for a new topic. Repeat.
One player leaves. Ask for a mode of transportation, an object, and a desire. The returning player is a terrorist who must be manipulated into figuring what mode of transportation they've hijacked, what their weapon is, and their demand.
Three-Headed Interview
Ask for a topic. Three people, who can only speak one word-at-a-time, play the expert on the topic. Conduct an interview with the expert.
Time Machine
One player leaves. Ask for a historical period or event, an object, and an action. The returning player must be manipulated into taking a time machine to the historical period and performing the action with the object.
Touch and Go
Get two audience volunteers to sit on either side of the stage. Whenever they are touched, one volunteer will provide an emotion for the touching player, and the other volunteer will finish the line of dialogue of the touching player.
Trailer Genres
Ask the audience ask for a never-before-heard title. Then ask for a genre. Using the word as a title, do a short trailer for the movie in the genre that was given. You may ask for several more genres and do new trailers for movies, all with the same original title.
TV Guide
Ask for a TV Show (Or get one at random from the TV Guide). Do a never-before-seen episode of that show.
Two's Company
Do a straight scene. At any given moment there can only be two players stage, so if a third enters, another must leave to restore equilibrium.
Do a scene in which one of the players is a "Typist". The "Typist" begins narrating a story as the players on stage act it out. Then the "Typist" stops narration, and the players onstage continue with the story. Control passes between the "Typist" and the players onstage for the rest of the scene. It's a nice touch if the "Typist" actually mimes typing.
Do a straight scene. At any point, a player onstage can yell, "Understudy!" to have one of the offstage players replace them in their role and continue the same scene.
All the players stand at the back of the stage. Ask the audience to throw a real object onto the stage (This has to be a real object, not just a suggestion). Any player can step forward and use the object in any way other than its intended use. There is a one minute time limit.
Wayne's World Flashbacks
Do a straight scene. Whenever someone starts describing something that hasn't happened in the scene, the players wave their hands around and make a « d'd'lood'loo, d'd'lood'loo! » noise. [Webmaster's note: It sounds more like "Doodl-oodl-oo, Doodl-oodl-oo".] Perform a brief flashback, flashforward, dream sequence, etc... The player's make the noise and wave their hands again, and the scene is resumed. You can ask the audience for the number of «flashbacks» to be included in the scene if you so choose.
What If
Do a (short, neutral, and action-packed) straight scene. Repeat the scene three times, but ask the audience how the scene will be different each time. Ex: what if... the scene took place under water, what if... the players were mice, etc...
Wonder Twins
Ask for two very different categories (ex. sports equipment, and fast food). Do a scene involving the Wonder Twins. Each can only change into things that fall under their category. Gleek is optional.
Word On/Word Off
Ask for three or four words from the audience and assign each word to three or four players. It is suggested that you ask for a noun, a verb, an adjective or adverb, and then any word at all. Do a straight scene. Whenever a player's assigned word is spoken in the scene, that player must go onstage if offstage, and must go offstage if onstage.
Worst Person
All of the players stand at the back of the stage. Ask for a non-medical profession. Any player can step forward and perform as the worst person to have this profession. There is a one minute time limit.