1. GENERAL HEADING: Warm-up Exercises
2. TITLE OF EXERCISE: "Oooh-Aaah"
3. GOALS: To build concentration and alertness; physical and vocal warm-up; release of tension; and allow students to make fools of themselves.
4. NUMBER OF STUDENTS: Group exercise: unlimited maximum
5. EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES: None.
6. CLASS TIME NEEDED: 5 minutes
7. STEP-BY-STEP-DESCRIPTION: Have the students stand in a circle. Then "throw" a physical action and a nonsense sound to one of the other actors in the circle. That actor must "return" the same action and sound back to the originator, who immediately throws a new action and sound to a different student in the circle. This continues until an actor fails to return the action/sound to the original actor, takes too long to respond, or makes another type of "mistake." When a student makes a "mistake", the errant actor restarts the exercise by creating a new action/sound and throwing it to another actor. He or she then becomes the focal point until someone makes a mistake.
8. POINTS FOR OBSERVATION, DISCUSSION: The importance of concentration-the action/reaction dynamic-the interdependence of actors on the stage. Body alertness; direct seeing (no imitation); and inventiveness.
9. SOURCE/REFERENCE: Greg Atkins. Improv! Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Heinemann, 1994.
10. ADDITIONAL READING: N.A.
11. VARIATIONS: A variation that I use in class is to have the students
stand in a circle. One student throws out an action and a thought (he or
she throws out hands and screams-"I hate chemistry")-then everyone
together and the originator repeat exact phrase and motion. Then the person
to the left of the originator throws out a phrase and an action-everyone
repeats and this continues until the circle is completed. Students should
not think about their phrase or action, but should react instinctively-one
potential drawback is that there is no time for editing. During one class,
a student screamed "F*** Holy Cross" and threw himself on the
floor-then all 16 students-at the top of their lungs repeated this. Unfortunately
our acting studio is located under the offices of the school's administrators
who didn't appreciate 16 voices screaming at the top of their lungs such