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  • Writer's pictureLaurie Swigart


Author Unknown

The situations in these starters should be fairly easy for beginning improvisers to put themselves into. Each character has a motivation, what that person wants in the scene. The actors should decide the "why" behind their desire before they start the scene. This will help them to keep focused during the improvisation. The specifics of the scenes can either be determined ahead of time, or they could be made up during the improv.

For Younger Actors (8-12) --

A girl brings a dog (not another actor-imagine it is there) into her house who "followed her home". She tries to convince her mother to let her keep the dog.

Two siblings play a board game. One accuses the other of cheating. An argument ensues.

A grandparent and grandchild have a talk about what they did during their day. The child expresses a desire to be older, and the grandparent wishes to be younger.

A teacher tries to teach the multiplication table to a student who only wants to talk about TV shows.

One friend tries to convince another friend that she has seen a UFO. The friend is disbelieving.

A child tries to convince parent to stay home from work and let her stay home form school.

For Older Actors(10+) --

A teacher tells a student that she is going to fail science class. The student tries to convince the teacher that she will improve, and asks her not to put an F on the report card which comes out next week.

A mother and son/daughter are shopping for school clothes. The Mother does not think her child’s attire choices are appropriate for his/her age/weight/personality.

One friend tries to convince another that he has seen a UFO. (Is he lying or not?)

A young child is at the doctor’s office with his/her mother to get a shot. The child is very frightened and the doctor has to use tactics in order to give the shot. The mother is very nervous.

Two friends are deciding which clubs/classes to sign up for. One wants to take/join something (i.e. cheerleading, ROTC, Feminist Theory) that the other thinks is an awful choice.

One sibling tries to convince another who is shy to come to a party.

A boy has been told (falsely) that a girl likes him. Actually, the girl’s best friend likes the boy. He runs into the girl at the library, and she tries to get him to go over to the section of the library where the best friend is.

A young person has to do a paper on (pick an historical character), but does not want to have to read a lot. He tries to get a salesperson in a children’s bookstore to show him books on the subject that will provide enough information for the report.

A teacher is trying to teach the multiplication table in a one-on-one situation. The student only wants to talk about TV shows.

Three friends are in a restaurant. They try to order from the menu, but each has some dietary restriction that requires them to change the preparation of each dish. The waiter is new on the job.

Two friends are on a talk show. Their problem is that one keeps changing her interests and attire to match the other friend. The talk show host is on the imitator’s side.

Two people are at an amusement park. One wants to ride the newest roller coaster in the park (choose specifics), and the other one is terrified to do so. He/she tries to convince the other not to ride without letting on that he/she is scared.

Girl/boy talks to male/female (opposite gender) friend about new boy/girl she/he is dating. The person is a JERK and the friend doesn’t think she/he should see him/her.

Babysitter tries to get a child to go to bed. The child will not fall asleep, because he/she is afraid of a monster (pick a kind).

Four people are going to the movies, but two want to see one movie (choose a type) and the other two want to see a different one (choose something radically different from first).

A schoolmate tries to convince another to convert to his new religion, which is based on the idea that computers are omnipotent.

Two strangers are stuck in a room that has a security door. The one is overly concerned with getting out, the other wants to become friends, and so is in no hurry.

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