Scripted Improvisation

Purpose of the Activity

You might be surprised that working with scripts can also be very improvisational, but it can! It also creates a useful bridge that is a relevant at work, where employees and managers often have to work to “scripts” and then depart from them in ad-hoc situations. They alternative between predicted and unpredicted, planned and unplanned. The activity also highlights the importance and value of “Playing” with scripts and how scripted behaviour can be enhanced by improvisation and also how improvisation can be informed and inspired by scriptedness.

The exercises explores:
– the moment of decision to let go
– working as a team

The script acts as a good anchor into improv. What we then improvise is the interaction and moments of handover and flow, freed of the need to improvise content.


The Process

This is an activity for a group of 5-8.

The activity can be carried out seated or walking around.

It can be undertaken with one copy of a script shared, or one copy each.

Find a piece of writing – from a play, a story or even an article.

Someone starts reading aloud (can also be sight-performed). At any time someone else takes over, even in mid-sentence and carries on until the script has been fully read together. Whole sentences might be read by one person, or just one word before someone takes over.

The idea is to play with the delivery, the voice, the tone, whilst maintaining the integrity of the piece.


Variations on the activity
– the facilitator calls out a character and the next person has to continue reading as that character ( can be hilarious doing a Hamlet soliloquy like that or a politician’s speech!)


Visit the Applied Improvisation Zone


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s