A Wonderfully Strange Improvisation Activity

A lot of impro games try to get you into the “spontaneity zone”, in the present, in the moment.

Some bring you right up to the present moment, but still allow you a few seconds before the present moment to “make something up”. And, after all, a few seconds before the “moment” is so damn near the moment, it might just as well be “in the moment” anyway.

But what about the moments “after the present moment”?

Sit in a circle and start to tell a group story. One short sentence each is enough. It can be round the circle or by throwing a ball across the circle to the next sentence speaker.

At any point someone can say STOP! Halfway through someone’s sentence at which point there must be silence. Then everyone THINKS about the story for a few seconds before we all continue. The person who stops in mid-sentence carries on. If anyone in the circle thinks the person carrying on has changed what they might have said before being interrupted they shout CHALLENGE! and that person is invited to confess. Did they change what they would have said by being allowed time to think AFTER someone shouted STOP? And would the in the moment sentence have been better or worse in terms of the flow or content of the story?

Sometimes interrupting the moment is releasing, sometimes it blocks. The moments after the moment can be constructive or destructive. Give it a few goes!

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