Shakesprov

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Structure

  • 1. Opener, paint world: Monologue
    • a) Performer asks for suggestion
    • b) Audience gives suggestion
    • c) Performer does monologue about topic which sets up scene for the rest of the performance
    • d) Everyone goes to sides
  • 2. Act 1 (aka beat 1, long scene)
    • a) Someone with a good idea about monologue initiates a scene with someone else
    • b) Other performers continue scene
    • c) Conflict concerning topic presents itself to protagonist
    • d) Once that happens, act ends by someone clapping
  • 3. Spin-off scene (reaction to beat)
    • a) Anyone with an idea for a spin-off scene (pun/one-liner, game, really short scene, etc. that relates to the world, character, or topic of the previous long scene but doesn’t necessarily advance plot)
    • b) Everyone goes to sides
  • 4. Act II (aka beat 2)
    • a) One or more people continue plot from Act I
    • b) Rising action escalates conflict
    • c) Right before climax, scene ends by person clapping
  • 5. Poem – every character makes haiku
    • a) They should’ve been thinking of the haiku while performing Act I – Act II
    • b) Haikus should relate to world that has been established
  • 6. Spin-off scene
    • a) See (3)
  • 7. Act III (aka beat 3)
    • a) One or more people continue plot from Act II
  • b) Climax and dénouement happen
    • c) Protagonist experiences some change and makes proclamation
    • d) Once protagonist has made proclamation, scene ends by someone clapping
  • 8. Spin-off scene
    • a) See (3)
  • 9. The protagonist comes forth and makes a speech to the audience

Rules

  • 1.The characters established in the first beat (Act I, II, and III) must stay the same through the other two, but new characters may arise during spin-off scenes and poem
  • 2. The protagonist is defined as whoever changes most from beginning to end
  • 3.Shakespeare was a good wordsmith, and you’re not. No excessive expletives.
  • 4. No attacking groups of people. Duh.

A Note About Shakesprov

Though it might not be readily apparent, this form of improv was inspired by the works of William Shakespeare. Specifically, the three beats – called Acts – mirror the plotlines of Shakespeare’s plays. The monologue at the beginning is something commonly found in his plays, as well, usually called a soliloquy. Though Shakespeare never wrote haikus (that we know of), he did write sonnets that became an important part of his literary legacy. The mandatory breaking of the fourth wall at the end of our show is something that occurs in many Shakespeare plays, such as Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest.

An example of the form: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upU6Cg8TbVk