One thing that I have learnt being in the improv Troupe Punderstandably is that rehearsals can go really fast even when you do have three hours! When we first all got together a lot of the time was spent deciding what to play, what games to do as a warm up and what format we were going to do in shows.
Over the past year and a bit we have refined our rehearsals so that they are up to a format which makes them highly efficient so that we get more done in a short space of time. We have found lots of short cuts which make rehearsals easier to get a lot more done. So today I thought I would share a few of these techniques.
Warm Up Games – Sometimes when you do rehearsals it can take a while to come up with warm up games to play and this used to take a while to think of when we first started as a Troupe. We now have a few regular warm up games that we always play when we need something to do. Having a few favourites mean that the warm up part of rehearsal can go quicker. We always try and do one physical game (like Bunny Bunny) a mind game (mind meld) and a word game (words beginning with) so that we are in the zone and get the brain working!
Games List – When I lived in Newcastle we were trying to form a troupe but because our schedules always clashed it never really went anywhere. However the one thing I did do was find a list of all the short form games that they played on Whose Line Is It Anyway and printed it off. I still have this games bible to this day and whilst it’s graffitied with potential names for the troupe in Newcastle it still comes in hand a lot.
Suggestions – Being a short form troupe we always need lots of suggestions for every game and this used to take time looking for generators online to make these suggestions for us. However over time we have found it a lot easier to write our own. In each rehearsal we have 5 different cups, shoes, hats if ifgs we can separate suggestions sub adsuch as object, location, profession, relationship and characters to make our life not more easier and efficient.
Time planning – As I said at the start of this article, time can go really quick in rehearsals especially when you have shows to practice for, social media content to do (we do a lot in Punders) and admin base stuff. The best way we do it is at the beginning we discuss how we want to break down the rehearsal time and stick to the framework. It usually goes first part improv admin, second part warm up, third part rehearsals for shows or testing new games and ending with social media if we have to.
So there you have it, a few ideas to make your rehearsals more efficient and hopefully will help you to use your time wisely.