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The spontaneous portrayal of a scene or character without practice or preparation.

Base Reality

The basic context for any improvisational scene: Often includes the who, what, and where.

Yes, And

Accepting an offer and building onto that offer with something CONNECTED to the original offer. (AGREE and ADD)


Style of improvisation that includes mini-games usually with predetermined rules, guidelines and/or gimmicks.


Style of improvisation that includes no set predetermined rules or guidelines. Improvisers set out to discover the games and gimmicks in the moment.


Raising the stakes, making your improv scene more interesting by adding conflict or suspense.

Blocking (Denial)

Rejecting an offer or ideas presented by another actor.

Game of the Scene

The unusual thing that is discovered in an improvisational scene. The single idea that makes a scene funny.


Any piece of information provided for an improvisational scene. (usually presented by the audience)


The first offer/idea presented by an actor in a scene. Usually is physical, verbal, or emotional

Middle of Things

"Cutting to the chase" by starting in the center of action rather than wasting time on extra lines or questions.


Going along with whatever is presented.

Who, What, Where

The important elements of a scene that establishes the characters, basic plot and specific location of any scene.


Establishing information through action and physical choices without speaking.


Simply narrating or talking about what you are doing onstage.

Object Work

When performers mime things that would exist in real life within a scene.


Something unplanned or "off the top of your head."


The process of paying attention and focusing on what is happening in the moment.


The ability to commit to a choice (physical or vocal) with boldness and high energy

Back Line

The formation that actors stand in when performing improvisation

Cheating Out

Attempting to bring your actions and object work DOWNSTAGE (towards the audience) rather than UPSTAGE (away from the audience).


A unit of action in a scene or item in a series of connected scenes.

Organic Based Improv

Improv that uses no opening and is based on a single word suggestion.

Premise Based Improv

Improv uses an opening (often a monologue or story) to draw ideas and premises based on a suggestion from the audience.


When an improviser enters a two player scene in progress as another character, offering a move that contributes to the progression of the game(s) at play.

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