Students will demonstrate their ability to accept and add by participating in an approximately 2 minute improvised scene with a partner where they must accept and add.
Ask the students about any improv they’ve seen. What makes the improv funny? What makes it not funny? Create a list together of things that could possibly kill an improv scene. (Too much violence, asking yes or no questions, not accepting what someone give you, no dialogue, pauses, etc.)
Transition: Ok, so let’s practice not doing these types of things by creating scenes.
Group Practice: This is called a Humina Ha scene. Students will get into two or three groups (depending on class size). Each group will huddle together in a circle with their arms interlacing, like a football huddle. Each group will stomp their feet while looking at the ground and chant “HUMINA HUMINA HUMINA HA!” On the “HA,” everyone looks straight into the eyes of someone else. If you find yourself staring at someone who is staring straight back at you, the two of you will break out of the huddle and start an argument scene. Ask the students to remember to try and add to the scene and not kill it with the things we came up with in the previous discussion.
Instruction: Ok, so who found themselves doing some of the improv no-no’s? There’s a concept in improv that makes avoiding these bad examples easier. It’s called accepting and adding. When your partner says something to you, you first say something back that acknowledges or accepts what they have said, and then add to it. Whatever they say goes. If they say it happened, you accept it, and then add something. This keeps the scene moving and helps you avoid killing the scene.
Guided Practice: Everyone must get a partner. Each partnership will practice accepting and adding by creating a scene. If everyone has been doing funny scenes the fast few lessons, challenge them to create a serious scene. At first have everyone going at the same time while you walk around and comment. Then, the class will watch while each partnership takes a turn. Make sure to point out if they’re not accepting or adding. This is difficult to do at first, and you really have to listen to your partner and not try and think up things ahead of time. Remind them to really try to react and let their impulses do the talking.
Discussion/Check for Understanding: Is anyone having trouble with this? Is it difficult or easy to do? Why or why not? Do you have any questions?
Assessment: Each student will find a new partner and do an accepting and adding scene in front of the class. Now that they’ve had guided and group practice with accepting and adding, they should be able to do it for a grade in front of the class. Ask them to keep in mind the things we’ve worked on in previous classes. They should try to keep themselves open and vulnerable as well as trust their impulses, commit, and follow through.
*Students may receive as score of 4 or 2 as needed.
ACCEPTING AND ADDING ASSESSMENT RUBRIC
Accepted and added every time.
Did not kill the scene in any way.
Trusted and followed impulses.
Really gave to the scene and kept it moving.
Accepted and added almost every time.
Possibly had trouble with either accepting or adding.
Seemed inhibited. Possibly was over thinking or trying to think ahead.
Hardly tried to accept or add.
Simply tried to be funny. Did not take the scene seriously.
Completely killed the scene on purpose.
Did anyone learn anything new today? How will anything we did today affect or help your acting? Should we always accept and add exactly in every scene we do? Why or why not? Is it a rule or a tool? How can we use it to our advantage? Did you find that you had to really listen and focus on your partner? Next time we’ll work on really trying to listen to and focus on our partner!