Archive for April, 2012

A Sense of Urgency

Written by Gary Schwartz on . Posted in Gary Schwartz, Improvisation, Spolin Games, Theater Games, Viola Spolin

Using Slow Motion to counteract Urgency

This happened to me in an early workshop with Viola when we were working on The Where:

The scene is a spaceship. I’m the navigator. Andy is the captain, and we have two prisoners from another planet on board. I sit placidly at my controls downstage. The captain yells a heading like a pirate.

“Sou.. by SouWest!”

I say, “Sou by sou west, aye!”  I think to myself that’s what he wanted me to say – but shouldn’t it sound like a numbers and degrees and bearing call? Now I’m thinking of how to add to that in when one of the prisoners says “There’s no south in space!” I think ‘is that a denial?’ I at least know enough at this point in my training to not deny.

I continue to think to myself, ‘Who do I support? What does Captain Andy say to that? Should I say something?’  I think if I support the prisoner – the scene could go into a mutiny, which would be funny. Or do I defend my captain and create an opportunity for doing a captured prisoner scene? I’m so busy thinking to myself, I disconnect. Andy says something I miss.

The prisoner then shouts, “My people are coming for us!”

I don’t know what to do so I say “What should I do Captain?”

Viola yells out a side coach. “No Questions!!”