Booth Hell

By | August 2, 2010


Sound Effects. Tech Hell.


This scene will include random sound effects that the performers must justify in their scene. 


Booth Hell is a modification of an open scene. The performers are required to complete all the narrative beats of an open scene. The performers should endeavor to get a narrative out all the while justifying random unrelated sound effects. 

The handle Booth Hell is so named because hi fi improv houses usually put their technical improviser in the booth of the theatre. Since the main tormentor of the scene is located in the tech booth this structure earned the moniker Booth Hell. Most houses are using an offstage microphone to insert random mouth effects into the scene. The most lo fi version is to vocally project mouth effects into the scene.

Regardless of how the sound effects are being inserted the performers must work with the onslaught of gags. For example, a unexpected door opening sound effect could be justified by having a player mime passing through a door. You can only be hopeful that your sound improviser has a limited supply of gastronomic explosion sound effects. 

There are ways to exploit this handle for maximal effect. The sound improviser should avoid a wholesale onslaught of sound effect offers. Allow the performers time to justify the sound effect. The scene can enjoy some internal consistency if repeat sound effects have the same justification.


  • This is a gimmick.


  • Audience Participation – Give an audience member the microphone. Be sure that they have fun and are made to look good on stage.