Clap. Switch. Freeze Tag. Environment Freeze
Two performers will start a scene and at anytime another performer can yell “freeze” and replace one of the performers in the scene by assuming their frozen pose. At each freeze a new element will be added to the scene
Freeze is the single most famous structure in improv comedy. Freeze takes an ancient playground game and turns it into improv comedy theatre gold. If you are not familiar with Freeze Tag as a handle it is recommended to check out the exercise Freeze Tag.
If you need this one explained you have never seen or done improv (welcome of course!). When a freeze is called all performers in the scene must immediately freeze in whatever position they find themselves in. The audience is watching. When performers “play on” after the freeze a big of the magic is rubbed away. The best yield in this handle is for the performer to quickly move on stage and immediately copy one of the frozen performers. The performer that was copied leaves the stage. The more exact the copy of the pose is the more fun will be had.
Once there is a new performer onstage in the precisely copied pose the scene continues. There are many branches at this point. In the Freeze Tag-Exercise a brand new scene is started informed by the new performers pose. In Endowment Freeze the host will turn to the audience to get a new endowment for the scene. The performers will immediately adapt the suggestion and continue the scene.
The host must be efficient when engaging the audience. It is suggested that host prime the audience with one type of endowment for the scene. For example, each freeze may indicate a new environment. Typical types of endowments include:
- Film Genres
- Freezing a performer in a challenging physical pose and leaving them there.
- Audience Freeze – Audience calls the Freeze.
- Space Jump – Specialized Freeze structure where performer are not replaced but increase in number.
- Freeze For All – When freeze is called any number of performers can jump on stage replacing any number of performers.
- Eyes Closed Freeze – The off stage performers closes their eyes to they have no information about the pose.