Options-Paper Chase

By | August 2, 2010


Sentences. Scraps.


The performers will occasionally refer to written offers from the audience that are scattered about the stage.


Paper Chase is a handle that overlaid on an open scene. As the scene proceeds the performers will bend over and pick up a slip of paper, read it aloud and incorporate the offer into the scene. Paper Chase is audience centered and fun. The handle does challenge narrative as there can be some very sharp turns laying on the floor.

For example, consider a scene that is nicely progressing with two characters in a ox drawn cart discussing how they feel about fourier transformations. When one of the performers picks up a paper offer on which is written “Goats” they must incorporate goats into the scene. The performer reads the offer to the audience and other performer. They may propose that only old goats talk about math troubles. Or they may say the oxen are tired and replace them with goats. It is stronger to insert the offer into the exising narrative as opposed to adding more to the scene “we are being attacked by flying zombie goats again.”

This handle is not very lo fi as it requires preparation, paper, and scribblers. While it is conceivable to arrest the flow of a show and have the audience members write down offers, it is not recommended. Typically these offers are collected during the pre-show. There are many ways to do this. Learn Improv recommends having the host or show runner give the audience some direction and have the offers dropped into a container that is left in plain site throughout the show. When Paper Chase comes up the offers are pulled from the container and scattered.


  • Blank piece of paper.
  • Offers in other languages.
  • Images.
  • Really long offers.
  • Offers that are physical actions.


  • Containers – Offers are not on the floor: hat, pocket, bucket.


  • None