In this scene the performers will be replaced by stunt doubles whenever any activity is deemed dangerous.
Stunt Doubles is a well storied staple in the improv comedy world. There are two performers carrying out an open scene with all the elements of narrative and characters that this entails. Periodically this scene will be interrupted by the call “Stunt Doubles” When this happens the first team (the performers doing the normal narrative) freezes in place and the stunt doubles tag them out assuming their exact pose. The stunt doubles then carry out whatever mime activity the host deemed required stunt doubles. The host may call stunt doubles for the mundane of activities like opening a fridge door. The stunt doubles will take the fridge door opening to a new level of danger and action. Once the stunt doubles are done the host will call first team and the stunt doubles freeze in position. The first team tags them out, assuming their exact poses and justifying the new poses in the scene.
Like all gimmicks in in improv comedy it is best to start small and make the actions get larger and zanier as the scene progresses. If the stunt doubles can add to the narrative that is a bonus. It is not always possible. Most commonly the stunt doubles do not create dialogue in the scene, however they may scream in pain or terror.
- Do stunt doubles for everything, like walking across the stage
- Keep the first team in when something obviously dangerous is going to be done.
- Stunt doubles become progressively more and more injured and dysfunctional.
- Slow Motion – stunts are carried out in slow motion
- Information appreciated.
Scripted plays have stage directions that the actors must follow. In this scene each performer will be supplying each other’s stage directions.
Stage Directions is an overlay of an open scene. Each performer will finish their sentence with a stage direction for the other performer to carry out. Initially these stage directions are subtle and appropriate. The stage directions may become more zany as the scene progresses. Regardless of the stage directions that the performers give each other the goal is to maintain a narrative arc and tell a story. There is a distinct pattern that should be followed for the best yield with this handle. One performer will state a line of dialogue. Then the other performer will state a stage direction. This continues until a wonderful narrative is achieved.
- Performer One “the sun is so warm today”
- Performer Two “she said putting on her sun hat”
- Performer Two “that sun hat is a lovely shade of puce”
- Performer One “she said putting on her own sun hat”
- Performer One “Oh that sun hat is such a shade of orange.”
- Performer Two “she said covering eyes from the glare”
- Performer Two “don’t over react you can be so dramatic”
- Performer One “she said throwing her orange sun hat on the ground”
- Elaborately detailed stage directions
- Counter productive stage directions that do opposite of dialogue
- Compromising stage directions that betray an emotion
- “he said looking for a source.”