This is a classic improv game that teaches the value of accepting each others ideas and cooperating with one another. The game may be played in pairs onstage or with the whole group in a circle.
First, demonstrate this yourself by making a simple statement. Tell students that you are going to make up a conversation between two people in which every sentence (except the first one) starts with the words “Yes, and…” Additionally, every new statement should become more exaggerated, furthering the scene.
“The river is full of fish.” (opening statement)
“Yes, and one of them is enormous.”
“Yes, and he’s swimming toward us.”
“Yes, and he looks hungry.”
“Yes, and we are trapped in this boat.”
“Yes, and he looks more like a whale than a fish.”
“Yes, and now the motor won’t start.”
“Yes, and he’s about to swallow us.”
“Yes and I just remembered that this boat is also a plane.”
“Yes and lucky for you I just got my pilot’s license.”
Next, have a pair of students go onstage to play the game. Coach as necessary to keep the statements moving quickly while escalating the action. Call ‘cut’ when a particularly interesting or funny moment occurs. Ending on a high-note makes the actors feel better.
Here is how to play if students are in a circle: Have students make clear eye contact with someone and make a statement. The player he made eye contact with then makes eye contact with someone else and says, “YES, AND…” and builds on the statement.
What is the value of accepting each others ideas and building on them?
How did it feel to have your ideas accepted?
How does it feel when you have an idea and others don’t like it or put it down?
How does this game help us become better actors?
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