Once again, Brian McManus and Sarah Kirin from Denver Center for Performing Arts joined the C&E seminar to show us more improv tricks, tips, and games. The focus this week was on “justification”, which Corinne Lengsfeld and I likened to “perspective” and seeing things through your personal “frame”. Justification was a challenging element to use in the improv games. Students had to come up with quick answers on the spot, and figure out what they were doing and why.
For instance, in a game called “Helping Hands”, one student could not use their arms (STUDENT A), so another student became the arms for that student (STUDENT B) and stood behind him or her. Meanwhile, a third student interviewed student A about a topic, and student B used their arms to respond to the interview questions. Student A had to justify the arm gestures, even if the arms made no sense to the question. You can imagine some funny things happened.
Overall, the improv games laid a marvelous foundation for design thinking, which we will delve into next week. By playing games, having fun,and freeing the students from judgment, criticism, and control, I believe they have a better understanding of how to build upon ideas and collaborate, key qualities we will explore all year.