The Change Machine Manifesto

A while back, I posted about a form that I was working on with a newly formed house team at the Arcade Comedy Theater.

Well it has now been 1.5 years, and Change Machine is still going strong. Recently, I boiled down all of my garbled ideas into (what I hope is) a clear description of the form that we now put up. I called this the Change Machine Manifesto. I did this because a) the team was still struggling to make sense of what I wanted at times and b) I thought it would be useful for me to try to sum it up simply.

Reproduced here for simplicity, because it is a form that nicely embodies how I like to do improv, and in case anyone is interested:

The Change Machine form is about possibilities to expand our world. 

We prefer teeing up these possibilities and discovering their outcomes together over following a developing plot/premise. 
Together, we build one coherent universe:

  • We follow an essential thread from the previous scene rather than sweep it away to start over 
  • We prefer the edit with the most possibilities to the one that points to a specific premise 
  • We prefer more players on stage to allow for more possible edits  

 We build from from an initial moment: 

  • We begin using only what information is in our scene partner's eyes 
  • We build scenic momentum by adding information with every line 
  • Above all else, we improvise playfully at all stages of the form