Trickle plays many different formats and has developed some of its own, based on input from the worldwide improv community.
You are of course free to use and adapt any of these formats described below, but just out of curiosity, we’d love to hear about it up front.
A Thing, a Word and a Freeze (season 2016-2017)
Ideal way to keep an audience engaged from beginning to end by intermingling three different story lines into one show. Perfect format for experienced players to mess around with each other.
We bring a large box with random things in it. Simple, small, everyday household objects like a pen, a fly swatter or a deck of cards. One audience member gets to choose an object of their choice from this box.
Next, we ask the audience to move their arms and hands around randomly. After a little while we shout FREEZE and ask our guest to select an audience member’s gesture. We copy that gesture on stage and commit it to our muscle memory.
Finally, we solicit the audience for a random word – any word.
With three three inputs (a thing, a word and a freeze), we start three different stories; unconnected, completely separate stories. The rest of the show we jump around between the three story lines without explicit edits, keeping everyone on edge all the time.
Off Balance (season 2015-2016)
Great way to involve the audience into the show in a, for them, very safe way. Guarantees to throw players off balance from time to time, making it ideal for groups stuck into a routine by performing together frequently.
Together with the audience, we generate a title for our play based on the answers of some questions we ask them.
Five audience members are randomly selected and receive a coloured pillow they can throw on the stage whenever they want (but only once) during the play. These will influence the current scene significantly:
- Red: greatly enlarge the current emotion in the scene
- Black: something terrible happens
- Purple: transform the scene into a full blown musical act
- Gold: continue in silent play for a while
- White: start a monologue
On stage, only two chairs are being used.
Scene Painting (season 2014-2015)
Ideal for play with colour and emotion. Good for groups with strong story telling skills.
The stage is empty, but for six neutral, black cubes stacked on the side. The actors ask the audience for a location with multiple rooms, like a prison, factory or hospital. Some or all of the cubes are then positioned on stage and the actors get from the audience a specific room in the given location this cube configuration stands for.
The story starts with one actor painting the scene, explaining what can be seen, including many details adding colour to the environment. As the story develops (or stories develop), at any time, any actor can `jump out’ of the scene and resume painting the scene. Meanwhile the other actors get into a soft freeze.
When moving to a different location, the actors quickly rearrange the black cubes into a new configuration, remembering the positions of the past locations so they can be quickly returned to. The particular setup of the cubes, added with the scene painting, creates beautiful locations which is fun for the actors to play in and great for the audience to watch.
Table Companions (season 2013-2014)
Best with three players, ideal for a group of members with mixed specialties. Based on a format by Beet! from Groningen (NL).
On the left side of the stage, there is a table with three chairs. On it, you find three plates, thee glasses, three knifes, butter and a few slices of bread, a carafe of water and a bottle of (fake) wine. When playing on this side, there is no miming, all actors play a single character, the story develops in real time (no time jumps) and the table is always in the same location.
The right side of the stage is empty. When playing here, actors can assume different characters (even of other actors), play wherever and whenever they want, do abstract scenes, sing songs, bring poetry, … all to support the main story which develops on the table side.
Suggestions from the audience include:
- an historical event; the main story will be played during that time in history
- a single word, for inspiration
- a saying, to end the play with