To overview # Improv Games

Swinging Pendulum of Death




3 locations, 3 conflicts, 3 characters


This game is complicated but can be extremely entertaining if done well. It is therefore presented in step-by-step instructions.

  1. Each actor is given a location, conflict, and character
  2. For our example we'll use a car salesman trying to sell cars to blind people in a mall, a half-man/half-duck trying to get a job at a supermarket, and an ex-ballerina with an addiction to smelling grass at a grass-smellers anonymous meeting. Got all that?
  3. The game will start at the mall. The only given character is the car salesman, so of course the other two will be blind. They must build up the scene to the point that the salesman dies.
  4. The judge will then call out one of the other two locations, say the supermarket. The salesman will "come back to life" as a new character within the new location, perhaps the manger interviewing the duck/man. The third actor might act as a current employee with an unnatural fear of ducks. Again, the scene must be advanced to the point that the duck/man dies.
  5. Rinse and repeat for the third location. Duck/man comes to life as a different character in this location, and the scene is advanced until the ex-ballerina dies.
  6. After the three deaths are established, the judge will call any one of the locations at random, and the actor who died in that location must immediately drop dead, and the other actors must pick up where the scene left off, dealing with the aftermath of the death. This will be repeated until the buzzer signals the end of the game.


  • avatar helios
last update: 2014-02-18
by helios

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