Successful improvisation follows the rules below!
Rules of Improvisation
1) Say Yes-and! Never Say "No"!
For a story to be built, whether it is short form or long form, the players have to agree to the basic situation and set-up. The who, what, and where have to be developed for a scene to work.
2) After the `and` add new information.
An improvised scene can't move forward or advance unless we add new information. That is why new information is added after the Yes of Yes-and!
3) No bathroom humor.
Don't share or allude to anything that takes place in a bathroom. It is too easy and gross.
4) Your partner is the most important person in the scene, not you.
Make your partner(s) successful and you will never fail.
5) Focus on the Here and Now.
Another useful rule is to keep the focus on the here and now. A scene is about the people in the scene. The change, the struggle, the win or loss will happen to the characters on the stage. Focus on what is going on right at this moment.
6) Establish the Location!
Good scenes take place somewhere and at sometime. They do not take place on an empty stage. A location can easily be established in one or two lines without breaking the scene.
7) Be Specific- Provide Details!
Details are the lifeblood of moving a scene forward. Each detail provides clues of what is important. Details help provide beat objectives and flesh out characters.
8) Change, Change, Change!
Improv is about character change. The characters in a scene must experience some type of change for the scene to be interesting. Characters need to go on journeys, be altered by revelations, experience the ramifications of their choices and be moved by emotional moments.
9) Use pantomime props!
Any item or idea can enter the scene with the help of pantomime.