Improvisation – Improv. party game ideas for teens


Improvisation (Improv.) comedy has become a popular format for TV shows, both in the UK and US. The idea is simple and that is to give the players on the stage a situation in which they have to improvise suitable dialog or actions. The situations given can be elaborated or simple. In it’s simplest form the players are given an object, such as a tennis racket or a lampshade, and asked to improvise situations using the object. Examples are using the lampshade for a hat or the tennis racket as a frying pan accompanied by suitable dialog. The object is passed quickly between the players for a couple of minutes with each player trying to come up with a novel improvisation.

As a party game this type of improvisation activity has been popular for years.  Here is one improvisation game that has been played for years and would be suitable for a kids or teens party today.

If I were not upon this stage

This improvisation takes the form of a song and activity. I remember performing this party game over 40 years ago at my middle school in England. The game is played by first selecting a small group of the party guests to be the performers. The whole party can be split into teams of 4 to 8 depending on the overall size of the party and each team takes it in turns to perform, for a small party of 8 or less the whole party can perform it together. The improvisation begins with one of the performers singing this song:-

If I were not up this stage a Washerwoman I would be.

You’d here me all day long

A singing of my Song

Wash the shorts, wash the shirts, hang them out to dry.

Wash the shorts, wash the shirts, hang them out to dry.


The next person then sings the same song but with a different occupation and action line, for example: -

If I were not up this stage a Teacher I would be.

You’d here me all day long

A singing of my Song

Spank the girls spank the boys, leave them both to cry

Spank the girls spank the boys, leave them both to cry

As you might guess, school kids in England sang this version so making fun of teachers was expected.

Anyway after the second person has finished singing his\her piece they repeat the last line, during which time all the performers repeat their individual last lines together. Also as the last line is sang the performer mimics the action they are singing, hanging out clothes or spanking children. Note the last lines don’t need to rhyme with each other; they just do in the example. They do have to have the ‘similar’ timing, so example lines would be:-


Catch the cod catch the sole, haul them in my net


Catch the robber catch the speeder, put them in my jail

The game repeats with each new performer singing what they would be doing if they were not on the stage and all the performers joining in with the last line singing over each other with their individual lines and performing their actions.

After about 4 performers have completed their songs the proceedings will get a little chaotic but the idea is just to keep going until all have finished.

If you are organizing this activity you should prepare some suitable occupations and songs then give them out to each guest, to sing and perform. If the party feels comfortable with the format they could come up with their own ideas.

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