Games – Pass the Clap

By Randall | Games for Workshop
25 Dec 2011

Everyone stands in a circle. One person starts by making eye contact with the person next to them, and then both of them clap at the same time. The second person then turns to the next person, and they clap together. The “clap” is passed in this way around the circle until a pair does not clap in sync. The direction of the clap can also reverse, if the receiver does not turn and claps with the sender again. The receiver is in control of whether the clap will continue in its current direction, or switch, and they should use their body to indicate this to both of their neighbors.

Naturally, a rhythm develops, and the group will tend to clap with the rhythm, which is good, but you should never forsake your partner for the sake of the rhythm. If you see in their eyes or hands that they are not ready, slow down so you can clap together. However, once the group breaks the rhythm, they should all try to refocus and get back to it.

Variation 1: Pass the bear/chicken

Played on top of Pass the Clap. Instead of clapping, take a bear stance (with arms outstretched above your head into ferocious claws) and roar with your partner. Or fold your arms and flap them like a chicken while clucking like one. Once the clap is moving at a good, steady pace, someone can initiate the bear, and then the chicken. Since both of these movements are more involved than clapping, the bear and the chicken will move around the circle more slowly. That’s ok! The result will be: receive bear, pass bear, receive chicken, pass chicken, receive clap, pass clap, catch breath for a second and prepare to receive bear again. It will feel very harried as you are constantly doing something, which is good training for the mental gymnastics your brain has to do if you are really working and paying attention in an improv scene. Do not try to switch direction, or a bear will end up eating a chicken.

Variation 2: Pass the RAP

Played the same way as Pass the Clap, but in addition to clapping at the same time, each pair of people also chooses a “rap” word (like “YAY-ah”, “Bitches”,”Money”,”Gat”,”Bling”, etc.). The first time around the circle, have the initiator clap and say the word, then have both people in the pairing clap and say the word together. Definitely include some direction switches; repetition makes this game even more fun than it already is.

Purpose: This games helps us communicate very quickly and watch for non-verbal clues, while also reinforcing group focus. The variations give us an opportunity to do stop worrying about looking stupid and just have fun with the group.

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>