One game I learned from the Kani Club improv workshop in Tokyo is Master and Servants. The idea of the game is simple: three players, one is the Master who is constantly demanding things of the servants. When the servants try to meet the Master's needs, the Master is never satisfied and yells at them. For example:
A series of activities for looking at wealth inequality in the US and globally.
A volunteer describes an incident they experienced -- something embarrassing, funny, puzzling, etc. -- to the whole group. The joker asks questions to clarify details and verify understanding. Then, the joker asks for volunteers to enact the scene. They are free to improvise in any way they like.
The "fist to five" technique for voting or consensus decision-making (see "Dedocracia" can be used for rapid, on the fly, evaluation. It gives people an easy way to practice an important technique for democratic decision-making and the experience of expressing their judgment in a group context. For the facilitator(s) and the group, it provides important information about the usefulness of the techniques being used.
An idea for an activity to help people think about different ways of organizing information to build understanding of historical events.
Players choose a short clip of video and create a bad lip reading, post or perform.
I got this from Kani Club, the improvisation school in Tokyo. It is a great "Yes, and..." game.
Pairs or trios (daunting to do in larger groups, but could be done with practiced players).
The idea is for the players to speak a sentence simultaneously without knowing what the sentence will be ahead of time, relating the sentence to some physical action or pantomime.
Simple, familiar, quick dialogue game.
Two rows of people facing each other, standing close enough to hear each other over the noise of others speaking. Joker chooses a theme and explains the rules -- both people should talk and listen, one minute, when time is up one line shifts one person to the left. (The last person on the row moves to the other end of their line.)
Often used for introductions. Can also be used for a check-in, or for rapid discussion after another activity.
Based on the famous speech by the Meiji era Japanese feminist leader Kishida Toshiko, this activity asks participants to create a manga version of her speech, working in teams.
I have spelled out a nine step process, but it might make sense to do a much quicker, rougher version of this, to leave time for other discussions. Steps 1, 4, 5 are essential, I think.
Step one is to read the original essay (for Japanese readers, in Japanese), and do a reader response writing activity.
Step two is to form teams with a mix of self-identified skills/capacities:
Like a nightmare scenario, in this case teams take a given, established object, situation, institution, relationship, saying, etc. and try to disprove it, brainstorming, prioritizing, and presenting reasons why it can not work, be true, etc.
Teams compete to make the most convincing arguments. (Need to think about criteria for a convincing argument.) Can be decided by a team of judges, or by the joker(s).