The Ponies specialize in short-form improv comedy which centers around creating scenes through the context of games and exercises. Included in our library of games are familiar favorites and original creations. We're always updating our collection too!
Take a look to see how each game is played and check out our guide on how to get your suggestions into the show!
90 Second Alphabet
This game game consists of 26 lines of dialogue. Two actors start on stage and the host gets a suggestion for the scene, in addition to a letter to start the dialogue with. For example, if the letter picked was “L” then the next letter would be “M” and so on through the alphabet. Players take turns alternating between the letters. When a player gets to the letter “Z,” then they loop back to the letter “A.”
Two actors begin a scene but during this game, they cannot move unless the other two actors or volunteers move them. The participants moving the actors can move the arms freely, but we suggest light taps with their feet to move the actors legs to have them walk.
Two actors begin a scene. Once the scene is established, the host pauses the action and asks either the audience or other actors not included in the scene for a motivation for each of the actors. For example, one actor's motivation might be to reveal that they have a crush while another might be looking to make their fortune. Once each of the actors has a new motivation, they continue the scene as best they can. At any time, the host may pause the action to get a new motivation for each of the actors.
Two actors are sent out of the room while the remaining two actors are given a scene to perform in about 5 minutes. Once the scene comes to an end the other two actors return and are given a 10-15 second recap of ALL the action that took place in the scene before. The new actors then attempt to perform the same scene only from the audience’s recap. This may be done just once or it can be done over and over for a larger group game.
Back in My Day
Actors line up at the back of the stage and the host then collects suggestions from the audience for occupations, objects, famous people, etc. The host takes a suggestion they like and players step forward one at a time to deliver a punchline or one-liner beginning with, "Back in my day..." They then return to their spot in line when they’re done. For example, if the suggestion was “tour guide,” the format would be “Back in my day, we didn’t have tour guides, we just got lost.” After a few players step up, the host gives a new suggestion.
Because I Said So
One actor plays a child and stands in the center of the stage. The other two actors play adults, parents, or guardians. The actor in the middle asks a difficult question and then the other two actors take turns trying to answer. After each answer, the center actor says, “Why?” Then the next actor has to answer. Eventually, after a lot of back and forth or when either “adult” actor can’t think of something to say, they respond, “Because I said so!” Then the next question can be asked.
Before or After
Two actors begin a scene and continue it for 2-3 minutes. After some time, the host then asks the audience if they’d like to see the scene before or after what they just watched. The actors then create a new scene based on the characters and circumstance they just performed with the new timing suggested by the audience.
Three actors start on stage for this scene game. The host gives two of the actors each one statement and one question, and they can ONLY use these catchphrases during the scene. They are allowed to change the inflection and punctuation, but they can’t change the order of the words. The third player has to try and have a normal scene and may say whatever they want.
Four players, A, B, C, and D, each pick one corner of the stage, and player E stands in the center. The host gets a suggestion for a scene from the audience and assigns it to players A, B, and E on the front of the stage. The host then says “pan right” and everyone rotates clockwise on the stage. Then the host gets another suggestion and players B, C, and E have a separate, new scene together. Rotate right again, new suggestion, and players C, D, and E have a separate scene together. Rotate right one more time, new suggestion, and players D, A, and E have a separate scene together. Throughout the game, the host will be rotating between these four scenes by either calling “pan right,” known as clockwise, or “pan left,” known as counterclockwise. Each time the scenes are revisited after rotating, the players can pick up right where they left off or go hours, months, or years into the future. Player E has to remember all of the scenes, in addition to their characters in each scene.
Actors line up at the back of the stage and the host gets the title of a new story from the audience. The host then starts the game by pointing to a player, who starts telling the story. At any point in time the host can switch to another player by pointing at them. The new actor speaking must continue the story flawlessly, even if the switch happened in the middle of a sentence or even in the middle of a word.