How to Play the Improv Game "The Dating Game"
By Gerri Garrick
Updated September 22, 2017
Imrprov or Improvisational Comedy is the art of acting out scenes, playing characters, or delivering dialogue on the spot. Usually, hilarity ensues. Improv games can be performed on stage as part of theater performances, played with students in classroom settings, or parties for various reasons including ice breaking fun, or helping with children’s confidence levels. “The Dating Game” is a game appropriate for actors with at least some character experience, and is a fun game for an audience to watch. Follow these instructions to learn the rules of the game.
Choose an actor to play a bachelor or bachelorette. If your bachelorette is not very experienced, have her prepare a few questions in advance to ask her potential dates. (This is the only part of the game that may or may not be improvised.)
Choose three actors to play potential dates or contestants for your bachelorette. Have the audience yell out suggestions for the suitor’s professions. Remember that although an obscure profession may sound funny, it has the potential to lack humor when no one knows what it is. Pick a profession for each actor from the suggestions.
Begin the game by having the bachelorette ask bachelor #1 a question. Be sure the bachelorette plays a character as well. She can reveal her profession and character through the questions she asks the contestants, and her delivery. Let the bachelorette continue alternating between contestants, asking questions.
Keep the questions mundane. Each actor should answer the questions based on his occupation. The comedy should be character based. When a farmer contestant is asked what he would plan for a first date for example, he might include things like milking cows and perhaps killing chickens for dinner.
End the game when one actor’s performance has clearly stood out. The contestant who got the most laughs should then be chosen by the bachelorette and declared the winner of an all expense paid trip with the lovely bachelorette to sunny Mexico or another exotic locale. For extra effect, you may opt to have all the actors stand in a line and blow a big kiss to the crowd like in the 1970s dating game TV show.
As seen in the resource videos, you can also opt to have your bachelorette guess the characters or occupations that your actors are playing.
Don't be afraid to play these characters broadly. The laughs in this game should come as a result of these stereotyped characterizations.
Gerri Garrick has been working as an actor/singer for the past eighteen years. A graduate of James Madison University, with a degree in communications, she has written several produced plays, as well as a one woman show. Garrick has been sharing her performing arts experience with eHow readers for the past year.