In the world of “competitive improvisation” there’s a simple need for scoreboards.
…you might say. And you would be right. But come on! There are a lot of tedious details in the work we do on stage to make a show happen. It isn’t all show biz and buttercups.
Yes, I said buttercups.
Here are some suggestions and GIFTS for you via three companies who have looked at ways to deal with scores in their competitive Impro shows.
A little specific background example first:
MAESTRO IMPRO – A format from Keith Johnstone where 9 -15 players are scored in random scenes by the audience. Lower scoring players are eliminated from the show, leaving the ONE MAESTRO improviser as the ultimate winner.
Traditionally the scoring is on a dedicated board that tells the audience who is ahead and who is dead… (NOTE: No improvisers are killed in Maestro. They are simply ejected from the show)
In these online, electronic days, scoring has changed and scorekeeping ranges from simple raw and easy to flashy and intricate. Here are some examples AND they are all available for you to use – FREE!! Yippeee!!
AUSTIN, TEXAS – The Hideout Theatre
Brad Hawkins created the simplest of all the online boards. BUT simple is often best. Easy to use, effective and reliable, the scoreboard looks good and does the job of incorporating as many players as you want with scores up to 25. You can quickly pick who gets the points and group people together to get the same score. Really well done!
AND – I was talking to Brad and Andy at the HIDEOUT and they were kind enough to offer it FREE to the worldwide improvisation community.
(give them credit for using it. That’s the least you could do. OR
head over to their theatre and buy a ticket or make a donation)
Oslo, NORWAY – Det Andre Teatret
Erik Hals created one of the first Maestro boards being used
anywhere and it was great. Det Andre Teatre, one of the most diverse of all Impro companies used it for a while as a projection scoreboard. The board hasn’t been used online as far as I know BUT guess what Erik has done… He’s allowing you to use the code FOR FREE!!! Thanks Erik.
This offering is more for the more computer literate out there who are willing to dig into some programming.
CHECK OUT THE SCOREBOARD FILES AND ASSOCIATED FILES HERE!
Send him a thanks and check out shows at DET ANDRE TEATRE! They are exploring impro online in a little different way than other companies.
And finally – – –
Calgary, CANADA – Loose Moose
Michael Dargie at the Loose Moose theatre is a bit of a hero. He sinks EPIC time and effort into helping out the company and has some great ideas.
His foray into the online scoreboard reality was really wonderful. It offered many functions that helped the audience and Directors during the show.
It looked good and worked well.
And here are some of the unique features:
- Preshow Screen(s)
- Intermission Screen(s)
- Localized to the environment
- Raspberry Pi and HTML interface
- Score sorting. Colour coding for High Scores, and when players are eliminated ((Makes it solo easy when it’s time to eliminate)
- Saved games
- Saved players
- Player stats
Alas… it was gathering a little dust from lack of use. BUT after a brief chat with Michael, he’s agreed to make the files available for you to look at and work with AND the busy guy has offered his time to chat with you about it.
CHECK OUT THE SCOREBOARD HERE – AVAILABLE SOON
If you would like to chat with Michael, please drop me a note through this website and I will put you in touch with him.
I ADMIT- all of this might not have been at all interesting for you. I mean, most improvisers just want to play on stage and make shit up. BUT, we are on stage looking good because the technically minded have shon light on us, given us soundtracks and added a technical value that upgrades us.
AND – look at what the three guys from Canada, Norway and the States have done. They’ve done a SHITLOAD of work and paid money out of their own pockets and are passing on the benefits of their efforts to you…. FOR FREE!!!
Remember who is in the shadows. Acknowledge the offstage improvisers and planners that make our spontaneity more magical.