The Living Room is a deconstruction-based long-form set that uses storytelling to inspire scene work.
After grabbing a suggestion, this form opens with the cast having a casual dinner party-type conversation. Improvisers stand in a horseshoe (or sometimes sit) and tell a story inspired by the suggestion. Here, players don’t necessarily have to play themselves, but should be telling truthful stories, or talking about events actually happening in the world.
Any player inspired by one of these stories can step forward from the horseshoe into the middle and begin a scene. The ensemble plays a few scenes inspired by the conversation, then the cast returns to the “dinner party,” using information from those scenes to begin a new conversation. (Improvisers shouldn’t act out the stories, but rather use one idea mentioned as a jumping-off point.)
The Living Room flips back and forth between “dinner party conversation” and a series of brand new scenes. As the show gains momentum, the conversations should get shorter and the scenic element should get longer.
(Thanks to improviser extraordinaire, Rob Norman, for the 411.)