Improv Game: Taxi Cab

Three Female Friends Sharing a Taxi Cab Together
Cavan Images/ The Image Bank/ Getty Images

I have seen this game performed by children as well as sharp-witted members of Improv Groups. No matter what the level, it is fun to watch and fun to be in.

Number of performers: 3 - 6

How To Play:
Set up one chair for the "taxi-cab driver" and several chairs for the "passenger seats."

One performer plays the role of the cab driver. He/she starts the scene by pantomiming driving. Feel free to develop a funny, quirky "cab driver" character.

After a few moments of "driving," the performer spots a customer.

The passenger hops into the back of the cab. Now, here's where the game begins. The second performer playing the role of the passenger should have a distinct personality.

Some examples:

  • A secretive British agent.
  • A snobby Opera singer.
  • A hyper 4 year old.
  • A friendly, overly talkative old woman.

Here's the gimmick: The cab driver adopts the personality traits of his customer. When a new performer (a new passenger) enters the scene, the cab driver and the other passengers emulate the new personality/behavior. The passengers explain to the driver where they are going and what they plan to do.

After the passengers have interacted with one another, the cab driver will start to drop off his/her customers. When a passenger is dropped off and exits the scene, everyone switches personality again, until eventually the cab driver character is alone again and back to the original personality.

Dramatic Skills:
This activity develops a performer's emulation ability. How well can the actor mimic the style of another performer? How quickly can an actor change his/her character? What ranges of emotions can the actors express?

Teachers and directors should encourage their cast to try as many new personalities and emotions as possible.

Have fun! Oh, and don't forget to give the cabbie a decent tip!