Competitive improvisational theatre format created by Keith Johnstone and the Loose Moose Theatre Company of Calgary, Alberta.
Format: Five improvisers take turns directing each other in scenes. After each scene, the audience decides whether the director should be praised or punished, by shouting either "Banana!" or "Forfeit!" (Some troupes use "Ribbon!" in place of "Banana!"). If the audience awards a banana, the director (not the actors) gets to pin a banana shaped ribbon onto his or her clothes. The person wearing the most ribbons at the end of the night is the winner. Traditionally, this means he or she gets a week of quality time with a stuffed gorilla. If the audience awards a forfeit, the director must perform a punishment on the spot, such as apologizing on their knees to the audience for their failures, giving all their pocket money to the musician, or eating a jar of baby food.
Notes: Audiences may be quick to reward directors for not doing anything, if the improvisers are talented, until they figure out how entertaining the forfeits can be. Forfeits should not reward the director with more stage time ("Improvise your apology in the style of a Broadway musical!")- the forfeits should be quick. Directors are encouraged to really want the gorilla (play to win!), and to have a strong vision for their scenes, to communicate that vision to the audience, and to get their actors to express that vision, even if it means interrupting the scenes repeatedly-- because this format is about the best director, not the best improvisers.
Licensed by the International TheatreSports Institute. The name Gorilla Theatre is trademarked.
Sources: Bay Area TheatreSports; also Storytelling for Improvisers, by Keith Johnstone