created by Keith Johnstone
Two players put on hats of approximately equal dimension, preferably with
wide brims, and play a scene. The scene ends when:
- a player successfully grabs a hat off their opponent's head (WIN), or
- a player grabs for the hat and misses (LOSS).
Source: Keith Johnstone, Impro for Storytellers, Routledge/Theatre Arts Books, 1999.
- The hat must be grabbed. Knocking the hat off the head counts as a grab and miss.
- You may protect the hat.
- Don't talk about the hats.
- Don't justify why you're grabbing the hat.
- The audience wants to see the hat game, not the scene.
It's fine for the scenes to be a few seconds long.
- The game is not interesting if the players stay farther than arms length apart. Play close.
- Johnstone notes that successful players never retreat. They hold their ground or move forward,
often tempting their partner to make a hasty grab.
- Have beginners practice the hat grab slowly, to avoid spastic eye gouges and
clouts to the ears.
- In TheatreSports, often played best out of three. Each hat may win 3 points, or the
game may be a toss up challenge.
- The game is about mindfulness. You must play the improvised scene, yet be intently
aware of what's
- Variation on this mindfulness challenge: Bum Tag. The player who touches the other's
behind first wins.