Whoosh Bang Pow

(the one where players pass a whoosh around the circle)

In this warm-up, players pass sounds around the circle, each with a unique rule. WHOOSH passes to the right or left, always continuing in the same direction. BANG reverses the WHOOSH and sends it back in the opposite direction. POW passes across the circle to whomever you’re pointing at. There are many many variations on this game with different sounds or extra rules.

(aka: Whoosh, Whoosh/Whoa, Whoosh Boing)


Pro Tips:

  • Go fast. Mistakes and confusion are part of the fun.
  • You can add physical gestures along with the sounds: WHOOSH with both hands in the direction of the next player, BANG with your arms held up in an X, and POW while pointing and clapping across the circle.
  • Once you get good at the game, find ways to make it challenging again by adding restrictions or new rules.
  • Common restrictions are that you can’t BANG a BANG or BANG a POW.

Alternate Versions:

  • There are as many rules for this game as there are improv troupes in the world. You can introduce sounds to skip over a person, to skip two people, to have everyone frantically change places in the circle, to all turn facing outward, etc. Make up your own rules and sounds!
  • Try layering another game on top of it — like Exaggeration Circle, where each person passes the sound with the same character/emotion/energy as the person before them.
  • You can create themed versions of the game, replacing WHOOSH BANG POW with all Star Wars-related sounds or all Lady Gaga-related sounds.
  • Have everyone close their eyes and play the game blind.