La Ronde? I thought easylaughs did comedy in English!? Don't be fooled poor improviser, for we are here to help you with this complicated translation.
La Ronde is French for The Round.
La Ronde takes its name from an 1897 play of the same name by the German playwright Arthur Schnitzler. All ten scenes of this play only feature two actors, each individual actor appearing in two scenes in a row.
Now we've gotten that out of the way, let's start asking the question about what a la ronde is in improv.
A La Ronde is a series of two-person scenes where the combination of players involved forms a circle.
Let me make it clearer.
The first two performers would play a scene. Let’s name them Anouk and Bert. The scene ends by a third player replacing the first. Let’s call her Christina. Next we have a scene with Bert and Chrstina, where Bert is still the same character as in the first scene and Christina is someone new. The location and time might be different in this scene, but it exists in the same universe.
Makes sense? Need more explanation?
Let's imagine we're performing with six players. The scenes would progress as follows:
Anouk & Bert
Bert & Christina
Christina & Diederek
Diederek & Elisabeth
Elisabeth & Frank
Frank & Anouk
and so the circle is formed!
All players only play one character and all scenes are two player scenes.
That's all there is to it, that is La Ronde, or The Round.
Now the next question is, what's a Musical La Ronde?
In a Musical La Ronde we do the same, but now every scene ends in a song. That can be a solo or a duet and could also involve choir singing or movements by the other players.
For the Musical version, it’s a great extra to add an opening song and a grand finale song, both with all players, giving it more of a feel of a full-blown musical.