This improv game is in the following improv game categories:
Cloud Atlas is a book by author David Mitchell, which has a peculiar structure. The same structure can be used to create a Long Form improv show. For details on the book (spoiler alert) see the book's wikipedia page.
Here is how the format works: it is a long form show with an intermission. Before the break, a number of stories (6 stories in the original book, but any number above 2 will work) are half told; these stories take place in history, time running forward, and each story is played in a particular, different style. After the break, the stories are finished, one after the other, but in inverse order. By the end of the show, the stories should have connections between them.
An example to clarify. Ask 4 suggestions of historical periods & locations, in historical order. The (near & far) future are allowed. Suppose we get: french revolution, first world war Britain, today (2013-ish) USA and 2030 China. This will lead to 4 story lines, and 8 parts, 4 before the break and 4 after. Each story line is played as a Straight Story . For example:
- Story 1/part 1: Dramatic story in france during revolution
- Story 2/part 1: Love story during WW1
- Story 3/part 1: Thriller in USA, current time
- Story 4/part 1: Musical in post-communist China
- Second half of story 4
- Second part of story 3
- Second half of story 2
- Second part of story 1
There should be a link from story 1 to story 2, one from story 2 to story 3 and one from story 3 to story 4. All the links should be different in kind and not be purely thematic, e.g. a book written by a character in story 1 may be important in story 2; an invention done in story 2 may be linked to a character's profession in story 3 and so forth. If one link is a character the other links should not be characters. Ideally, not all links are established before the break. For a really concrete example see the wikipedia link on the plots in Mitchell's book.
Original book by David Mitchell, 2004. Idea of using the structure for a long form is attributed to Tom Tollenaere