Teaching, coaching, studying, performing, and thinking have distilled things enough for me to begin giving students what I’m calling
The 3 Pillars of Excellent Scenework:
Emotion on the part of the character.
Decision, bold decisive action, by the improviser and, often, by the character.
Silence used, kept available, and defaulted to by everyone involved.
These pillars are standing on a foundation of the basic fundamentals we are all given in level 1: Agreement about the reality we’re creating. Support and taking care of each other. Attention. Care. Serving the scene over the characters. Specifics. Clarity. Simplicity. Devotion. Trust.
Once you’ve got that basic foundation in play, emotion, decision, and use of silence can raise your scenework to the next level.
These are things present in excellent scenes and likely missing from the mediocre.
And when in doubt, or in a stall, adding any of these three will likely get things moving again.