Characters created by questions from other players
Each character created one at a time, then scenes are played
deep connection to characters
shared responsibility for character creation
A long, approximately 40 minute, attention-filled improv activity that cultivates empathy, listening, character development and a quieter type of spontaneity.
Approx 8 players
One by one players sit alone, in a chair, on stage. There, they answer questions from the remaining seven players that informs and develops the character they are to play. Questions are often things like: How old are you? What gender are you? Where were you born? How big a family did you come from? What do you do for a living? Is that what you always wanted to do? What was the best and worst day of your life? Where do you see yourself in five years? Side coaching includes encouragement for the player to become that character as more information is garnered. After two full rounds of questions (14 in total), the instructor recaps all information about that character. (I usually scribble down info like crazy). Player one steps down, player two takes the stage. Repeat.
At the end of 8 characters, I introduce one character to another on stage and make up a scenario whereby they might have met each other. Interestingly, they players often endow their character to be someone already related to or in the social sphere of another, ex., a Nashville truck driver who lives in an apartment above a store. Next character is the woman who runs the store below his apartment.
We weave life stories, perspectives, points of view, past experiences, cognitive distortions, have emotional revelations and resolutions for the characters. The beauty of this game is the emotional investment that players bring. It’s often not funny, and it’s more impactful that way. The trust built is through the roof and more than many other game in my ten years of teaching, this is the one students speak about most.
from Nancy Watt Shared via email 8/29/2019 and also in the car to AIN Stony Brook