Flatmates Just Do Nothing
This is an AMAZING exercise for helping people play longer scenes for the first time and to be obvious, play things real in a scene, and let themselves discover things moment by moment in the scene without the overwhelming pressure to be clever or funny on every line.
The teacher sets it up by saying something along the lines of:
“We are going to play some scenes where not much has to happen. Even if it’s just two of you watching TV for half an hour on stage, that’s ok. You can talk, but you don’t have to, just do what feels real for the scene and don’t worry about the audience. In fact we pretend there is a fourth wall between you and the audience, and you just relax into your scene. If we took these people off the stage and put them in the actual situation in real-life, it wouldn’t look unusual.”
We then go pair/small group at a time on stage with various scenarios, for instance:
- Two flatmates hanging out at home after work.
- People working opposite each other in an open plan office.
- Work colleagues in a pub after work.
- People having dinner around the family table.
- People driving in a car to a sales conference.
- People climbing into a space shuttle ready for take off.
After each scene the teacher can ask the audience what they observed and how the characters behaved, because in later exercises this can be used to explore game of the scene or stories in scenes.
The teacher can also pause the scene, ask people what they observe about the character and relationships on stage, and then go back on the scene to escalate those characters and relationships even more.
- Being obvious.
- Believing the scene and situation you are in.
- Playing at top of intelligence instead of doing gags at the expense of the scene.
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