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We are a group of friends/parents that run a not-for-profit cultural association in Spain.
This is our (bilingual!) blog about our theatre workshops for kids...

lunes, 21 de mayo de 2012

Soap operas. Episode 4: the plot thickens!

Recently, we have been looking at an extended activity for groups of teenagers or adults, designed to practise character development and improvisation skills. The nest phase of the activity is called "Hot gossip!", favourite passtime of any closeknit neighbourhood, our street being no exception.

As always, each student is assigned the role of one of the characters - this can be either a role new to them or one they have been developing over time, depending on the emphasis the teacher wants to give the activity. To begin the activity, each student pulls two names out of a hat and keeps these secret. Then, without consulting anyone, they have to imagine some kind of link or bond between them. Are they having an affair? Or involved in some kind of shady deal? Or are they twins, separated at birth by a mistake made by hospital staff? Whatever they like (the more imaginative the link the better).
 The students get into pairs and improvise a gossipy chat between neighbours. They need to find a realistic context for their chat and need to keep "in character" at all times. The group keeps changing partner and continue to exchange/spread the gossip they have heard. This will, of course, become more and more exaggerated and "colourful" as time goes on. The only thing they must remember throughout the whole exercise is that the protagonists of each piece of gossip must not hear the rumour!
No character in the group must find out the scandoulos rumours that are circulating about them. The group comes together, out of character once more, to share all the information learnt  - and it find out about their secret lives. They can share their sensations, thoughts and feelings - and try to come to a "collective understanding" of the new facts about the characters. Future activities will need to take into account recent new developments - and the latest twists and turns of fate.
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