Game Type: Improvisation
Age Range: 9+
Number of Participants: 2-20
Materials: Pictures of people, as many as Participants (see Notes)
Participants will use pictures as inspiration in creating characters, and interact with others as their characters. They will try to determine which picture the other participants used for their inspiration after interacting with them.
How to Play:
Participants spread themselves out in the room, so that each person has enough space to think without distractions. The leader passes out a picture to each participant, explaining, "DO NOT let anyone else, even me, see your picture. You have three minutes to look at the person in your picture and become that person. Decide what kind of personality he or she has, how old the person is, what kind of life they lead, etc. Use the picture to help you
decide - are there details about the person's clothes, their surroundings, their face which give you ideas? Try to create a "story" for this person, as well as a voice, mannerisms, attitude. All of your characters will attend a party at the end of the three minutes." The participants
should not talk to one another before the three minutes are up. At the end of the three minutes, the participants hand in their pictures. As soon as they hand in the picture, they transform into their character. The leader should explain that they need to talk to the other characters, as if they are at a party. The participants should attempt to talk to everyone else, and try to remember things about the other characters. The party lasts five to ten minutes, depending on the number of participants. At the end of this time, the leader asks everyone to discard their characters and become themselves. The leader then shows the participants the pictures that were used, and asks the group to identify whose character matches with the picture. (Don't tell the participants that this will happen ahead of time. The temptation of "fooling" everyone is too great to resist for some people, and these people will purposefully make their character unlike their picture if they know there will be guessing.) The group should discuss their reactions to their pictures, and to others' as well as how everyone developed their character.
The pictures can be cut out of magazines, and then pasted onto oak tag or posterboard for stability. Try to get a good assortment of people - all ages, races, levels of attractiveness, and don't put any famous faces in the bunch. The more interesting the setting and the appearance of the person, the more there is for the participants to use for inspiration. Remember, there are no wrong answers - but the participants should be able to answer "why" questions about the character and picture.