Activity: Improvised Role-Play
1. Choose a short script that is appropriate for students' age and proficiency level.
2. Put students into groups of as many characters as are in the scene. This will be their play group.
3. Give students a written outline of the story—the gist. This does not include what characters say. For example:
Location: on the street
I. One person is stopped on the sidewalk, looking troubled (worried).
II. His/her friend walks up to find out what the problem is.
III. The first person says that he/she found some money and wants to turn it in to the police station.
IV. The friend thinks that is a bad idea.
V. More friends arrive. They all want to keep the money. They want to use it for something fun, for themselves.
VI. They argue about what to do with the money.
VII. Lastly, one of them runs off with the money.
VIII. Everyone yells and runs after him/her.
4. In their play groups, students improvise the scene based on the outline. They should keep in mind the following:
a. What would be said?
b. How should it be said? With what emotion? With what movement?
c. Students improvise three times, changing character roles each time.
d. Last change: they act out scene silently. Use as many gestures and actions as possible.
5. Give students the text. Divide class by characters. All students with the same character get together. This is their character group.
6. In character groups, students read through lines, with the goal of understanding the story.
7. Groups discuss key words, making sure that everyone understands the character and how he/she contributes to the story.
8. Students move back into play groups.
9. Students practice twice as a group.
10. Students perform once in front of another group, or in front of the whole class.
11. Audience can evaluate on the following:
a. did group successfully act out the play?
b. did actors "get in character"?
c. did actors remember their lines?
d. did actors move appropriately?
e. suggestion for improvement?
f. what did group do very well?