Please form a line with two players downstage. This is an exercise for building ties.
This exercise focuses on quickly creating relationships and explorations as part of the STEPS narrative tool.
The player on the left turns to the other player and indicates a relationship and exploration of that relationship. The leader should encourage the player to not ask a question but make a clear statement. For example, “parental unit I need a ride to school.” or “life partner, the dishes are piling up.” These are silly examples of sentences that clearly define a relationship and and exploration in one sentence.
The other player graciously accepts the character that they have been endowed with. The player’s response is also limited to one sentence, and introduces another character. For example, “yes offspring I will get the motorbike key from your sibling.” or “yes life partner I will go get additional dishes from the zombie in the basement.” Again a matched pair of silly single sentence responses that acknowledge the offer and add another character.
One of the players from the line steps up as the third character in the exercise. They graciously accept the character they have been endowed with and structure another single sentence in response. For example, “dear younger sibling here are the keys to the motorcycle.” or “Brraains. I ate my dishes. Braaiins. “
The players then rotate. The player that spoke first goes to the end of the line, and the sequence repeats with the two players down stage. Overly detailed explanation below.
- Player One: “life partner, the dishes are piling up.”
- Player Two: “yes life partner I will go get additional dishes from our zombie in the basement.”
- Player from Line: “Brraains. I ate my dishes. Braaiins. ”
- Player One goes to back of line.
- Player Two becomes player One.
- Player from Line becomes player Two.
- And so on and so on.
This exercise is rich with opportunities to teach the STEPS narrative goals.
Questions and Commitment
There is no rule against questions. It is a good goal to avoid questions and pose offers as statements. Questions lack commitment and push work onto the scene partner. Use this exercise to work on the skill of making statements and not questions.
The players have the opportunity to accept their endowed characters without dropping a beat. Each time a character is endowed the players can work on creating a spot character using the trinity.
The first sentence creates an exploration. This need not be a conflict. We are overwhelmed with personal conflicts in our daily lives. Interpersonal conflicts are strong and motivate narrative. This exercise will produce a lot of explorations in a short period of time. Use this opportunity to encourage other kinds of explorations.
Explode or Sort
The second sentence should not sort out the exploration. The second sentence should not explode what is being exploration. The second sentence expands the relationship by supporting it, and slightly advances it by adding a new character. The leader should watch for opportunities to point these differences out. Sentences that sort things out (“I did the dishes”) ends the exercise by sorting out the exploration. Sentences that explode the exploration with offer suffocation (“the dishes are on a space ship that is in our basement guarded by a zombie that has dysentery”) muddy or wreck the narrative.
- Players maintain endowed character for the multiple waves of the exercise.