Word At A Time Convo

By | March 11, 2019




Several performers in two clumps to create two different characters.


Word At A Time is both an exercise, a handle and a structure that can be added to another structure. Here we discuss a performance version of this structure.

Each performer contributes one word at a time to create a sentence. For example, the first player may say “Once.” The next player in the circle could say “upon.” This process continues until a complete sentence is created. “Once upon a red mat.”

The performers then string these sentences together to answer a question. The audience will expect a decent sentences from the expert. The key to making this handle work is commitment to the next word and not trying to be funny. Let the comedy happen by accident. To get the best results with this add on is to keep in the tone first person singular using I and Me and not We or Us.

In Word At A Time Convo is exactly what it describes. Each performer groups creates it’s own character that speaks Word At A Time. The performers pass sentences back and forth having a conversation using word at a time.

The highest level of performance that this handle can offer is to endow the character with a vocalization and a want. Having two characters in a scene that has narrative is always the goal.

This handle is often set up as where two people could meet, but could just as easily be an open scene using clumps of performers to represent characters. Examples are job interview, first date, or an OSCE.

For detailed rehearsal notes on this handle see the exercise Word At A Time.


  • Add more collective entities.


  • Audience Participation – This handle can support one or two audience members as long as they are supported by the other performers and made to look good on stage.