One sentence, ABC, where-who-what
This exercise covers the basic framework of an open scene. It is very structured and requires three people. Could one person set up a scene.
This exercise is very structured. Each player in it has a specific role, and each sentence spoken has a specific role. It is crucial to emphasize that each step represents only one sentence. It is recommended to talk the players through this the first through times. ZERO – environment The first player comes on stage and creates an environment based on the set up of the scene. The environment is created in silence through mime. Once they have clearly defined their environment the second player comes on stage. For the sake of this explanation a kitchen is created. ONE – relationship The second player comes on stage and accepts the environment that the first player defined through her mime. The second player on contributes only one sentence to the scene and NO more. That sentence simply defines a relationship between the two players. For example a simple sentence like ‘hi mom’ would suffice. TWO – conflict The first player in the scene then speaks only one sentence. This sentence creates a conflict based on the ask-for, environment, or relationship. For instance ‘you are late for dinner’ is a simple choice. THREE – raising the stakes Player two now has a chance to speak her second sentence. This sentence accepts all of the previous elements of the story, and makes the conflict worse. ‘I hate your cooking mom’ would be a sentence that advances the story by making the conflict worse. FOUR – resolution The two player have to keep their mouths shut. Keep in mind that this is an exercise and not a scene. The third player now enters the scene, accepts the environment and speaks her singular sentence. This sentence will end the scene and resolve the conflict at hand. The resolution must somehow incorporate elements from the scene that went before. For example, ‘hi honey, lets go eat at mcswiney’s tonight.’ That is the end of the exercise and another three players get set up to do another one. They usually take about one to two minutes each.
If players cannot keep to one sentence. Try doing the steps in gibberish or have someone offstage speak the player’s sentence.