By | August 2, 2010


Columns, justification


Everyone into two columns.


The players at the front of the columns step forward. The player on the right turns away from the player on the left. The player on the left begins to do a repetitive activity that uses at least three limbs. The player on the right cannot see this activity. Before turning around to look, the player on the right endows the player making the repetitive motions with some role (profession, person, relationship). The job of the player on the left (the wiggly one) is to justify their activity in the context of what character they were endowed with. It goes something like this. The player on the right turns away so she cannot see the player on the left. The player on the left begins to pump her legs and ring circles around her head. The player on the right makes her offer and endows the player on the right, “Constable Flaherty the gnomes are on the grass again” The player on the left, who is pumping her legs and ringing circles around her head, must justify what she is doing within the context of her character. Her reply is, “I am tracking them with my radar officer Corkley.” The exercise is good for getting players away from planning and driving scenes. It also helps work on strong commitment to something that is obvious completely wrong. Both players return to the back of the line that they were not in. Once everyone has tried both endowing and justifying the exercise is done.




Rope is a variation where the main goals are learning commitment, and being fearless on stage. The remainder of the workshoppers decide if they liked the justification or not. If not they all scream rope and are generally abusive. The player getting harassed must step forward and bow to the crowd, not being concerned at all with the abuse they are receiving. If the player flinches in any way she must immediately repeat the exercise. This version is not for the faint of heart.


Gary Austin, Groundlings

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