Word At A Time Story. Mr. Know It All. Two Headed Monster.
Four or five performers on stage linking their arms.
Word At A Time is both an exercise, a handle and a structure that can be added to another structure. Here we discuss the 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 tell a story. The audience will expect a decent narrative from this story. 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.
Word At A Time can be inserted into any other structure (usually an Open Scene) by having two performers connect together and contribute a word at a time. 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.
For detailed rehearsal notes on this handle see the exercise Word At A Time.
- 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.
- Conducted Story – The host moves from performer to performer challening them with the next word. Often a competitive version.
- Paired – Two performers tell a story miming and acting it out as it is being told. Frenetic fun.