For All Teachers

Bus Stop (Silent Characters)

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  1. Have a hat or bowl with slips of paper. On each slip is printed a character description.
  2. The performance area is set up with a few chairs in a straight line, as if they are a bench at a bus stop.
  3. Have an ‘offstage’ area where 4 or 5 actors can prepare by picking a slip of paper from the hat and getting into character.
  4. One at a time the participants enter the space and wait for their bus. They can interact silently, offering their seat or nodding ‘hello’.
  5. As characters enter from the offstage area, replenish them with people form the audience area.
  6. Once three people are on the stage, the one that has been there the longest leaves on their bus or exits for some other reason.
  7. As people exit, new characters enter so there is a constant population of 3-4 characters on the stage at any time with another small group always in the offstage area waiting to make their entrance.
  8. Continue this until all the participants have gone once.

VARIATIONS: Depending on the age of the group, you can create simple or complex characters. For example, simple characters can be a five year old child, a businessperson, a grandparent. A more complex character might be a young professional artist who is nervous about going to a job interview and showing her portfolio.

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