Chain-O-Links, an improv exercise
Creating a story as a group bonds an ensemble, helps us stay in the moment, and encourages us to let go of perfection, all while laughing together. This is one of my favorite storytelling/group bonding exercises.
To start, three participants volunteer for the “easiest jobs” of this exercise.
For player one I get a suggestion of an occupation (plumber) and an object (apple).
Player one’s line is: “Once there was a plumber with an apple.” I place player one at one end of the room.
For player two I get a suggestion of a song lyric (don’t stop believing)
Player two’s line is: “Don’t stop believing.” I place player two in the middle of the room.
For player three I get a suggestion of a location (Italy)
Player three’s line is, “…and Italy was never the same.” I place player two at the other end of the room.
Now we have a beginning: Once there was a plumber with an apple
A middle: Don’t stop believing
And en end: …And Italy was never the same
The other participants now add to the story, one at a time, placing themselves somewhere in the line, until the story makes sense and the beginning, middle and end are linked. Players can add as much as a phrase, or as little as a couple of words.
Each time a new player is added we hear the story from the beginning, always repeating the part of the story we added. Continue until all players are in line.
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