Improv Game: Imposter

The following improvisation game challenges students to stay in character, think on their feet, keep the scene going, and react to each other. They’re also likely going to laugh, because one of the characters in the scene isn’t what they seem — they’re an imposter! This game can be played in person or online via distance learning.

1. Have students split up into groups of three to four.

2. Give each group an occupation or job prompt: a group of kindergarten teachers, a group of dentists, a group of construction workers. You can use this list of occupation prompts for inspiration.

3. One student will play an actor who is studying the others to play a character with that job for an upcoming project. (For example, think of the character Joey Tribbiani from Friends playing Dr. Drake Ramoray on the fictional version of Days of Our Lives on the show.) The other students will play real versions of people with that job, who are experts in their field.

4. The group will start a scene where the experts are doing typical tasks associated with the job they’re doing. Using the examples above, the group of kindergarten teachers might lead their students in a craft or a song, the group of dentists might start examining a patient’s teeth, and the group of construction workers might start using their respective equipment. It doesn’t matter if the students playing the experts actually know what their job is — they need to act like they’re confident and knowledgeable, and keep talking and reacting to each other.

5. The imposter will desperately try to fit in, copying the others in an exaggerated manner, using terminology (real or made up) that they clearly don’t understand. The imposter kindergarten teacher may make up lyrics to a song (“Twinkle twinkle little star… would you like to drive my car?”) while the imposter construction worker might struggle to figure out how to operate a tool.

6. The group must have a specific beginning and end for the scene. Is the actor found out to be an imposter? Do they confess? Or does the imposter fool the rest of the group and escape? It’s up to your students. You may want to have each group perform the scene twice — once where the experts are fooled, and once where the imposter is found out.

7. At the end of class, have each student complete an exit slip (found below).

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