What is it?
In this acting game, players act as their own characters, and answer questions off the cuff to explore motivations, feelings, and the way they might describe their experiences in the story.
How to Play:
The writer plays the character he or she would like to explore. The mentor (and sometimes other players) interview the character taking on the role of reporter(s) or another logical person who might interview the character.
ONE ON ONE:
In a one-on-one, in-person setting, the mentor interviews the character directly. You can use an imaginary (or real!) microphone to add some flair.
This game is easy to play online in the same way as described above.
You can either ask everyone the same question and have them speak as though they're on a panel, or you can put one writer in the hot seat to answer questions from all players. In this second case, rotate through so that all players have the chance to be in the hot seat.
In a large online group, you might interview everyone at once and have them write their answers. Then, each player could share their favorite question and answer at the end.
When in-person, this game can be done as a performance game with four players "on stage" at once, sitting in chairs. The interviewer switches between them "switching channels" so that each interview can be about that story's specific situation. By quickly rotating through from one to another, each player gets time to answer and also to think.
You can also play this game in partner pairs, letting player A be the character and player B be the interviewer, and then swapping roles.
Since we're playing for writing and not acting purposes, remind players that the voice they use to answer isn't as important as the answer itself. This can reduce stress for more reserved players. Of course, using a voice is sometimes the fun part, and if so, players should feel free to experiment.
If players aren't familiar with one another's stories, you might want to brainstorm helpful questions before sending partners off to interview one another. Providing a list of general questions can also be helpful, depending on the situation.
Exploring Theme: Using a mentor text, all players can slip into roles in a story they've read and take on various perspectives. After the interview, discuss how the variety of perspectives the characters offer adds to the overall theme in the story.
Idea Generation: Writers can also be interviewed about their own life experiences as a way of exploring possible story material connected to their own lives.