Open Forum

Obstinate Bus Stop Particiants

  • 1.  Obstinate Bus Stop Particiants

    Posted 08-18-2021 14:09
    I am going to be covering objectives and tactics soon with high schoolers and middle schoolers. One of my go-to exercises is Bus Stop. NOrmally, I set the given circumstances as "you are at a bus stop at 2am in a not-great neighborhood. You are the only person around, except for..." enter the person trying to get them to leave. Inevitably, one of my participants will not cede their seat, effectively bringing the game to a halt. I then remeind them of the circumstances and ask them to truly react honestly. After a while, I feel like I have to ask them to vacate the seat so that others can get a shot.

    How have you dealt with this issue?

    Kevin Brown
    Excelsior Classical Academy

  • 2.  RE: Obstinate Bus Stop Particiants

    Posted 08-19-2021 07:35

    This is very common in this exercise as well as in Park Bench. For Bus Stop, try telling students it's their stop and time to get off when you, the teacher, dings a bell. It will force them to leave and allow you more control. If you'd prefer, you could tell them they must make it clear why it's their stop (the purpose of the journey) somewhere in the improv. 

    Drama Menu had a similar game that I felt solved this problem too. I believe it's called Speed Date. Player 1 must come on as a terrible date to the more neutral player 2 (already seated) in a speed dating situation. The bell dings after 10 seconds (or 20 or 30, your choice) so player 2 leaves and player 1 switches to the player 2 spot, allowing for another person to come in which certainly expedites the process and allows for more students to take part.  Best of luck! 

    Dawn DeMaio
    Theater Teacher/ Director
    GW Hewlett High School
    Hewlett, NY

  • 3.  RE: Obstinate Bus Stop Particiants

    Posted 30 days ago
    A bell to signal when a reluctant player should leave works well.  You could give the students one more line after you ring the bell.

    CJ Breland
    Retired Theatre Arts Educator

  • 4.  RE: Obstinate Bus Stop Particiants

    Posted 08-19-2021 09:19
    When I play this game I side coach external circumstances
    For example "It begins to rain," "there's a bus in the distance," "it's not your bus," "your bus finally arrives"<--

    (hmm...I guess one could also call out internal circumstances e.g. You're suddenly afraid of the other person; the other person has a really bad smell; you realize you know the person from long long ago).

    Douglas "Chip" Rome
    Theatre Consultant
    Educational Stages
    Burke VA

  • 5.  RE: Obstinate Bus Stop Particiants

    Posted 08-20-2021 09:00
    I tell the students that it is their job to leave - the scene isn't about them sitting there, it's about a person who gets weirded out and leaves. Make it a given circumstance - if the script says you leave, you leave, and it's your job as an actor to figure out why your character leaves.

    Ken Buswell
    Drama Teacher
    Peachtree City, GA

    Theater kills ignorance