Building a House

  • “Words can easily become labels, dead and useless.”
  • Viola Spolin


Each person enters the space and creates two elements in the imaginary room. For example, the first person enters and walks through the door and then goes to open the shades on the window and look out.  The next person must follow the same two steps and then adds on another two elements.  The next person must walk through the same door, open the same curtains but then may straighten a cushion on the couch and throw something in the garbage.


Group discussion:  What do you see? What colour is the room?  What else is in it?  Examine the perceived relationship between the story being told and how an audience fills in the rest with their own imagination/past, etc.

Try: Using an image/object (photograph)—each person adds a line to the story.

Or:  Each person brings in an object and others create a story of why it is meaningful…

Suggested Uses
  • Adapted from Improvisation for the Theatre, Viola Spolin
  • Can be adapted to any type of space
  • Builds specificity of movement
  • Investigate connection between movement and sense-making