Animal Allegory

An interesting approach to character and narration (answer an origin question, self directed narration).


Two students are onstage. Each is given the suggestion of a different animal to play. Additionally, the suggestion of an “origin question” is given (Why is the sky blue? Where do babies come from? Why is there a moon?) Students play a scene in which they are the animal (the animals are friends; this is a non-food chain world). They seek to explain the origin question through their character using self-directed narration (i.e.: The student playing the badger would say, “Badger sits on a rock, sunning himself. He turns to his friend alligator and says, ‘Alligator, I do enjoy the sun, but sometimes I wish I could have a break from it.’”) Through the actions and narration of the animal characters, the origin question is answered.


To incorporate and forward suggestions; to explore characters and narration; to listen, heighten and expand; to justify choices within a specific outcome; to multitask within scenework.


Students should view the scene as an opportunity to play the character of the animal while also telling a story through it. As this is an origin story, it’s likely that the tone of the scene will either be Biblical or graphic novel-ish in nature. Those are both fine, as long as the student plays them to the hilt. Students might need an example of an origin story to get them going. Essentially, this game is about multitasking character, targeted narrative and the five elements in one go. A good way to expand minds.


Genres can be put on this exercise as well, so that we might see something like a giraffe and a hare telling the film noir story of the birth of the sun. Stacking elements on one another and seeing how many balls students can keep in the air is the fun of this game. But it’s only fun as long as some creativity can still be found in the world created by all the suggestions.