Sharpen debate skills, learn to empathize with others through mirroring, and develop the capacity to recall events through kinesthetic learning – all in the virtual classroom through this wacky, hilarious improv game. Alley Teaching Artists walk you through how to play Contagious Characters on the Zoom screen – and off!
How to Play the Game
Pick A Mayor
This person should be someone who enjoys conducting meetings and knows how to work a room.
It’s important to have someone who is good at thinking on their feet and knows how to manage people.
Pick a Secretary
The Secretary is off-camera and it is their job to announce each citizen as they enter the scene. For example, “Mr. Mayor, Dr. Eric Maxwell III is here to see you now. Are you ready?”
This next part is essential: The Secretary also has the task privately assigning Players 3 on up, their emotions.
The premise of the game depends on Player 2 (the Secretary) communicating via private chat to each citizen their emotion.
Emotion assignments can also come in the form of occupations (as you will see in our filmed example of the game) like:
Scared Park Ranger
There is no need for the player to announce what their emotion is.
The idea here is that they create a bold character with a unique problem that they are bringing to the Mayor, and their emotion informs how they communicate and interact.
Players 3, 4, 5, etc. will play the citizens.
They start with their cameras off and only turn them on when the secretary announces that they are entering.
They will enter one at a time after each previous player has had a minute or two to play their scene in the Zoom conference.
Need Some Inspiration for Different Emotions? We've got options!
This chart is perfect for younger players:
And here's a Wheel of Feels if you're up for a challenge:
We want to see your contagious emotions!
Send us photos, screenshots, and videos of you playing the game. Tag us on social media @appliedtheatrealley.
Have any useful tips after playing the game with your family/friends? Leave them in the comments below.