The aim of this activity is to build confidence.
Set the scene by arranging a stage area. This can be anything from three chairs pushed together to form a row of seats on a train or something more elaborate such as a café scene. If you are working outside you could use park benches or bus stops as props.
Spend some time talking to the group and elaborating on the imaginary stage so that everyone is clear where the boundaries are.
Explain that everyone is going to take part in this role-play, but that with the exception of one girl they each only have to go onto the ‘stage’. They can do this as themselves or they may want to create a character. (You can increase the number of stage appearances required if the group is really keen or if you have a very small group.)
The remaining or nominated girl holds an imaginary ‘wild card’. Holding this card enables them to go on stage as many times as they wish. The first time you play, it will help to give the ‘wild card’ to a girl who is usually quite vocal and confident!
Now make the rule that only three people can be on ‘stage’ at any one time, including the ‘wild card’. Select three girls to start – if they are shy you could include yourself as one of the group.
Explain that they can stay on ‘stage’ for as long or short a time as they wish. You may need to manage this if someone takes over! For example, if you have chosen to set your scene in a café you may choose to be the café worker. The young person who comes in can then order a drink and talk to the next group member who comes in and the improvisation can go on from there.
When a girl has taken their role-play as far as they want, they return to the rest of the group and tap another member on the shoulder who then goes onto the ‘stage’. Because no one can go onto the ‘stage’ more than twice (apart from the ‘wild card’) the session is time restricted, which can be reassuring for less confident girls.
Keep going until everybody has had a turn then review the process. Encourage them to consider how easy or hard it was to have no plot to follow, if it was easier to play a character or be themselves and how it felt to have other group members watching them.