NaPoWriMo: Day 12. Impro Theatre and Writing


One of the many (some would say odd), activities in which I indulge, is improvised theatre. This has run the gamut of Playback, Theatre of the Oppressed, Long-Form Impro and the every-popular Theatre Sports.

Last year I ran a workshop for the Emerging Writers’ Festival

The Emerging Writers’ Festival

which explored ways in which theatre games and impro structures, could be used to assist in the creative writing process. As well as being enormous fun, this workshop threw up some wonderful creativity.

So today, I have decided to further develop this concept by taking one of my favourite impro games, “Alphabet Conversations” (probably also known by a dozen other monikers), and turn that into a poem. In this game, two actors must improvise a conversation, one line at a time, but moving through the alphabet for the initial letter of each line. The starting letter is chosen at random.

I decided to start with “T”, since that is my initial.

This poem is about me…right now…sitting in my house.

Needless to say, it contains no car chase. Actually you may also be relieved to know that it contains no big sex scene either.

…or even a small one, for that matter…


Traces of lamb roast around the kitchen

Urge to clean up left fighting with creative desires

Voices filtering from my son’s room. The TV? A phone call?

Wistful mother thoughts flit through my head, while

Xanadu plays on the radio, calling me back to my

Youth.  This

Zig-zag autobiography,

Accompanies my work,

Blending nostalgia and relief.

Crickets join in the chorus,

Delivering a wall of entomological sound

Echoing off the galv iron


Greatness is yet to be thrust upon me.

Here and now, is not great, yet tinged with magnificence.

I gaze around me and wonder at

Just how far I’ve come, since the days of

Kool and the Gang.

Listless mornings, hung over and tired

Metamorphosing into endless

Nights at the Mars Bar.

Oh sometimes I miss that scene, but only on

Particularly lonely days.

Quality days such as these, leave me





3 thoughts on “NaPoWriMo: Day 12. Impro Theatre and Writing

  1. Hey Trace! Great post with very useful content! Thanks for sharing!

    I’ve recently started a blog writing about theatre/drama games which are part of theatre pedagogy/drama in education and I address to all those adult people who want to do something creative as a hobby and may like to be involved in drama games in an amateur level.

    Cause drama games games are also for grown-ups!

    Through my blog, I intend to inform about all the various dimensions of theatre games, the way they are based on theatre itself, and their key benefits, as well as to share personal experience from the past four years that I participate in a Theatre Games Workshop.

    I would really like to hear your insights!

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