Complete the Image

Image Work



Part 1:

  • Everyone sits down together and faces the largest open space in the room. This can also be done in a circle. Ask two volunteers to come up front. They shake hands, look at each other, and you shout “freeze.” They freeze this position, including their facial expression, and prepare to hold it for a while.
  • Ask the group to...

Describe: What do you see? What makes you say that?

Analyze: What is going on in the image between those two people? What relationships do you see and/or what the story is in this situation? 

Get as many interpretations as you can.

  •  Then, relax one of the frozen people and let them sit down. The other person stays frozen. Invite someone else in the group to come up and create a new frozen image by placing themselves in relation to the already frozen person. They can be touching the person or be separate. Once again, ask the group what they see. Follow the questioning sequence above.
  • Then relax the original person in the image, and a new person comes in. Do this a few times, have one person go out, and then explain how the rest of the game will work. You can use a new person for the example, or use yourself.

Part 2:

  • Ask everyone in the room to get a partner and continue doing this activity with their partner sliently. The group gets into partners and plays for five to fifteen minutes. Two people shake hands, look at each other and freeze. One of them unfreezes, looks at their frozen partner, and takes a new position. This keeps repeating so it’s a constant flow: both frozen; one unfreezes, looks, adds back in; both frozen for two or three seconds; the other unfreezes; and so on.
  • This is a silent activity, and the images might be realistic or they might be abstract. You can call out a theme or idea (such as communication, jealousy, family) and ask them to allow the word to influence their playing together. It’s there to add a layer, not restrict the playing. After a while you say “freeze, relax,” and everyone comes together to process.
  • What did you notice about the images that were created?
  • How was it different to do it in pairs as opposed to in the group?
  • How did the images change when a theme or idea was added on?
Possible Side-Coaching

“This is a silent activity.”

"Try to react to what your partner is doing."

“Use the space (the floor, any walls or doorways).”

“Remember that your face is a large part of the images you create.”

“Don’t worry about what you look like. There is no audience—everyone is playing.”

Possible Variations/Applications

Consider representing vocabluary words, characters, and character relationships.

Source Citations

Boal, Augusto. Games for Actors and Non-Actors. Trans. Adrian Jackson. New York: Routledge, 2002. Print.

Rohd, Michael. Theatre for Community, Conflict & Dialogue: The Hope Is Vital Training Manual. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 1998. Print.