Foreign Dubbing – a warm-up for playing with expectations

Repetition of relationship mechanics (“This” then “That”) establishes expectations for the audience.  These expectations can be played to and against for fun effect.

Looking for a warm-up to practice playing with expectations? Try Foreign Dubbing!

Performers are: David Adams, Guy Chapman, Patrice Deveaux, Micah Head, Alan Hopkinson, Nick Lawton, Megan Lemay, Jillian MacDougall, Tim Magier, Curtis Nunnally

FOREIGN DUBBING – This game adds extra levels to our patterns of emotional reaction.  Two players on stage with two other players on the wings. The players on stage act out a scene using foreign gibberish, with the two players on the wings providing translations.  Players need to share the air to ensure everyone can be heard.

Both sets of players are approaching the scene just like they would in a regular Two Person Scene. And neither set should be worried about “making sense.”


  • Allow everyone to lead – The gibberish pair make choices about their emotions and their environment that lead the seated pair to verbalize choices. Conversely, the seated pair make verbal choices that the gibberish pair react to emotionally and engage in through their environment.
  • Complement – Remember the audience wants to see us “working collaboratively together.” So the default setting should be that both sets of players’ contributions support, agree with and accept each other.
    • Example: In gibberish a player raises a mimed cup. The seated player says, “This glass has Superman on it.”
  • Contrast – There is fun to be had in playing against expectations, but remember those expectations have to be established before upending them can have any impact. If contrasting choices are made, just allow the contradiction to exist; it does not have to be addressed or solved.
    • Ex: The gibberish sounds French. The seated player makes the scene’s location “Ohio.”
    • Ex: A player goes on a gibberish rant for two minutes. The seated player translates, “Of course.”
    • Ex: The gibberish couple has acted like powerful people. Through the seated players we learn they are children.

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