A: I think there's a squirrel in my attic.
B: A squirrel?
A: Yes, I can hear it rustling through some old boxes up there.
B: Old boxes?
A: The ones our dear old Mom gave us last year.
B: Dear old Mom...
This exercise challenges both players - B is challenged by having to select words or phrases just said by A that can help keep the scene going; A is challenged by having to continually elaborate on what he or she just said.
There will be a tendency for B to turn phrases into questions - partially violating the improv rule of no questions - but in this exercise, the questions become a device to help focus and drive the scene. For example, A might say, "My sister went off to college yesterday to study business." B might respond with any of the following:
- "Your sister?"
- "Off to college?"
Variants: Using the example above, players can start multiple scenes with the same line (spoken by A) but with different phrases repeated by B to steer the scenes differently.