Your improv Telenovelas start here!

This page is based on Alan Morones' works shop “Playing With Drama: Mexican Novels”. On the Amsterdam Festival 2020 he focussed showing us how to extend our drama toolbox using characters from Telenovelas1)

Length: 1 x 3 hours
Punctuality: Due to the nature of the topic, every participant must understand the archetypes of Telenovelas, I recommend to close the door after 15 minutes.


Have you been blank at the corner of the stage? Are your ideas for your character strong enough for the stage? Latin American Telenovelas come to rescue you! Using four strong characters you can enrich your scenes and always have something to do on stage!

The key skills to learn are:

  • Four main emotions behing the characters
  • Four main archetypes2)
  • How they interact on stage

The following games can be done online


  • Ask the students to explain their expectations before starting the workshop. This helps you understand what they are looking for
    • Ask if they have watch any Latin American soap opera
  • Ask for feedback after each games to see if the students grasp the goals of them
  • A short break of 5 minutes after 60 minutes gives smokers the opportunity to go outside and reloads the energy of the group

Presentation and warm-up

  • Flock Dance: The group randomly follows one player and there is a give and take. The moderator puts music and everyone turns off their microphones
  • Silly presentation: Each player present himself in the worst possible way, explains what is a Telenovela and presents one object in his/her room
  • Name + Emotion: One player chooses an emotion and calls the name of other player, the second player calls the first one using the emotion. The emotional state of both players increased until the second player chooses a new partner and an emotion. Then he/she calls him/her. Every time there are two players calling each other with a common emotion

The four core emotions of the Telenovelas' characters

If you are doing this workshop online, you must break up it in groups of 6-7 people.

  • Matching emotions with a group of people and an action: There are 3 players: the first one names a group of people like Sailors. Everyone starts acting like a sailor. Then the second player names an emotion (“Jealousy”) and the last player names an action (“Watching the neighbouring ship”). All three players match their emotions, actions and at the end they can talk
  • After a while only four emotions are allowed: Happiness, Sadness, Anger and Fear

We discuss this all together

After this games talk with the group about the body language and the thoughts behind those emotions:

  • Happiness: Warm, you want to share, your body is open to other people
  • Sadness: Heavy thoughts, shoulders hanging
  • Anger: Tension, stamping the floor
  • Fear: You are protection your back!

Main four archetypes

Hero - Cinderella

  • See is unbelievably good or sweet
  • Extremely naive
  • In disadvantage against bad people
  • See has always discomfort with the status quo


  • She sees the whole picture of what is going on
  • She is caring: She protects, helps and advices the hero
  • See relies on the hero!
  • Selfless! Not confident enough to take action on her/his hands
  • Sometimes smarter than the villain. See may listen behind her/his back!


  • Looking for power!
  • Extremely intelligent
  • Manipulates other people

Love interested - El Galan

  • Looks perfect
  • Brave
  • Clueless/Stupid about what is happening!
GodmotherFear (Suspiction on the villain)
Love interestedHapiness

Using these emotion, you “allow your characters to explode!”, explained Alan Morones and added, “You have to get yourself go!”

Playing scenes with those archetypes

  • Two rows playing the four characters: The moderators tells who follows each player making two rows. Player A starts a scene with one archetype. Player B answer with a second one.
  • Press conference The main player puts his fingers in his ears and the audience chooses one of the four archetypes, where he is and what is he doing. The godmother/father is cleaning the office of the villain looking for the papers to the villa to prevent him/her from selling it
  • Character Quadrant: LOL Using the four archetypes. If it is online, the moderator tells what two players are next. The goal is to tell a story by mixing all four scenes
  • Scenes with 4 players in a place given by the audience: The archetypes are choosen by the players. Love interested and godmother can be used by many players :!: Not to do online
  • Rolling scenes: The moderators defines the playing order by telling every participant who they follow. Player B starts a scene with player A. After 1-2 minutes, player A has to find an excuse to leave the scene. Then player C starts a scene with player B until he leaves the scene. Then player D comes in…
    • Ideally players who have seen telenovelas follow people who haven't and they choose scenes from soap operas related to the last scenes played

Additional warm-up games

  • Betty, la Fea
  • Maria, la del Barrio
  • Las Tres Marias: Maria Mercedes, Marimar and Maria la del Barrio
  • Rubi
  • Las Puertas de la Mujer
  • Casi Angeles
  • Cassandra
  • Rebelde Way
  • Rossalinda

LOL The group enjoyed these games

Latin American soap operas
set pattern of behaviours


Enter your comment. Wiki syntax is allowed: