The Historymatic

The Historymatic offers time travel with a twist.The Historymatic is an improv game that involves time travel... with a twist.

  1. Think of relationships two people the same age could have in the colonial era (siblings, friends, master and slave, merchant and customer, etc.).
  2. Write your ideas on slips of paper. Put them in a hat.
  3. Two players each pick one or two gold cards to make characters.
  4. Pick one slip from the hat. Now the characters have that relationship (for example, a “patriot” and a “farmer” are brothers).
  5. Pick a blue card (e.g., “shipwreck”). Work together to act out a scene about it. For example, maybe the brothers get caught in a terrible storm and their boat is leaking.
  6. Here’s the twist: As soon as the characters feel kind of real, someone else shouts a number between 1 and 100. The characters are now that old! If, for example, the number is 75, the characters become 75 years old.
  7. Continue the scene. Maybe now they are remembering the shipwreck.
  8. After a minute or so, someone else shouts another number—“Eight!” Now the characters are 8-year-old kids. Continue the scene… maybe they are dreaming of building the boat.
  9. With each new number that’s called out, the age of the characters changes. But the throughline of the scene does not. In the examples here, the story is always about the same brothers, and the same shipwreck. 
  10. Do as many scenes as you want!

The Historymatic is just one of the many games, prompts, and suggestions included in the booklet that comes with the Colonial Williamsburg Edition.