Drama Game: Why Are You Late?!

Drama Game Why Are You Late?Type: Creativity, Improv

Procedure: A fun improv game that includes a lot of players.


1.  Ask six players to take the stage. Choose four of the players to be “officer workers”, one player to be the “boss”, and one player to be the “late worker”.

2.  The “officer workers” should sit facing the audience, miming typing on a computer.

3. The “boss” and “late worker” leave the room while the “officer workers” come up with a reason why the “late worker” is late. (i.e. Her hair got caught in the dishwasher!, Her car got crushed by a dinosaur!, etc.)

4. Once the “office workers” have decided, they go back to typing at their computers. The “boss” enters and stands with his back to the office workers so he can’t see them. Then the “late worker” enters and faces the boss. The “late worker” can see the “officer workers”, but the “boss” can’t.

5. The “boss” asks the “late worker” So, why are you late?!

6. The “officer workers” mime out the reason for lateness behind the “boss'” back and the “late worker” has to guess what it is.

7. At anytime, the “boss” can turn around to face the “office workers” – if he catches one of them not typing, that “officer worker” is fired and must leave the office.

8. The game ends when the “late worker” guesses the correct reason for lateness, or the “boss” fires all the “office workers”.


–  The more silly the reason for lateness, the better!
–  The number of “office workers” can vary.

Have a suggestion for a reason the office worker is late? Leave it in the comments below!

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14 thoughts on “Drama Game: Why Are You Late?!

  1. Thresia Wille says:

    I want to make a version of this game where the office workers choose the reason the employee wants to leave early.

  2. educator says:

    I tried this this today in class and it was awesome!!!! My students loved it so much and so did I. I really love this site. Thanks bbbpress.

  3. Josh says:

    We do a variation on this called “button factory”, where the office workers are twiddling with buttons (not sure why, actually…), and they not only come up with a reason why the worker is late, but also (2) how they got to work, and (3) what they’re going to do to make it up to the boss. We also do this with a line of all the other students at the ready, and if the boss catches a worker not working, they go to the back of the line and someone from the front of the line joins into the working (so there are always three people working, cycling through the line until the late worker figures it out).

  4. JulieA.M. says:

    Q. Does the audience get to KNOW the reason the worker is late before the action starts? Do they volunteer reasons for the workers to choose from?

  5. Charlie says:

    How do you avoid the problem of the boss turning round more or less continuously if they can turn round at any time – also if the boss turns round in a split second, it is likely that they will see everyone in the act of resuming their typing positions, so its hard to define whether or not they’ve ‘gotten away with it’. Any thoughts on this – it sounds like a good game. Thanks.

    • bbbpress says:

      Hi Charlie, great questions. Consider giving each boss only 3 attempt to catch the office workers.

      Another variation to help solve the problem: tell the officer workers only one of them can be gesturing at a time, the rest must be typing. When the boss turns, he must look specifically at a single officer worker. There’s a good chance that worker will be typing, so it will make the game more difficult.

      In regards to defining whether they have “gotten away with it”, make it very clear from the beginning that YOU are the ONLY judge of this, and whatever you say goes. Be as fair and consistent as you can, and don’t allow the kids to argue or negotiate.

  6. Student says:

    We played this in class a few days ago, and it was the most fun game I’ve played all year. we only had 2 workers trying to illustrate why they were late, and we got some funny stories. Instead of firing the office workers they just had to explain what they were doing in their poses (They just froze when they got caught). Then they were told to get back to work.

    Our story was this:
    “I had to go buy some food for breakfast, all I could make at home was a cup of coffee. So i was heading out, and I apparently forgot to put a lid on my coffee cup, and it spilled all over me… It was very hot. This caused a chain reaction of many terrible things, eventually leading me to crash into the store I was headed to. So driving wasn’t possible anymore. Thankfully i wasn’t seriously injured. I decided to buy a bagel, and start walking. Though i knew i couldn’t walk the whole way. I lost my wallet and phone in the crash though, so i didn’t know what to do. Thankfully there was a bank just up the road. So i decided to rob it (Because i always carry a gun, and it’s the one thing i didn’t lose in the crash). I stole about $200 then made my getaway. Then I had a cab take me the rest of the way.”

    Yeah our class is weird…

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