Good Cop / Bad Cop

ACT 1: The perfect crime

(individual—fill a small piece of paper)

Every poet writes his or her perfect crime.


ACT 2 Separating the criminals from the citizens

Rip up a large piece of paper so there are as many pieces as there are poets.

On two pieces (one, if you have fewer than six players) write, “CRIMINAL.” On two others write, “WITNESS.”

Leave the other pieces blank. Put the pieces face down, mix them up. Each poet chooses a piece at random and reads their role aloud.

The criminals form a team.

Everyone else (blanks and witnesses) forms two other teams.

One team, being the good cop, the other team being the bad cop.


ACT 2.5: Witnesses

(individual–two lines)

The witnesses will take turns reading their accounts of what they saw happen. These accounts should be two lines each.


ACT 3A: Good cop

(team—four lines)

  1. How rewarding it is to be a cop because you can help people.
  2. Why we suspect the criminal may not have done it.
  3. Console the criminal.
  4. Make a plea deal.


ACT 3B: Bad Cop

(team—four lines)

  1. What made this cop so bad, so hardened?
  2. Why this bad cop is so sure the suspects are guilty and deserve the severest punishment.
  3. Pressure the suspect to confess.
  4. Suggest the harshest punishments possible.


ACT 4: Confession

(team—8 lines)

The criminals take turns writing two lines each, each turn, confessing to the crime they truly committed.

Categories Prompts

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