A Futurist's Fieldguide
A prehearsal is an improvised situation of short duration, a try-out of a scenario focusing on the player’s behaviours and interactions, using minimal props and setup. The prehearsed situation should be familiar enough to the participants, so they can focus on the content rather than the form of the prehearsal. For example, the situation might be a reception, press conference, ferry ride, a coffee-break or anything else that is related to the core question the group is exploring. The challenge for the participants is to place themselves in this familiar situation, but imagine that it is happening in a possible future.
The difference between role playing and a prehearsal is that the participants do not assume the role of another character, but play themselves in different situations. Prehearsals are designed as short improvisation exercises that can be used as elements in longer participatory sessions.