After the audition process is over, it is still a fun and useful idea
to frequently play acting games with the students. It gives the students some
useful acting skills and is a fun way to begin or end a session of work.
Name that Movement
Have the students sit in a circle. One by one
they must say their name and think of some kind of a movement that goes along
with their name. The next person in the circle must first repeat the name and
action of all previous actors and then create a movement to go along with their
This gives the actors more practice
with improvisation. The actor is the professor, the expert on one topic. They
have one minute to expound all the wisdom they have on the given area of expertise.
It doesn't matter how absurd the topic, they are the expert and everything they
have to say must be the truth.
Possible areas of expertise could be:
fashion sense of Mediterranean glass blowers
-- courtship rituals of earthworms
the origin of the name Clinton
-- the most powerful love potion known
what really happened to Elvis
-- why Madonna is really an alien
the lost city of Ungah
-- why the Titanic is the worst movie of all time
cannibalistic women of the ancient world
-- Picasso's lost paintings from
his rainbow period
C. The Line Up
Blindfold all students and
then have them line up. They must feel the heads and shoulders of the person in
front of them. Then, move the students to various locations in the room. They
must find the person in front of them and get back in line exactly as they started.
The lead and end people will occasionally have to announce his or her location
to give the others a reference point. Those two people stay in position while
the others roam freely about the room in search of their partners.
Circle of Trust
It is important to have trust in the acting troupe.
In this activity, have students get in small circles of five students. A sixth
student stands in the middle of the circle with eyes shut. The student in the
middle leans into the members of the circle who gently push this student in other
directions. The student in the center must not bend body or knees during the entire
E. Running Blindly by Faith
The entire cast scatters
to various edges of the room. One volunteer walks about the room blindfolded.
This person must trust the others for guidance. The cast is not to allow this
person to walk into the wall or other objects that may be harmful. After a little
practice, have the volunteer pick up the pace. It is possible to do this even
at a jogging pace.
F. The Great Oracle
This is a highly successful
activity when members must work together. Three people come before the rest of
the room as the Great Oracle. When asked a question, they must assume the pose
of the answer. Then, they must answer the question -- each person taking turns
to add one word at a time to the sentence.
After giving an example,
let the audience ask questions of the Great Oracle. Sample questions could be:
Great Oracle, who is the man/woman of my dreams?
Oh, Great Oracle, what
must I do to find the fountains of youth?
G. The Photograph
this activity it is important for the students to communicate non-verbally. In
groups of five, the students need to form a photograph of a scene. One by one
they assume the position needed to frame the photo.
Situations could include
a wedding, WW II, graduation, the dentist's office, an alien invasion, or an MTV
H. Tag Team Photograph
Two people are required. The
first person strikes a pose (perhaps pointing a gun) and then the second person
strikes a pose to complete the pose (like raising hands in the air). After the
pose is completed, the first person sits down but the second person remains. Then,
a third person comes in to complete the new photograph.
I. The Human
One by one the participants form part of a machine. Each person
assumes a function and a sound. It is good if not all parts of the machine are
standing but they need to assume poses that they can sustain over a period of
time. Otherwise, it will be a painful experience.
After the machine is
fully assembled, try it in gear two, three, four, possibly ten, and then end the
activity with a breakdown.
J. Who's in Control?
leaves the room while the other members of the cast separate and sit around the
room at different angles. Each person is assigned a number. Person one, the leader,
must be in clear view of number two. Person two must be clearly seen by person
three. The leader moves in a very slow motion performing many different kinds
of activities. These motions are copied by person two, and then three, etc. Once
the entire room is in motion, the person who left the room returns. It is that
person's job to figure out who is in control.
K. Explosion Tag
pretend to be fighter pilots. They zoom around the room chasing other fighter
pilots. When they tag the "plane" it explodes.
explosion, they may continue the activity pursuing other pilots.
Two actors pretend to be either a cop or a robber. One tries to steal
the crown jewels that the other protects. They pretend to do this in the dark.
Next, the same situation is repeated with blindfolds. The actors and audience
are asked to discuss differences they observed in the two performances.
Similar to the break in, have the students pretend
they are walking on a ledge a mile up. Note their movements. Then, have them walk
on an actual ledge. Are the movements the same or different?
N. Bus Ride
bus driver takes his passengers to one location. Each character enters the bus
one at a time with a specific emotion or characteristic. It could be laughter,
depression, a gangster, or a flirt. When it becomes evident what that character
represents, all passengers on the bus must follow that lead.
Actors pretend to be mannequins performing several activities
like tossing a ball, bowling, painting a house, or climbing through a window.