Whether you are a drama instructor, a stage director, a summer camp counselor, or just someone who wants to organize a fun activity, these theater games will inspire confidence and creativity.
Ice Breakers: These are ideal drama activities to help the participants get to know one another in a friendly, low-key environment. They can also provide a nice friendly warm-up for your actors before delving into more challenging improvisation exercises.
Speak Loudly and Clearly:
It doesn't do students any good to be creatively warmed-up if the audience (or the teacher) has no idea what they are saying. These enunciation exercises provide a fun way to alleviate the dreaded mumbling, mush-mouth syndrome.
Be an Ice Cream Cone:
Okay, maybe your students don't need to specifically become an ice cream cone (as the mean drama teacher mentioned in A Chorus Line demanded). However, one of the best ways to develop out-of-the-box thinking (and acting) happens when we imagine ourselves not just as other people but as a completely different species. Or even as an inanimate object. This article on Developing Non-Human Characters features activities for very young performers all the way up to adult professionals.
I Need a Location:
It seems every time I am working with novice improv members the same three locations keep coming up again and again:
- "You're at a bus stop."
- "You're at the mall."
- "You're at Disneyland."
Beginner Improv Games: Once the ice is broken and the performers are warmed up, an improvisation exercise can be a great way to develop unique characters and humorous storylines.
Here are some easy-to-learn improvisation games:
Advanced Improv Games: Not all drama activities are created equal. Some require a sharp tongue and a quick wit. If you're up for a theatrical challenge, try some of these improv games:
Academic Activities: Sometimes the stage isn't the best place to explore the Theatre. For students with noses stuck in the works of Shakespeare or Shaw, these articles offer a creative pathway to studying dramatic literature.
Welcome to Improv Country:
Now that your drama students / acting troupe / willing participants to your madness have taken on some intermediate improvisation challenges, it's time to explore the complete library of the About.com Plays/Drama Improv Games. Here you'll find anything from mini-games which take put a few minutes to play, to long-form improvs such as the Harold. Don't forget, if you have a favorite improvisation or theater exercise and it's not on our list, we'll love to add it to our collection. Visit our Plays/Drama forum and tell us all about it!