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Warm Up Activity: Emotion Orchestra

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This activity is ideal for groups of 8 - 20 performers. Age does not matter too much; however, younger performers really need to pay attention for the drama exercise to be effective.

How It Works:
One person (perhaps the drama instructor or group leader) serves as the "orchestra conductor."

The rest of the performers should sit or stand in rows, as though they were musicians in an orchestra. However, instead of having a string section or a brass section, the conductor will create "emotion sections."

For example:

  • Two performers are the "Sadness Section"
  • Three performers comprise the "Joy Section"
  • Two more make up the "Fear Section"
  • One person can be the "Guilt Section"
  • Another performer can be the "Confused Section"
  • And the list could go on!

Each time the conductor points or gestures to a particular section, the performers will make emotional noises (try to avoid words -- make sounds that conveys the feelings). When the conductor raises his hands high, the volume of the performers increase. Hands low, the volume decreases.

Just as a maestro performs during an impassioned symphony, the conductor of the emotion orchestra warms the performers up, pointing to them one at a time at first, and then to more sections at once, eventually building to a climactic frenzy.

Performers must make certain that they pay attention to the conductor and become silent as soon as the conductor points to another group.

Overall, "Emotional Orchestra" is a quick, fun way to warm up the performers and get the cast primed for more challenging activities.

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