Saturday, 28 March 2009

Drama workshop games

Drama workshop games:

Name-ball game
The group stands in a circle and the players must throw the ball to a person in the
circle whose name they can remember, until all players' names can be recalled easily.

Be your name
Players stand in a circle and one by one perform an action that expresses them or
how they feel while saying their name. Remaining players must copy this action and
repeat their name.

Cat and mouse
The players get into pairs or threes depending on the size of the group and stand in a
circle, with pairs or threes one behind the other. Each pair or three is a group of mice
in a mice house. One person is the cat and must chase a mouse who, if caught, then
becomes the cat. A mouse can run into a mouse house by standing in front of the
two mice in a house. However, since only two mice can fit in a mouse house at any
one time, the mouse at the back must then run for its life.

Cat, mouse and ball
One player is the cat and all remaining players are mice. The cat tries to catch the
mice by throwing a ball at them, whereby the hit mouse also becomes a cat. The cats
must then work together to catch the mice until there are no more mice left.

One player starts by being an animal or thing (such as a monkey or a snake) and all
other players copy what they are doing. The 'in' player must try and tag another
player, who must then become a thing, and so it goes on.

One player is deemed to be the tagger and must try and tag another player who is
then "in". Players are only safe from being tagged if they are hugging another
player. if a player can see that another player is in trouble, they should endeavour to
rescue them by racing over and hugging them madly. If two players are hugging, it
is permissible for the tagger to count "1,2,3, - Split!" and the couple must, sadly, go
their separate ways.

Handicap tag.
One player is in and must assume a handicap, such as hopping on one leg, crawling
etc. They must then try to tag another player and, when they do, give them a
different handicap. this player is then in.

All players are given "tails" made by platted material, and must attach them to their
person by securing them down the back of their pants. The aim of the game is to get
as many tails as you can. One wall is bar, where players can go to safely put their
tails on, but once attached they must go off bar. The winner is the person with the
most tails.

Catching fish.
Two players are in. They are a fishing net and must run around and catch the other
players by grabbing them with their free arms. As the nets get larger, they can break
into separate nets, and the game ends when there are no fish left.

Fish Soup
Players divide into groups of four and take up a position as though they are at the
corners of a square. Each group can choose to be some sort of sea creature such as
starfish, jellyfish, stingrays, whales, dolphins, etc. One person is nominated to be the
shark stands at the centre of the square. The teacher calls the sea creatures one at a time to enter the ‘square’ and move around the shark. At any time the teacher can
call “change of current” (players must change direction or “fish soup!” (all sea
creatures together circling around the shark). At any time the teacher can also call
“shark attack” at which point the shark tries to tag as many sea creatures as it can
and they then also become sharks. The winner is the last person who didn’t get

Number Clusters.
Players are asked to get into groups of a certain number - three for example, as
indicated by the instructor. Variations are introduced such as - move in slow
motion, hop to the group, touch a wall or door first, each person in the group touch
knees together, toes, elbows, backs, bottoms, etc.

Human numbers.
Groups. The instructor calls out a number and the players must arrange themselves
on the floor so that they represent that number. The first and most correct group
gets a point.

Rhythmic walking.
Walk on your toes; on the sides of your feet and on your heels. Crumple yourselves
into the smallest position you can manage and then spring up from there to stretch
out as far as you can. Lie on the floor and stretch like cats - arching your backs,
stretching out your arms and legs and then rolling from side to side.

Split Bodies.
Imagine that your bodies are divided down the middle in the sense that each side
has different characteristics. One side is graceful, beautiful, kind and loving, while
the other side is angry and mean. The angry side is so jealous of the graceful side
that it attempts to kill it, but then when it succeeds, regrets its actions and tries to
revive it again. Repeat the exercise, splitting the two beings from the waist. Discuss
which was easier, how you felt etc.

Stop and start walking.
Walk around the room and everytime instructor shouts 'change', you must walk in a
different way. For example, hopping, walking sideways, crawling etc. Walk as
children, as though you have never walked before; walk as adolescents; adults and
then as old people. Find the main action or area of the body which distinguishes
these phases in life and concentrate on this. From old age, explore dying and feel
what it might be like to no longer be able to hold your bodies up, how it feels to let
go of your bodies and exhale your last breath.

Animal sounds.
Walk around the room in a circle and instructor calls our the name of a particular
animal and you must make the sound of that animal - cats, cows, snakes, tigers.

Shoes off and walk around the room. Imagine the surroundings in different ways.
The floor is very hot/cold/sticky; the air is a thick substance. React accordingly.

Exploring impulses - sound and movement.
Task involves exploring impulsive sounds and movement. Instructor calls out
things and players must react impulsively with a sound and movement. The idea is
not to represent the thing, but rather to express it in a non-stereotyped way. If you
find stereotyped reactions coming up, work through them until you find something
that is an impulse - not thought about. Examples could be: weapons - machine gun,
knife, gun etc. Animals - lion, snake, cat. Feelings - love hate jealousy, anger.

Hand Dancing
Pairs. Players standing up hold the backs of their hands together. First one person
leads, making free movement of whatever takes their fancy, then the other person
leads. Then neither player leads so that they are both moving freely.

Pairs. One player is the leader and the other must mirror every action they do. after
a time the roles are reversed so that the other player is then the leader. Actions done
must be very slow to enable players to mirror effectively. After doing this for a while
the other half decide which partner will be the leader and begin the mirroring. The
remaining players must wander around and try to work out who is the leader. The
roles are then reversed and the above repeated.
Variation. Pairs. Choose a domestic task such as brushing teeth or washing-up and
alternate the activity from one student to another.
Variation - distorted mirrors. Same as above, but this time exaggerate the
movements to the point where they become hideous and even monstrous.
Variation - pairs of pairs. Given situation of being at the hairdressers so that two
people sat on chairs facing each other while the other two stood behind the chairs.

Deaf, dumb and blind
Pairs. One player is blindfolded and the other is deaf and mute and must guide the
blind player. After a short time of being guided, the blind player is then allowed to
roam freely and is only guided when collision is imminent. The guides then swap
their charges by using eye contact with another guide. They continue to do this until
all guides have had all charges. Roles are then swapped and the game is repeated.

What are you doing? (I)
Circle. One player in the middle doing a certain activity, such as brushing their
teeth. The next person in the circle goes into the middle and asks them "What are
you doing?". They then respond "I'm doing.." with something that is nothing like
what they are actually doing (eg., riding a bike). Rule: If someone says they're doing
something that is too close to what the previous thing was, or to what they are
actually doing, they are out. The two players in the middle of the circle have to keep
going until one cannot thing of anything to do, or the rule is broken. Then they are
out and another person is in. It goes around the circle until all players have a turn.

Human machine.
Circle. Select alternate players to be a part of a machine and the noise of that part.
Players, one by one, go in the centre and are a machine part, while their partner
makes the noise. Continues until all parts are in the centre, then builds momentum
until the machine explodes.

People versus machine
Small groups. Make a short play with the theme "man and machine". Some players
will be machines, and others people.

Blind train
Groups of four. Stand in front of one another, the first three are blind-folded. They
must somehow communicate to the person at the front instructions such as:
forward, backwards, left, right, reverse, and then wander around without collision.
The ideal way of doing this is to make a link with all the arms so that it is a
continuous movement and there is no delay in the instruction received.

Stand in rows of six players each row (one behind the other). The first player must
jump six times and then on the next beat turn around, whereby the next player
jumps six times, turns around and so on down the line. When the last player has
done this, s/he jumps five times, turns around, and so on, 5,4,3,2,1. When the last
player is down to 1, s/h then just turns around and the other players follow suite
down the line. Alternate rows of players then turn to face the other direction and the
process is repeated.

Blind Ships and a mine.
Half the players are blindfolded and wander around aimlessly (but carefully!). They
are ships roaming on a dark, foggy ocean. Instructor touches one player on the left
shoulder and they become a mine. When the mine touches one of the ships it blows
up with a loud "Boom"! and makes a great big hole in the gull. The injured ship
must then stand still "beeping" its radar madly where upon the other ships must race
to its rescue. This can be done by sending down divers to repair the hull, which
translates to another player crawling through the "beeping" player's legs.
meanwhile, the remaining half of the players are watching these amazing rescues,
and after a time they swap roles and repeat the game.

Human sculpting - in pairs.
Players arrange themselves in pairs. Given the themes: childhood, old age, hope,
fear, they must alternate between being sculptor and sculptee, to arrange the player
into something that symbolises these themes.
Human sculpting - in groups.
Players arrange themselves into groups of 5 or 6, and are instructed to create a
sculpture, which is to be veiled two dimensionally, using the players as figures.
They must us "war" as the first theme, and "peace and plenty" as the second.
The ‘no props’ letter.
Players arrange themselves into groups of about seven. They are instructed to make
up a short play using the title "the letter". As no props are to be used, the players
must themselves be the props, whether it be a table, a door, the letter itself, or
whatever. They are given 15 minutes to work on their play.

The exploding hum.
Players stand in a circle and join hands. Then they all crouch down and start a low
hum, gradually building momentum and volume and standing up at the same time,
until they "explode".

Hum wave.
Circle. Players stand holding hands with eyes closed. Players start a hum and build
momentum while walking into the centre. When players feel the close proximity of
other players, they retreat to enlarge the circle again, making the hum quieter as they do.

The chord.
Stand in a circle with arms around each other's shoulders and start a hum which
grows stronger and louder and then diminishes.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Today’s workshop was with year five students at Wellington school. Seven of us attended and got separated into two groups. Four of us paired in a group and took over one class and the other three did the same.
The subject of the lesson I attended was to build up the children’s confidence to be able to perform a rap version of a poem which they have written as part of their homework from last week.
We started by a couple of warm up games. As the theme was to perform, physically and vocally, we decided to choose the games within the same field. As a vocal warm up we did a lot of humming which surprisingly they all loved. Fruit picking was the other game we played in order to warm them up physically and mentally. We finally played a rhythm game where we formed a big circle and gave everyone a number. Once everyone remembered their numbers, we created a beat by tapping hour hands twice on our lags, following by two claps. At the same time as playing the beat the numbers were being passed on by whoever’s number that has been called last.
We then divided the 28 children into 4 groups of about 7 people each. The aim was not to force anyone to perform but to challenge them. When right at the beginning of the group work i asked who wants to perform, only one hand went up. A lot of them were very shy to perform even though the poems they had written were amazing.
I started going to them individually and rapping their own poems back to them with a clear rhythm. Once they heard they heard it from another person’s mouth, they were clwearly more confident towards their poems. I then asked them again one by one to rap their poems for me. This time they all did and I started beat boxing along as they were rapping. At the end of the session with my group I asked again who wants to perform. This time only one hand stood down.
We were now transformed to judges who have to watch everyone’s performance and name a winner. A very hard challenge as we did not want to come across harsh. Therefore we started by introducing them top the points we are looking to see within their performances. Rhythm, rhyme, confidence, facial expression, clear voice and appropriate actions were amongst the main aspects we were looking for.
Only seven people made it to the second audition and from those, three of them were called to a last audition. The voted person out of the three was chosen by all the other students.
The session was concluded by a 5 minutes feedback time where a wide range of grate feedback was given by both teacher and students.

Sunday, 19 October 2008


Artistic director Moses Pendleton has created a very remarkable dream-like show, with a combination of technology and physical theatre.
This incredible performance, taking place at the Sadler’s Wales, Peacock theatre, is a combination of dance, circus, gymnastics, created by the 11 performers who are lit with black and UV light. By physical movement between pairs, the performers with fluorescent costumes create unbelievable images of an imaginary world.
The performers balance on long poles and fly through the air seemingly unbound by the laws of gravity, leaving everyone asking how did they do that?
the piece creates an underwater visual spectacle. Jellyfish and sea horses combine in the first half and in second part, images such as; a group of birds flying, a carnivorous spider which gives birth and her baby is then eaten by a bigger spider, are presented.
The electronic music of at times New Age sounds and waveform compositions work very well with the visual images on stage and creates a new atmosphere within the audience.

The Help

The Help
Cardboard Citizen.

I’ve had no experience in Forum theatre before watching ‘the Help’. Yet, I find it a very useful method to get in the root of the play and prove the message of the piece a several times.
The following quote is the definition of forum theatre, which I had searched for the night before the performance. I thought it might be a good idea to share it:

“Forum Theatre
Forum Theatre is an interactive theatre form invented (or discovered) in the early 1970s by Augusto Boal. An audience is shown a short-ish play in which a central character (protagonist) encounters an oppression or obstacle which s/he is unable to overcome; the subject-matter will usually be something of immediate importance to the audience, often based on a shared life experience.

After this first showing, there may be a brief discussion amongst the audience, mediated by a figure known as 'the Joker' (as in a pack of cards, belonging to no particular suit, on no-one's side). Then the play is restarted, usually from the beginning, and runs as before - but this time, whenever a 'spect-actor' (active audience member) feels the protagonist might usefully have tried a different strategy, s/he can stop the action, take the protagonist's place, and try his or her idea. The other characters in the piece will react as they feel their characters would react, on a bad day i.e. they will not make it easy for any new tactic to succeed; but if an idea works, the intervening spect-actor can win, the game is not rigged.

Through a session of Forum Theatre, many people will take the stage and show many different possibilities. In this way, the event becomes a kind of theatrical debate, in which experiences and ideas are rehearsed and shared, generating both solidarity and a sense of empowerment.”

As you walk into the theatre, the stage which has been split in half by stretched certaines is noticeable. This brings the actors closer to the spectator and for me; it created a closer relationship to the cast as well as the play. The unique style of theatre is noticeable at the very first moment you enter the auditorium. Here, unlike must theatres, the actors are already on stage waiting for their audience; somehow impatiently staring at every single member, which felt as if they want us to hurry and get settled so they can start the play.

The Help is based around the story of three different people, with homelessness being the central theme of each story. Much of cultural dilemmas are brought to the play, such racial factors, homelessness, prostitution and so on. The Joker, very intense, connects the stories together and plays the narrator of the piece. He starts by making little jokes and getting the audience to clap for the late comers. This, as a slight warm up, drew audience’s attention to the piece and alerted us to be more focused right at the start.

The simplicity of the set (which only contained boxes) and the lighting clarified that the full attention should be paid to the play itself and nothing else. In addition to this, ‘The Help’ is designed to be performed outside of a formal venue, primarily hostels, where no access to professional lighting is available. Therefore, the cast is only lit for visibility all the way through the play, with no change of lights.

What makes Cardboard Citizen so powerful and successful is the experience of being homeless which they all share. This gives them a wide knowledge of the community they are trying to represent as well as helping the actors, more confidently become and relate to the characters.

The only noticeable problem with the piece was the slight poor acting, which for me was not a big deal as the main focus of the piece was in the story’s hidden message.

Friday, 3 October 2008

my first blog

i have really enjoyed yesterday's drama in community session. it has opened my eyes to a lot of existing factors within the community, which i was not aware of.
looking forward for the practical project at the next simester. still not sure if I am deciding on an individual or a group project, but i'm sure I will make a definet decision once i have attended more sessions.