THEATRE GAMES: MIDDLE SCHOOL

theatre_t
Concentration
At least 10
No more than 40

2 blindfolded students, or Samurai, are armed with newspaper "swords" and seek each other out.

17,089 1310211295 Silent Samurai
Icebreakers, Movement, Warm ups
At least 10
No more than 40

Learn each others names, and test memory skills, as a cast begins to work together as a team.

22,509 1309991642 Name Game
Improv, Warm ups
At least 10
No maximum

Students create stories and loosen up through making sounds to set the scene of the story described.

18,025 1309869651 Making Sounds
At least 10
No maximum

Passing on sounds, movement, and objects as a concentration activity. Geared towards helping the students maintain focus and work together to accomplish the final goal.

20,382 1309869165 Pass It On
Concentration, Warm ups
At least 10
No maximum

A fun way for students to develop and appreciate vocal projection.

35,934 1309868059 Line Shouts
Improv
At least 2
No maximum

A warm-up improv game starting with gift-giving, both literally and through strong offers.

24,362 1309867538 I Got This Present For You!
At least 10
No more than 40

The Night at the Museum meets physical characterization! The museum has come to life but don't let the night guards see you or you'll be removed from the display and sent to storage.

25,046 1309866956 The Living Museum
Concentration
At least 5
No more than 20

Ali Baba is sort of a physical version of a song in the round.

16,286 1309862447 Ali Baba
At least 5
No more than 20

This activity builds cooperation and trust and is a great beginning activity for new casts and/or theatre groups.

35,115 1309538904 Together Concentration
At least 2
No more than 10

Using improvisation to act out particular scenes from the musical or play we are performing. This helps motivate the students to 'let their hair down' and act and have fun.

 

6,805 1309538484 Futuristic Improv
Icebreakers, Team building
At least 5
No more than 10

This is an ice breaker game that really just helps the students get to know each other better and to further help the students develop social skills.

8,406 1309538105 Two Truths and a Lie
Middle School
At least 2
No maximum

This exercise helps allow students to learn and use their vocabulary words. Also, it helps them get used to improv.

11,153 1309537812 Vocab Improv
asolo
Icebreakers, Improv, Movement
At least 5
No more than 20

After selecting an index card notated with a simple sentence, a student will communicate the meaning of the sentence through the use of

nonsensical words, sounds, and/or pantomime- a fun way to learn how to express one’s self and specific thoughts without words.

14,741 1309419642 What Did You Say?
theatre_t
At least 10
No more than 40

"Duck, Duck, Goose" becomes an acting game when the "Goose" is replaced with anything the leader calls out.  A great game to break down inhibitions and introduce the concept of "always saying yes."

22,918 1308590571 Duck, Duck, ?
At least 20
No maximum

To interact while working as an ensemble by producing a 3 minute commercial.

6,213 1279291386 TV Commercials
At least 5
No more than 40

In this exercise, one student will walk across the circle, focusing on the emotional state and attitude of a character and how that might be heightened from a 1 level to a 10 level.

10,000 1279288483 Weirdo
At least 5
No more than 20

A musical mingle and guessing game for students as they take on different characters.

7,273 1279028315 Index Card Mingling
At least 5
No maximum

Handholding exercise used to facilitate a solid sense of ensemble.

8,219 1279027604 Circle Squeeze
At least 2
No more than 20

A game designed to create a comfortable environment and a creative improvised outlet for participants to bond.

12,081 1278929443 I Got This Present For You
At least 10
No more than 20

Engage the student actors in a conversation regarding "Status."  What does it mean in life (at school, at home or in the wider community)?  What does it mean on stage (between characters or between actors and the audience).  We discuss how status can effect the body language, the voice, the dialogue...the overall truthful portrayal of a character.

 

 

11,237 1278765986 Status Card Game
At least 5
No more than 10

To take on the persona of the last person that gets into the taxi.

6,967 1278685142 Amy Federowicz and Karen Brennan/ Taxi
Icebreakers
At least 10
No more than 20

Here is a great icebreaker game that students seem to love!  It's called "Neighbors"  The participants will stand in a circle.  One player is picked to be in the middle.  That person will approach a person in the circle, he will ask: "Do you like your neighbors?"  If the answer is no, the two people on either side of the person must switch places while the person who did the asking will attempt to take one of their spaces in the circle.  If the answer is "Yes, I like my neighbors" The person must then say "...but I don't like _________"  The _________ can be a silly yet appropriate choice such as "People who are wearing blue" or "People with open toed shoes".  At that point, all the people who are wearing blue or open toed shoes must switch places in the circle with someone else who has on blue or open toed shoes.  It's fun and a bit wacky. Gets people moving. 

9,367 1278671100 Neighbors
Kathleen Woods
At least 10
No maximum

YES! is a deceptively simple yet effective concentration and ensemble building game.  The game can be played with new groups or groups who know each other well.

21,378 1278597339 YES
Shelly McClenny
At least 2
No more than 20

A fun and quick character creation/transformation/improv game.  The kids LOVE it and would play it all through rehearsal if I let them!

9,418 1278493539 New York City Taxi
LSpigel
At least 2
No more than 10

This is an opening for long form improvisation.  It uses audience suggestion and the imagination and physicality of the players.   Actors become inanimate objects as well as people, physically creating a setting as well as characters.

6,897 1278152205 We See
M.S. Drama Queen
At least 5
No maximum

A great exercise for relaxation, focus, dealing with stage-fright, and breathing from the diaphram.

9,000 1277393550 Elevator
Warm ups
At least 5
No maximum

This is a fun and imaginative warm up for any group.  It encourages movement and a nonthreatening way to free one's imagination.

5,146 1276618626 A Tiny Piece of Air
lmfriedman
At least 5
No more than 10

Today you are not going to portray your character... you are going to become someone elses character. 

5,010 1276556368 Lisa Friedman/Music Teacher, Musical Theatre Director
At least 5
No maximum

Students watch one another and imitate one another's physical actions.  The prompts for movement can be motivated or just fun improvisational.  Students can explore their physical instrument and expand the limits of their creativity.  (Also good for getting students (and directors!) to learn names of their fellow students.)

4,156 1276523817 Watch Lori!
Team building
At least 5
No more than 40

"Poison Peepers" is a variation of "Down/Up" and "Scream."  The big difference is that no one is eliminated.  It is a superb low-risk way to encourage vocal production and dramatic gesturing, and it's a lot of fun!

6,933 1276270195 Poison Peepers
Concentration
At least 5
No more than 40

What are you doing?  Students start pantomiming an action and another students asks, "What are you doing?"  The first student must lie and say they are doing something different.

3,395 1276150868 What are you doing?
Theatregeek
At least 2
No more than 5

Translating a scenario by acting it out.

3,072 1275078761 Storytelling Translation
Suzanne
At least 2
No maximum

Actors identify the animal and/or song that their character represents or reminds them of.  This can be seen throughout the play and/or for curtain calls.

2,976 1275043448 Identifying Characters by Animal or Song
Wendy_Duke
Improv
At least 10
No more than 40

Actors are cast as families with last names that inform how the family is to be played.  A salesperson or neighbor comes to the door and must adjust according to the family type.

3,465 1274384044 The Family Game
Icebreakers
At least 5
No maximum

This energetic warm-up will get your group focused, listening, limber, and "ready to roll".

10,623 1274378959 Twizzle
Dely
Improv
At least 10
No more than 40

Actors quickly assume characters to participate in a "flashback" from an improvised scene already in progress.

2,719 1272876880 Flashback
At least 2
No more than 5

Students must answer a question, one word at a time!

3,652 1270727417 The All-Knowing Brain
At least 5
No more than 20

This is a fun game used to cultivate teamwork while warming up physically and vocally.

5,718 1269845844 Paper Ball
Icebreakers
At least 2
No maximum

Ask students to form a circle.

 

Ask each student to come up with a word to describe their day so far.  For example, exciting, boring, etc.   After each student says his or her word, the whole group repeats it. 

 

Then, ask each student to come up with one action to go along with their word.  After each student's word and action, the whole group repeats the word and action. 

 

After going around the circle a couple of times.  Have one student arbitrarily go to another student and, while facing them, say his/her word with the action.  The student who was chosen then repeats the word and action back to the first actor - as in mirroring him/her.  The second student then goes and chooses another student arbitrarily and says his original word with action.  At first, you have only one person at a time meeting another student.  Then, as it progresses more students are called upon to take their words and actions to other actors.  It is a game of focus and memory.

1,849 1269603434 Warmup - Describe your Day
At least 2
No maximum

Develop character by discussing statements such as: If my character were a color...If my character were a food...If my character were a book...If my character were a kitchen appliance...If my character were a vacation...If my character were an animal..If my character were a magazine...etc.

5,377 1268818050 Character Development
At least 5
No more than 40

Students establish a instant spirit of ensemble by clapping in unison with the person to their left or right depending on the directing of the clapping wave. 

3,015 1268146234 Unison Clap
At least 2
No more than 2

This exercise allows students to create the characters, settings, and plots for their own improvisations. Depending on the age group, it is interesting to see how, inventive, humorous even silly, and/or dramatic the scenes can be.

3,614 1268130629 Student Prompted Improvisation
Warm ups
At least 10
No maximum

I find that often, especially at an after-school rehearsal, my performers come in dragging, and just need a little exercise to "jazz them up." The following list is comprised of several of my favorites:

4,655 1266499148 Quick/Fun warm-ups
Warm ups
At least 10
No maximum

I find that often, especially at an after-school rehearsal, my performers come in dragging, and just need a little exercise to "jazz them up." The following list is comprised of several of my favorites:

2,190 1266499127 Quick/Fun warm-ups
At least 10
No more than 40

Assemble cast in a circle.  The first actor mimes an object and uses it.  Then he/she hands the object to the next actor who also uses it in it's first form. The second actor then "stretches", "squishes", or manipulates it into a new object uses it and passes it on to the next actor.  The same process continues around the circle. The goal of the exercise is used to increase cast connection, camaraderie, and creativity.

2,194 1266167997 Mind Morph
At least 10
No more than 20

Excellent for cast building to be used early during the rehearsal process.  Divide cast into two teams.  Students mime that they are playing volleyball. Regular volleyball rules apply.  The student "serves" to the other team and calls out the cast member's name, that student can "set" to a fellow team member by calling his/her name or send it back "over the net" to the other side.  If  a student misses a name or calls the wrong name, a point is awarded.  The teacher acts as the referee.  Feel free to "rotate" in and out, "spike", "bump", "set", and "block"!

2,046 1266166599 Name Volleyball
Team building
At least 5
No more than 20

To be the last student left to survive the “SUBJECT CHALLENGE”

2,525 1247222807 Name the Subject!
At least 2
No maximum

To mold students into shapes and have them use their creativity to name their creations.

2,270 1246529291 Sculpting Lumps of Clay
Improv, Team building, Warm ups
At least 5
No maximum

To complete a scene in three minutes using the standard 3 point storyline.

1,881 1246529087 Who-What-Where
Concentration, Improv
At least 5
No maximum

Helps students become more comfortable with thinking on their feet, having the confidence to be creative and staying in the moment.

3,153 1246528854 Add-On Story
Improv, Physical work
At least 2
No maximum

Engages two students in an improvisation that contains elements found in a well-written dramatic of comic scene containing conflict.

2,303 1246366542 Noah's Ark
Improv, Movement, Physical work
At least 5
No more than 20

Two actors (critics) improvise spoken lines while the remaining characters become animated statues in order to practice role playing, verbal improvisation, maintaining freeze position, pantomime, phsycial acting, self-reflection and peer critique.

2,823 1246365938 Statue Critics
Warm ups
At least 2
No maximum

Articulation exercises relax the mouth and is good practice for an actor's voice and characterization.

9,035 1246358527 Articulation Activities
Movement, Musical, Warm ups
At least 5
No maximum

Combinging physical activity with verbal exercise to help the brain organize and focus effectively through rhythm and clapping.

3,417 1246288271 Clap Exercise
At least 2
No more than 20

To physicalize emotion by showing emotions and feelings through use of space objects.

 

4,238 1246287698 Changing Emotion
At least 5
No more than 40

A trial of memory and improvization, this game allows for creativity and on the spot contribution to complete the alphabet.

 

 

2,589 1246287073 The Alphabet Game
At least 2
No more than 20

A variation on the Meisner repetition exercise that allows for scene and character development.

4,376 1246286769 Meisner Repetition Exercise
Improv
At least 2
No more than 20

To develop improvisational skills, use creative imagination, nonverbal language and become aware of voice inflections by telling a story in gibberish.

2,767 1246286175 The Gibberish Translations
At least 5
No more than 20

To develop improvisational skills, use creative imagination, analyze behavior and activities of others, and make appropriate dialogue choices by exchanging presents.

1,785 1246285819 Presents
At least 5
No more than 10

The game requires both exchanging and transforming energy by blending with your fellow players as a ball of energy is thrown amoungst the group.  Its about being in the moment, keeping open, grounded and free as well as being aware of your surroundings and articulating. You must be aware of the energy sent, available to the energy - allowing it to change you, and you must be articulate in sending the energy back out.

2,474 1246285330 Casting Spells
Improv, Movement, Team building
Middle School
At least 5
No more than 20

Students will understand and apply the concepts of impromptu storytelling and improving their improvisational skills by perfomring a well known fairy tale in one minute flat.

2,683 1246284284 60 Second Fairy Tales
At least 10
No more than 20

To get students to know each other through names and stories.

3,897 1246283600 Bang!
Improv, Movement, Warm ups
At least 2
No more than 20

To get students moving, thinking fast and on their feet through improvisation.

9,002 1246283242 Bus Stop
Middle School
At least 10
No more than 20

Teaches improvisation, pantomime, and clear communication. It also works as an introduction to a skill of giving constructive criticism.

3,363 1246281306 Three Words
Movement, Musical, Warm ups
At least 5
No more than 20

To get the class warmed up and in their bodies, while paying attention to their fellow participants.

3,853 1246280560 Indian Chief to a Beat
At least 5
No more than 20

A great warm up, to learn names of fellow cast members/classmates or to help build cooperation and teamwork.

3,659 1246279847 Group Juggle