THEATRE GAMES: ADULTS

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.

16,489 1310214895 Silent Samurai
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."

21,715 1308594171 Duck, Duck, ?
At least 5
No more than 10

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

6,743 1278688742 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. 

9,041 1278674700 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.

20,788 1278600939 YES
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.

6,611 1278155805 We See
scottjohnstone
Scene work
High School, College, Adults
At least 2
No maximum

Students will demonstrate their ability to create a character background by participating in a character interview.

4,867 1277723835 Character Interview
High School, College, Adults
At least 5
No more than 20

So, what do people say when they visit the grave?  Do they water the grave?

6,045 1276638382 Watering The Grave by L. Richardt
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. 

4,889 1276559968 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.)

4,020 1276527417 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!

6,749 1276273795 Poison Peepers
High School, College, Adults
At least 5
No maximum

This is one of the most requested games in my acting classes.  The more times they play it, the more specific and competitive the session becomes.  Anyone can participate, but you will need a quick mind to win!

7,718 1275998629 What are you doing?
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.

2,878 1275047048 Identifying Characters by Animal or Song
College, Adults
At least 10
No maximum

This game can go on for hours as groups begin to trust and enjoy the process of working as an ensemble.  In theory, it is like one large mirror activity, however, coach should encourage movement and vocal involvement in the exercise.  The purpose is not to mirror perfectly, but to move, breath and begin to think as one connected ensemble.  Best for creating a sense of unity and a wonderful physical warm-up.  I learned this one at the National Theatre of Great Britain while attending a post-graduate actor training program.  

6,134 1275040672 Do What You See
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.

3,377 1274387644 The Family Game
Icebreakers
At least 5
No maximum

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

10,228 1274382559 Twizzle
At least 2
No more than 5

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

3,556 1270731017 The All-Knowing Brain
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.

5,247 1268821650 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. 

2,934 1268149834 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.

3,485 1268134229 Student Prompted Improvisation
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.

2,121 1266171597 Mind Morph
Improv, Motivation, Scene work
High School, College, Adults
At least 2
No maximum

Two actors working through a scene or improv will be given a separate motivation or goal to obtain in the scene that is unrelated to the scene itself. Works on a young actor's ability to gain something from the other actor while staying in the moment. 

2,204 1265906367 Obtaining your Goal
Warm ups
At least 2
No maximum

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

8,789 1246362127 Articulation Activities
At least 2
No more than 20

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

 

4,094 1246291298 Changing Emotion
At least 2
No more than 20

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

4,252 1246290369 Meisner Repetition Exercise