THEATRE GAMES: WARM UPS

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.

20,460 1309995242 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.

16,591 1309873251 Making Sounds
Concentration, Warm ups
At least 10
No maximum

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

33,410 1309871659 Line Shouts
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.

32,324 1309542504 Together Concentration
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.

9,934 1309541412 Vocab Improv
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."

19,732 1308594171 Duck, Duck, ?
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.

9,222 1279292083 Weirdo
At least 5
No more than 20

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

6,685 1279031915 Index Card Mingling
At least 5
No maximum

Handholding exercise used to facilitate a solid sense of ensemble.

7,612 1279031204 Circle Squeeze
At least 5
No more than 10

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

6,357 1278688742 Amy Federowicz and Karen Brennan/ Taxi
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.

19,658 1278600939 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!

8,681 1278497139 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.

6,221 1278155805 We See
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.

4,775 1276622226 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. 

4,661 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.)

3,794 1276527417 Watch Lori!
Theatregeek
At least 2
No more than 5

Translating a scenario by acting it out.

2,824 1275082361 Storytelling Translation
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.  

5,803 1275040672 Do What You See
At least 5
No more than 20

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

5,246 1269849444 Paper Ball
High School
At least 2
No maximum

Intro pantomime activities to break the ice the first few days of class.

2,644 1268842337 Deb Fragale/Language Arts Teacher
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.

5,011 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. 

2,790 1268149834 Unison Clap
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:

4,315 1266502748 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:

2,024 1266502727 Quick/Fun warm-ups
At least 2
No maximum

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

2,112 1246532891 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.

1,728 1246532687 Who-What-Where
Warm ups
At least 2
No maximum

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

8,415 1246362127 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.

3,155 1246291871 Clap Exercise
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.

 

 

2,388 1246290673 The Alphabet Game
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.

1,647 1246289419 Presents
Improv, Movement, Warm ups
At least 2
No more than 20

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

8,300 1246286842 Bus Stop
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.

3,565 1246284160 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.

3,390 1246283447 Group Juggle