List of Drama Games for your Acting classes
Drama games for all ages and Groups.
Do you need some new drama games for your Acting classes, or just want to refresh your games list?
We hope we can help you do this with our ever growing list of drama games.
The Games and Warm Ups played in your Acting classes are vital to a successful session. There's nothing worse than you saying: 'Now we're going to play Biff-Boff' to be met with a collective groan from the students!
Below are some tried and tested drama games .Some are well known Improvisation games, some are original concepts.
If you have any suggestions for Games or Warm Ups for Acting Classes please send them to us by clicking HERE for inclusion on this page.
Books on Drama Games
Game for 2 Players. One player has to leave the room whilst the rest of the class decide what it is that player is bringing back to complain about. Player two becomes the shop assistant. Through powers of deduction the player has to establish what the item is. This can only be done by indications and not direct questions. EG: Rather than saying: 'Is it electrical?' They should say: 'It doesn't work when I plug it in'. If the response is: 'You don't plug it in'. They know it's not electrical.
WHAT I'M REALLY THINKING:
Two players establish a scene from a suggestion from the class. The other two become the subtext of the players. Anyone can shout freeze to either Player 1 or 2 at anytime to discover what they are really thinking.
Player 1: Would you like to go for a picnic?
Player 2: Oh that sounds nice.
Freeze player 2:
Subtext Player 2: Why on earth would she invite me on a picnic?
Player 1: We could go on Tuesday after work/school.
Freeze player 1:
Subtext Player 3: If she agrees then at least I know she won't be going to the party.
The game continues till the players can find a suitable Tag.
SCENE GENERATOR: Traffic Light.
It is a good idea to make a list of around 30 for each section, these can then be pulled out of a hat. Each group should be given different scenarios. Put Players into small groups of between 3-5 players. It is a good idea to give groups a short time limit of between 5-10 minutes to complete the impro.
This is a great exercise for developing quick thinking short impros.
First make a list of scene starters:
Examples: Green light.
1: After graduating from college.
2: Ignoring the advice of friends...
3: After moving to Birmingham...
Then make a list of characters. Amber Light.
Example 1: A retired Dancer...
Example 2: The worlds tallest woman...
Example 3: A clown in training...
Then make a list of what happens next. Red Light.
Example 1: Uncovers a hidden fortune.
Example 2: Recives some shocking news.
Example 3: Discovers they can time travel.
One players takes on the role as the Taxi Driver. The other three are passengers. As each player boards the taxi they must adopt strong characteristics, whenever the cab driver is talking to anyone of the three passengers they must copy the the characteristic of the player. When all players are joining in the Taxi driver must switch from character to character.
Accent tube is a variation on Emo Tube.
Each Person chooses an accent, then they all wait on one site of the playing area. The first player enters and establishes that they are waiting for a train. The second player enters and the first player adopts the same accent as the second player. THe third player enters and the other players adopt the third players accent. Once all players have entered, the first player exits and they all revert back to the first players accent.
A fun and comfortable way for students to experiement with accents!
Player 1: Establishes an enviroment such as a kitchen, they start to improvise a scene and a problem occurs. Example: They can't find the ham they put in the fridge.
Player 2: Then comes into the scene and conflict arises. Example: An argument about where the ham is.
Player 3: Comes into the scene and resoves the situation. Example: Well never mind we could always have tuna, look I've just brought some!
A game for two players.
Give your players a situation Example: Stuck in a lift'
At any point during the scene, the teacher can call out, “More specific!” So for example...
Player 1: The lift seems to have stopped.
Player 2: Well it's not moving.
Teacher: 'More specific'
Player 2: It seems stuck, it's not going up or down...
“More specific” can be called out multiple times until the players are specific enough.
This is a great game to expand a scene, also it helps to develop students characters and keeps them thinking.
Change - Game
This is a great game which you can play in twos.
Player one starts with a sentence:
I went to the high street today.
Continues...That's nice did you buy anything?
The teacher can shout change at any point, the player must then change the last sentence... so for example...
That's awful did you buy anything...
Teacher may say change as many times as they wish.
Ten Second Object -Game
Put players into small groups of between four and six.
The idea of the game is to get the groups to create the object in ten seconds.
Objects can be categorised into:
Kitchen objects, Garden, School, Bathroom etc.
You can also do this with animals.
It is a great warm up team game.
Choose two people to be the presenters/hosts.
All other class members sit out front and wait to be allocated a role to play on the show.
The hosts then introduce who they have got on their show. It is a good idea if the hosts make notes as they allocate the various guests.
Example: A group could be the latest band, a cooking duo, a weather person, a news team, an author, a scene from a made up movie, a quiz show extract, a group to do a series of commercials for made up products.
Once the groups are allocated the hosts then give the players 10 -15 minutes to work on their piece during which time the hosts work out what order the show will play out in and what interviews they will do.
As soon as everyone has worked out their performances the hosts get the players to sit out front and introduce them as per their running order and then it's on with the show.
Think Quicker, learn to react faster and always have something to say.
The Raspberry Game -a popular warm up game for all ages.
This is Game that works really well for kids and adults. The kids love the competition element and the adults just can't quite believe how tricky it is!!!
Stand players in a line or circle then give them categories.
There is a 3 second rule applied to this game. Each player has only three seconds to think, if they have not answered in three seconds they hear the 'Raspberry' and are out.
Facilitator goes down the line with various categories.
Something you wear on your head…
Something beginning with 'G'…
A fruit…Girls name beginning with C…
Something you find at the beach...
A tree beginning with B...
Make up as many different catergories as possible.
Each answer has to be different and if they're duplicated they're out!
You can make the game as difficult or easy as possible to fit in with your age group.
Film title with a girl/boys name in it…
Film title with a colour in it…
A body part beginning with F...
When you get down to the last three/four keep the category the same so that players have to think of more than one response.
This is called the Raspberry game because as a player goes out the teacher blows a Raspberry! (The Kids love it!)
Timing Game Beginning- Middle- End
Team game for 4/5 Players. This is a timed game and is great for teaching players to be aware of time.
All teams are given the same beginning line, middle line and end line, then have to fill the gaps in and create a scene. Each group is given 5 -10 minutes to make up the scene.
As soon as they say the beginning line the timer starts. the middle line has to come as close to 30 seconds as possible and the end line has to come as close to 1 minute as possible. The closest to each time limit wins!
Beginning line: 'There you are'.
Middle line: '237'. (30 seconds)
End line: 'Hence the chair'. (1 minute)
Justify Your position-Group game
Class more around the room, jumping, skipping, walking anything that is energetic, it would be good to use music, then shout freeze. Whatever position they are in they must justify by making that position work and taking it into a scene. (For example a person stops and their right arm is stretched up and left hand lower, it could be a netball match.) This game can also be down with just the face, on freeze they use the expression to create a character.
BUZZY BEE -Poplular warm up game
A great warm up game for all ages. The whole class buzz like bees around the room, then the teacher calls out a letter for example B) the class then have 10 seconds to make an object. You then go round the room asking everyone what they are, if there are duplicates the duplicated ones are out! All ages love this game.
Students spread out around the room and move freely around until the teacher says FREEZE, they must all freeze in the position they land in and then justify that position, ie, bouncing a ball, hailing a cab, batting a ball. You can vary this by adding in the directive of 'create a short scene', 'add an accent'.
HEADLINE:BONGS. Quick thinking Game
Players in a circle. The teacher gives the students a 'BONG!' and they have to come up with a News Headline (AKA: 'News at Ten'). The teacher can change the category to: Sentences you might hear in a 'Nature' programme, on a 'Game Show', a 'Weather Report', a 'Sports Programme', a 'Cookery Show', 'X Factor', 'Cartoon'… A great game to get the class thinking quickly.
ONE WORD MORAL:
Students stand in a line. The teacher gives the class a very short story. IE: "Matthew went to the shops, left his bike outside and it was stolen". He then asks them for a 'Moral' and points to each player in turn. Each player has one word to make up a 'Moral'. This is repeated with different stories and the teacher can swap the end people around at the end of each 'Moral'. (The moral HAS to make sense!)
This is a fun warm up for all ages. Players stand in a line or circle. As the teacher points to each one they have to make a LOUD monosyllabic sound*. IE: BOO, PAH, SHOOP, LA. The teacher can then increase the pace of this and can also stay on the same player for multiple repetitive sounds. Making it hard for the student to stay in rhythm. If anyone drops the rhythm they are out.
Students spread right out around the room, one at a time they then have to 'Go Off' like a firework crossing to the opposite side of the room and setting another off by tagging the next student. (Examples: A Rocket, Jumping Jack, Sparkler, Catherine Wheel…) students can run, skip, jump whilst making their firework noise and 'tag' any other player around the room. Once they have tagged another player they sit down. The Game is over when all 'Fireworks' have gone off! You can now ask each student about their Firework: Name. colour when it was invented and by who.
A.B.C CONVERSATION/ADVERT. NB: THIS DOESN’T HAVE TO RUN TOGETHER!
While one team is doing the A.B.C conversation another team will be given a title of an imaginary product to make up a T.V commercial. The commercial has a time limit of 30 seconds. The team getting the closest will win maximum points and bonus points can be awarded for performances etc
STANDING, SITTING, BENDING.
Three players act out a scene of the audiences choice, during a scene one must always be standing, one sitting and one bending. The more more changes there are the more challenging it is.
Two players/students act out a situation, once they have got into their swing 'Freeze' the action and change the style of scene, the action continues on the same path but the style changes IE: Pantomime, Shakespeare, Soap, silent Movie etc...
Two players start a scene at any point the class can shout out 'more specific' which means the player must elaborate on what they have just said. Example, scene takes place in a lift.
This lift doesn't seem to be moving!
Don't be daft try pressing the button again ( students shout...More specific.) press that round thing again..( students shout...More specific.) press the thing on the grey pannel...( students shout...More specific.) hit the silver shinny button that is attached to the grey pannel, that is on the side of the lift by the door..again!
Ahh good idea, why didn't I think of think of it? ( students shout...More specific.) Why didn't my brain kick in to action? ( students shout...More specific.) why was i not quick enough to realise that the button could be useful? ( students shout...More specific.) why am i so useless?
The scene continues and students can interject with ( students shout...More specific.)
Students/players line up and are given the first line of limerick they then have to make up rest.This is best against the clock.
Team game a nursery rhyme is reported on the news with ‘Studio guests’ and an outside broadcast interveiwing ‘witnesses'
Four players. Two players become the interviewers whilst the other players become witnesses and experts on the situation.
ONE WORD, TWO WORD, THREE WORD....
Team game in which one person speaks using one word, another uses two, another three...etc A tricky game but one that gets the students thinking!
Two or three props are put on stage all teams compete in the most imaginative item the prop could be a box, a bat, a frisby, it item must be worked into a short scene.
Random sentances are written down on pieces of paper and put into a hat, the players will then be asked to act out a scene incorporating these sentences. They must find inventive ways to introduce the sentances, by phone, text, letter, written on a telephone box, a map, a tatoo...
Players are various television programmes. One is elected the ‘Hopper’ and changes channels by pointing at their chosen programme. Restrictions can be added IE: You can’t start your sentance with anything beginning with ‘T’, ‘W’....etc, then linking them so it all makes sense!!! A great game to improve your students presentation skills.
Players have to make up a ‘Rap’ about...Shoes, fruit & vegetables, television, school, etc.
In a semi-circle individuals step into the middle as soon as they have an idea and act out the Worlds worst...Shop assistant, Air hostess, Car Sales person, Tele sales person, Swimming instructor, ect
Warm Up Game Stage 3 or Stage 2
You will Need: A group of students, A Ball (not too heavy!) - you can add more (up to 3) depending on how quickly they pick up the game. Divide the class into two teams.Divide the room in half, so each team has their own "home". Using the ball, the teams have to knock each other out by throwing the ball at the opposite team. If the ball hits a team member, they must die a very dramatic death (if it's not good enough, make them do it again!), and then lie on the floor until the end of the game.
The aim is for the teams to wipe out their opponents before they are wiped out. Whichever team is wiped out first loses. This is a good game to encourage team work, quick thinking and improvised deaths, all necessary for performing on stage. You can always add more balls to increase the difficulty of the game.
Posted by: Melody Ashman: Stagecoach Performing Arts School, Leighton Buzzard.
Stage 3 Exercise
STEP IN TIME
You will need: A group of drama students, something to create a beat (drum, table or just clap your hands) Start off a steady beat - nothing too fast or too slow. Get the students to walk exactly to the beat - when the beat comes their foot should touch the floor, not before or after. While continuing this beat, shout out an emotion, e.g. happy. While still walking at the speed of the beat, they must portray the emotion. Often they want to walk faster, so make sure they stay with you. Then start to change the beat, becoming slower. They still have to keep the emotion and step to the beat, which can be a bit difficult - often if the beat slows they want to become more subdued, but make sure they keep the energy and the full emotion.
Then change the beat again - this time getting faster. Once they have explored the first emotion, shout out a different one, e.g. scared, and repeat the exercise.
The most important thing is for them to stay in time with your beat, whether it's fast or slow, and keep thinking about the emotion. Other emotions that work well - sad, excited, nervous, angry, shocked. You could also use characters and emotions from a play you might be working on.
This exercise encourages the students to avoid the obvious - especially if you have a quick discussion afterwards about how they felt doing the opposite of what they wanted to.It's also a good exercise if you want them to be over the top, and think about actions and body movements, rather than just facial expressions. I used as a lead into mask work, and they responded very well.
Posted by: Melody Ashman: Stagecoach Performing Arts School, Leighton Buzzard.
Stage 1 game
You will need: A group of excited students. This is a good Drama game to get stage 1's to focus and have a chance to be cheeky but within the game. The students have to pretend they're in a classroom at school, writing in their (pretend) notebooks. Get them to imagine where the desks would be, how many would sit in each row, how many rows, etc. Tell them they are a very good class most of the time, but they really like to be cheeky, but only when they know they can get away with it. Nominate one person to be the teacher. The teacher walks around the classroom making sure the class are behaving, and doing all of their work.
The students, being very cheeky, pull faces and do silly dances while the teacher's back is turned, but if the teacher catches them, they have to sit in detention, i.e. sitting out with you, the real teacher! The game continues until there is one student left. Sometimes, they are too keen to win, that they don't pull any faces, so make sure you have an eye on everyone as well. Once the game is finished, play again with the best student (the one who won) as the teacher. To make things more difficult, have two or three teachers.
Posted by: Melody Ashman: Stagecoach Performing Arts School, Leighton Buzzard.
Warm Up (All Ages)
Players in a circle. The teacher randomly points at each player. The players have to respond with a letter from the alphabet (these cannot be consecutive) after about three/four letters the teacher points to another player and asks them what those letters spell.
This should be the first thing that comes into their heads but cannot be a word that sounds like a letter IE: Tea, Bee, Queue. Or the name of a place.
The teacher then asks another player where those random letters spell that word. So the sequence would run:
PLAYER # 1: 'A'.
PLAYER # 2: 'W'.
PLAYER # 3: 'M'.
PLAYER # 4: 'Q'.
PLAYER # 5: Radiator.
PLAYER # 6: In Spain.
Then start again. They're out if: The letters are consecutive or sound like a word (see above). The object sounds like a letter or is a place. NB: Places can be anywhere. IE: Spain, Glasgow, High Street, Kings Road, The Moon…
This game is illogical, it is a really great game for getting your students to think quickly and lose any hesitation.
Warm Up (All Ages)
Players in a circle. The teacher then asks each player for a word beginning with each consecutive letter, telling them what the next letter is. (This can be done a couple of times depending on ages of players). Then the teacher doesn't tell them what the next letter is and they have to think for themselves. If they get the wrong letter, they're out! Once again a three second time limit can be added.
Warm Up (All Ages)
Players in a circle. The teacher points to each player (in sequence first) and tells each one what to do: "Clap, Clap, Clap-Clap, Stamp, Jump, Clap". (This can be done a couple of times depending on ages of players). Then the teacher doesn't tell them what's next and they're left to remember the sequence by themselves. The teacher can now point to random people but they have to keep the sequence in order or they're out!
Warm Up (All Ages)
LAST LETTER/NEXT WORD:
Players in a circle. First player says a word, next player has to say a word that begins with the last letter of the previous word.
IE: Yellow - What - This - Stool - Light - Them - Marshmallow - Witch - House - Elephant…
Game (All Ages)
Group game. Two people are chosen to be the hosts. In turn they introduce who's on today's show. It is down to the hosts what teams they put together and what they're going to be. EG: They could put together 5 players to be a band. They then interview them and send them away to work out what 'promo' performance they are going to perform 'later in the programme'. This process continues until all players have been allocated their various genres. IE: Cookery Video, Quiz Show, Film Trailer, Magic Act, Dance Troupe, Sketch Show, Todays News & Weather, Fashion Shoot…etc.
Once all players are working out what they're going to do our hosts have to work out 3 TV 'Bloopers' that they've experienced. As soon as everyone has worked out their performances the hosts can put together their 'Show'.
JUST A MINUTE
A great game to strengthen students focus.
Students find a space in the room and can either close their eyes or focus on a spot on the wall. The students will need to estimate when one minute has passed from the moment the game has started. Students will identify when one minute has passed by raising their hand.
We suggest the students do it with their eyes closed so they are no swayed by other's in the class.
Posted by Chris , Drama Works for me.
Two people start a scene, a suggestion for the scene is taken from the students. Other players can ‘freeze’ the action when they see an opportunity for them to change the scene, however they must take up the exact position from the person they take over from and the inspiration for the next scene must come from the physical position they have taken. The remaining player MUST accept the new direction this scene has taken.
QUICK LIST OF SITUATIONS.
Visiting the Dentists
Boarding a bus
stuck in a lift
First day in a new job
Taking a pet to the vets
A complaints department
Visiting the Doctor
At the dentist
Buying a car
On a market stall
Having a photo taken
Choosing a gift for a partner
Selling your house
Checking into a hotel
Hiring a private detective
Getting a quote from a builder
Having your hair done
Pushing into a queue
Visiting someone in hospital
Ordering a Wedding Cake
On a spying mission
The first men in space
Visiting the parents-in-law
Getting a signature
Hypochondriac at the doctors
Slow service in a restaurant
Police officer pulls someone over
Waiter In a cafe
Breaking up with someone
A zoo keeper
A driving lesson
Washing Powder Advert
Impro Improvisation and the Theatre
by Keith Johnstone
"A hundred practical techniques for encouraging spontaneity and originality by catching the subconscious unawares...here is an inexhaustible supply of zany suggestions for unfreezing the petrified imagination" Daily Telegraph A leading figure in the theatre, Keith Johnstone lays bare his techniques and exercises to foster spontaneity and narrative skill for actors. These techniques and exercises were evolved in the actors' studio, when he was Associate Director of the Royal Court and then in demonstrations to schools and colleges and ultimately in the founding of a company of performers called The Theatre Machine. Divided into four sections, "Status", "Spontaneity", "Narrative Skills" and "Masks and Trance",
Improvisation Starters: A Collection of 900 Improvisation Situations for the Theater
Most beginning actors assume that rehearsing a play or scene involves taking home the script, memorizing lines, and rehearsing scenes over and over until everything - timing, movement, facial expression - is perfect. But that's only partially correct. One missing element in that approach is improvisation, an invaluable technique that can be used in acting classes and in rehearsals for school, amateur and professional productions.
Most teachers and directors realize that value of improvisation as a regular part of their classes or rehearsals, but many find it difficult to come up with fresh ideas on a daily basis.
Games for Actors and non - Actors
Games for Actors and Non-Actors is the classic and best selling book by the founder of Theatre of the Oppressed, Augusto Boal. It sets out the principles and practice of Boal's revolutionary Method, showing how theatre can be used to transform and liberate everyone – actors and non-actors alike!
This thoroughly updated and substantially revised second edition includes: two new essays by Boal on major recent projects in BrazilBoal's description of his work with the Royal Shakespeare Company, a revised introduction and translator's preface.
101 Drama Games and Activities: Theatre Games for Children and Adults, including Warm-ups, Improvisation, Mime and Movement
Gain access to a personal collection of 101 highly effective drama games and activities suitable for children or adults. Sections include improvisation, mime, ice-breakers, group dynamics, rehearsal, story-telling, voice and warm-ups. This unique book has been developed over a thirty year career in education and theatre, through workshops with actors, teachers and children around the world. The pages are packed with tried and tested ideas for a whole range of activities useful for drama lessons, workshops or rehearsals. 'Belongs amongst the top 10 books any director or drama teacher should own.' - English Touring Opera
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