Take the students into the theatre (when possible) and play some improv games, here are some examples:
Question Tag– Scene that consists entirely of questions. If a player doesn’t ask a question, asks a statement-question (“Nice day, isn’t it?) or a simplistic question (“Huh?” or “What?”) the audience boos, and that player exits to be replaced by another one.
Car– This game involves four or more people driving in a car. Each one of them asks for a suggestion from the audience, like, “What historical site did I visit yesterday? What is my greatest accomplishment? What Greek god do I most resemble?” The players then perform a scene. It is important that the players be going someplace, that each character develop a relationship with all the other characters, and that all the characters be different.
Freeze Tag– Also known as Start and Stop or simply Tag, this game is an old favorite. Two people start a scene. When another player sees a stage picture that he or she likes, he or she says, “freeze” or “stop,” at which point the players on-stage freeze in position. The player who said stop then goes out and taps one of the players and the shoulder and assumes the same position in the scene. The new player then starts a completely new and different scene from that position. The objective is not to wait for a position to fit a preconceived scene idea, but instead to pick an interesting stage position and let the scene develop from there.
NOTE: Depending on how long the games and discussion take, if time permits, a supplementary activity has been provided for further review.
***Supplementary Activity for Review***
THE DRAMA CUBE
Objective: Students will demonstrate an understanding of each theatre “job” by starting on a theatre cube (which will be finished at home).
Material: Cube worksheet
Pass out cube worksheet. Have students represent each “job” with a written description, picture, etc. one each side of the cube. Inform them that they will need to bring their finished cube back to class so that it can be displayed in the classroom to help others with review.