Introduction to Visual Theatre

Lesson 1: Introduction to Visual Theatre


Lesson Objective:

Students will be introduced to the idea of communicating an idea theatrically while being silent by participating in activities and ideas charades.



  • Paper (about a half sheet for each student, to write down their charades ideas)
  • Pencils
  • A container for the charades pieces of paper


Step 1: Activities/Ideas Charades prep

Have students write four things down for a charades game (you can either tell them that’s what these are for, or leave it as a surprise for when you introduce the game). One is an activity (like reading, biking or playing soccer) one is an emotion  and one abstract concept (like fairness, honesty, evil etc.) and one thing they might normally put into a bowl for a game of Charades (a movie or book title, a person’s name etc).


Step 2: Playing Activities/Ideas Charades

Split the students into two teams. Tell them that this is just like normal Charades except there are different kinds of words in the pot. They want to silently act out the words on the pieces of paper in a way that will get their team to guess as many slips of paper as possible in 45 seconds. Each item on a slip of paper is worth one point. The team with the most points wins.


Step 4: Discussion

What was the difference between acting the three types of words?

What was difficult?

What was easy?

How did you best communicate?


Step 5: Introduce Visual Theatre

Ask: What do you think Visual Theatre is?

Our bodies are a powerful storytelling tool in theatre. There is a whole genre of theatre called Visual Theatre and we are going to continue to learn different ways to use our bodies in order to compose a Visual Theatre piece that tells a story or has a specific message.


Step 6: Closure

Tell them they’ll get more information on this next class.