In my post Introductions I mentioned that the game can get a lot more complicated and challenging. It can and this is how:

How much fun is it safe to have in one game?
How much fun is it safe to have in one game?

First – read the previous post so you know the basics!
Then adapt what your group do and make it progressively more complex
Make sure your group are thoughtful and considerate to each other as possible! They will laugh at each other as well but try and keep them from embarrassing each other or making fun of each other – that could lead to a backwards step in the group dynamics.
After each idea the group always copy the person speaking/acting as faithfully as they can. I won’t keep putting that down – but don’t leave it out! Important that the group act as one when they copy, especially in early days.

The Benefits to your group:

  • They get to know each other
  • They start to observe each other closely
  • They learn to focus on what other group/cast members are doing and develop stage awareness
  • They improve their own ability to express emotions in different ways
  • They start to become less self conscious
  • They start to become braver and more spontaneous
  • They develop trust in the group
  • They start to develop their characters (if part of a rehearsal)
  • The begin to learn how to act ‘from the inside’ – creating noises/movement without contriving it for entertainments sake
  • And lots more! There is so much to be gained from this game and the more you play it the more skillful and confident your group will become

But beware of:

  • Group members who make fun of others – don’t let them
  • Very self-conscious/fragile people being pushed too far too soon
  • The ‘entertainers’ in your group who are often talented but will pull out something clever and superficial to make the others laugh. Try and get them to take themselves a bit more seriously!

Example 1 – The group are getting to know each other

  • Each person tells the group something about themselves whilst carrying out an action
  • Each person tells the group something about somebody else in the group they know (keep it clean and kind!)

And so on – you can add whatever you like to this ‘early stages’ version of the group – see how your group are responding and maybe make it more challenging.

Example 2 – You’re getting ready to rehearse

  • Each person describes something about their character whilst emplyong a physical characteristic or move their character might make
  • Each person says a line with associated movement
  • Each person says someone else’s line with associated movement

Again, depending on the nature of your show there are all sorts of ideas you can bring to the game

Example 3 – You need to challenge the group further and improve skills

  • Each person sings a line from a song (anything at all) without an action (but most people will naturally move and your group should be aware of this and copy whatever they do)
  • Each person performs actions with vocal noises, but not lines. They take this movement into the centre of the circle and back again (this is far more challenging and doubtless will cause many to giggle hysterically! If you can get beyond the laughter you get get some serious work done).
  • Each person creates movement with no noise
  • Each person creates noise with no movement

Create variations on these ‘mini performances’ as befits your group. We’re now starting to merge with a far more challenging game (called Sound and Motion) and we’ll get to that in another post.

Meanwhile have fun with your games and improve skills as you go.

And please let me know if you have any interesting feedback!

Theatre Games – Introductions 2
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