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THEATRE, A COMMUNICATING

LANGUAGE

WHO

 Teacher of the course:


Raquel Deborah Gribler Turley
Four year Diploma at The Royal School of Drama in Madrid
 Addressed to:
English teachers and teachers of any other subject taught in
English.

WHAT

 General concepts:

1. This is a course to fulfill the growing demands and


challenges facing English teachers and teachers of any
other subjects in bilingual schools.
2. This is a highly practical and interactive course, based on
participating actively in learning activities, all based on
theatrical dynamics, activities and games, specially
focused on a different method of learning, which is,
enjoying the learning process.
1. The teachers will receive a wide range of useful materials
to use in their classrooms and learn the way to adapt
them to their own needs and expectations.

 General objectives:
2. To encourage creativity from a good learning
environment.
3. To develop team work.
4. To become familiar with the use of new strategies and
techniques.
5. To apply these new procedures through theatrical games.
6. To understand these new techniques and games, and
adapt them to language learning.
7. To learn and develop confidence in oneself.

CONTENTS

 We will carry out exercises containing the following


concepts:

• Introductions, warm ups and Icebreakers


• Achieving Trust
• From words to action, and from action to words
• Body language
• Creating dialogues/ Creating the scene
• From the stage to the classroom

METHODOLOGY

 Interactive
 Team work

WHY

Nowadays, both because of the implementation of the bilingual


section and the problems we find in education, such as lack of
interest or lack of motivation, I find it very important to achieve new
ways of transferring the curriculum to the students
applying new tools in the classroom. I consider that Theatre covers
many elements such as its dynamics, its games, its lack of inhibitions
and its fun. Taking all of these facts in consideration, I’ve come to the
conclusion that all of these elements could be a great help to attract
the students attention and interest.
LIST OF ACTIVITIES 1
HELLO
The players mill about the room. At some point the workshop leader
asks them all to greet each other by shaking hands. Greet one person
and move on, greet another and so on. This continues for a while.
Then endow each of the greetings with an element. For example,
"greet each other like you are long lost friends". You can continue to
endow the greetings with elements like: ex-lovers, someone you
have a crush on, someone you are afraid of, someone you love, a
smelly person, etc. The greetings can be embellished with emotions
like: greet everyone angrily, greet everyone happily, greet everyone
like you have a secret, greet everyone like you are a Scottish
Chieftain, etc. Have fun with it, and keep the greetings short and
superficial.

DUCK DUCK GOOSE


An old fashioned playground favourite. The group form a standing
circle and the leader stands outside the circle walking round. As the
leader walks around he/she touches the shoulder of each person they
pass saying duck with each touch. When you establish the touch and
the walk explain that if a person is touched with the word goose
instead of duck then they must chase the leader all the way round
the circle to see who will occupy the space they have just left, the
duck (leader) or the goose (player). There are versions of the game
where the goose simply has to touch the duck but I prefer the back to
the space version as it is more likely that the duck will win and you
have a new leader.

Variations
Play the game for a few rounds with new leaders, when the basic
mechanics of the game are understood introduce the first change,
instead of duck duck goose, day day night, moving on to black black
white, moving on to fat fat thin etc Here you are simply establishing
opposites with the difference being like a trigger. Again play for a few
rounds invite the group to supply their own opposites. The game can
be useful for practising specific vocabulary eg cough cough sneeze,
bark bark miouw
Moving on we can use the game for identifying the odd one out. For
example instead of kiss kiss hug you use all the words describing
things you do with the mouth as the ‘duck’… smile, speak, yawn, kiss,
spit, shout etc and the trigger is any word which doesn’t belong to
this category.
Use some easy examples, with the ‘duck’ being fruit, boy’s names,
rooms in the house.

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Ask the group to come up with their own categories and write the list
of ‘ducks’ on the board. Take some examples across the curriculum,
Kings of Spain, characters in Quixote, types of triangle!
This is using the game to revise and share knowledge.
The game following this pattern can be used to introduce new
concepts. Show an example; prepare a list of (choose your own)
fractions 1/8 2/7 5/11 6/34 have the group repeat the fractions after
you in sequence. Place your list of fractions in the centre of the circle
or write on the board and play the game. The trigger being any
number that is not a fraction or a correctly expressed fraction.
For reflection afterwards think on the types of learning this game is
appropriate to. Sometimes you need to learn lists of things and
identify properties.

ALPHABET ISLANDS
The letters of the alphabet are distributed at random on separate
sheets of paper around the room. It is explained that each letter
represents an island.
Players are invited to visit islands according to a number of different
categories starting with the island of the first letter of their name.
Once on the island they should introduce themselves to the other
visitors to the island, stating their name, if there are any stories
behind their naming etc. Those on an island on their own should
‘build a bridge’ to another island and converse as above.
Other categories could be the island of your favourite city, your
favourite author, the most important invention.

Variations
Play the standard version of the game with names and favourite
places and favourite people. Introduce specific challenges and lead
the questions eg why did you make this choice, when did you first
make this choice, what was your favourite before etc. After each
category when the island have met look for groups, question them on
their decisions, look for patterns in decision making, share the
knowledge. Examples; the letter of your favourite household
appliance, the most important invention, the funniest politician, the
coldest part of Spain, the wettest place in the world.

AUTOBIOGRAPHIES
In a circle each player takes a turn to speak about themselves for
about thirty seconds and then the rest of the players are invited to
ask questions. There are various versions of this; one is to ask
players to speak about themselves for as long as they can hold a
lighted match. Another is to displace the focus from the speaker to an
object, any object, could be a magic sock or a motivating pen. The
leader of the group throws or passes the magic article when the
action stops the person holding the object speaks. Other variations
define the area of personal description for example get the person to
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speak for thirty seconds on their home or family or focus on likes and
dislikes.

ALL THOSE
Simple game where everyone is seated in a circle and the leader
stands in the middle. When the leader says "all those wearing blue
change" everyone wearing the colour blue must change seats; the
leader will also try to find a seat so that one person will be left
without a seat standing in the middle. Start the game focused on
clothing e.g. all those wearing jumpers change, then combine items
of clothing with colours, all those with blue bras etc.
Alternatives: all those with two sisters, all those with a dog, all those
who like pizza, all those who have been to Benidorm.

DIGITS
Players form a circle looking at the floor and without a sequence or
determined order try to count from one to ten. If two or more people
speak at the same time the counting must begin again from zero.
Alternatives are the days of the week, months of the year, letters of
the alphabet.
Another application is to generate lists such as famous authors, kings
and queens, scientific formulae agree on a sequence and play the
game.

Variations
Once this is established present a list of 15 types of buildings going
from small to large and place the sheet in the middle of the circle
(perhaps if the group is large have several circles working on
different categories and swapping them around). Other useful
categories to make your point would be countries small to large,
mountains low to high, significant battles in chronological order.
Related scientific discoveries again in chronology. American novels
from Moby Dick to Catcher in the Rye. Similar to duck duck goose in
the possibility to revise significant lists, use a game for a drill
presenting new concepts and their terminology, practising
pronunciation, added on to the fun of this simple communication
game. With a large group get the different teams to choose their own
categories and make several lists to play.

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LIST OF ACTIVITIES 2

TRUST FALL/CIRCLES - THE PLACE TO START


Form players into circles of between 6 to10. Players should begin
shoulder to shoulder with their hands palms open in front at shoulder
height. One player moves to the centre of the circle and is told to
close their eyes or is blindfolded. The instructions are that the player
in the centre is to allow himself or herself to fall, keeping the feet
together and the arms by their side. The players forming the circle
must not allow the falling body to breach the circle; they must gently
allow the body to circulate among them. Repeat until everyone has
had a go in the centre.

BLIND FRIENDS
Players pair off. Studying their partner they try to think how they
could identify each other if they met blind. They should be
encouraged to touch each other’s hair, skin, and the fabric of the
each other’s clothes. After a few minutes of exploration the players
are told to close their eyes and walk in a random direction being
careful how they bump into others. Partners should be well and truly
mixed, give the order to try to meet up without talking. Once
partners have been reunited they should move to the side of the
room leaving space until the final two unite. A second step is the
players follow the same procedure as above but must find their
partners without using their hands.

EMOTIONAL SYMPHONY
Five of the players are lined up in a performance fashion. One person
is chosen to conduct the players in the symphony. Each player is
endowed with some emotion. It is good to get a range of contrasting
emotions for the players to use. Once each player is given their
emotion the conductor points from one player to another. The players
do not speak, but express their emotions through physicalization and
noise. The intensity of the emotion is increased as the conductor
raises her hand while pointing at the player. The conductor moves
from player to player conducting an emotional symphony.
Point at two players at once!
Variation 1
This exercise is fun, and does have some performance value. A way
to make it closer to the audience is to ask for names from the
audience, and get the players to speak only that name, tainted with
the emotion that they were endowed with.
BIOGRAPHIES, ICEBREAKER; INTRODUCING AND PRESENTING
Players pair off into A's and B’s. First player A speaks for two minutes
about aspects of themselves the Leader chooses the subject,
professional life, educational experiences, ambitions short or long
term etc, Basic details should be included such as name, place of
Birth where you live etc. Player B just listens, no questions no notes.
Then players reverse roles. Now the Leader explains that A will
present us to B for one minute or thirty seconds. This presentation
can be made to the group as a whole or to groups of four. Everyone
should be introduced by the end of the activity. You can prepare for
this activity by asking the players to prepare written autobiographical
profiles you specify the questions.

GET IN LINE
You call out ages, oldest right, and youngest left. Everyone has to
talk to each other to find out where they have to go. Then feet
number, ages, number of children, dark clothes and light clothes,
longest hair to shortest, horoscope, etc.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING?


Players stand in a circle with enough room to move their elbows.
Player One steps forward and begins miming an activity, any activity
such as shearing a sheep. Player Two, to the right asks player One,
‘What are you doing?’ Player One is to answer without hesitating with
the first action which comes to mind OTHER than the one they are
doing i.e. tying my shoelaces. Player Two then begins doing the thing
announced by player One and is asked by player three ‘What are you
doing?’
Comment: Teacher can pre-teach simple actions with
flashcards/drawings and use these to keep the game fluid.
Alternatively compile the actions beforehand form the kids
suggestions.
Variation 1
Get players to speed up and start to eliminate if they hesitate, repeat
or make a mistake.

NAME SIX
Players stand in a circle passing around a rolled newspaper. One
player is in the centre with his/her eyes closed. When the player in
the centre shouts stop, the player holding the newspaper must name
six items in the category selected by player one before the
newspaper makes a complete circle. If the player is successful then
he/she moves into the centre and selects the next category.
Categories can be for example, six breeds of dogs, six types of
flowers, vegetables, and films with one-word titles.
Comment: Players have to think quickly and focus on the task of
naming the items. It's interesting to notice that the players tend to
take more interest in the moving of the newspaper and the
countdown.

CHINESE WHISPERS
All players sit in a circle. Two messages or statements are written
out and concealed from the group. One message is whispered from
one player to the next in one direction and the other message is sent
in the opposite direction. Compare final messages with original
messages.
Variation: Before revealing the final and original message, have all
the players write down what they understood the message to be.
Then read the original message followed by each consecutive
message until at least the final message is reached.
WARM-UPS

1. Rotations

From ankles to neck with music

2. Rubber chicken

Shake arms and legs 8/4/2/1 and rubber chicken!!!!! Each time
faster and faster.

3. Imaginary ball in circle with names: concentrate on loosening


up your body.

4. Names in a circle:

- One round saying your name and an action or an emotion


- Saying your name and the name on your right
- Saying your name and the name on your left.
5. Group stop
Everyone quietly mills about the room. One person will elect to
freeze in position unexpectedly. As soon as one notices that
someone else has frozen in position they freeze as well. So the
effect of one person freezing causes everyone to freeze. Once
everyone is still the group starts milling around again. The goal
is to see how quickly the group can freeze in position.
Variation 1
The warm-up can be made more interesting by having the
players make noises as they move around. Increasingly noisy
characters make it harder and harder to notice the group stop,
and therefore makes it more challenging.
6. Hand mirror

Individual right, then left, then both at the same time, and then
in couples mirroring each other.

7. Zip-zap-Boeing

This is another motion around the circle warm-up. In this warm-


up one of the players points to another player to one side of
them and says 'zip'. That player turns to the next player in the
circle, points to them and says 'zip'. Thus the 'zip' zips around
the circle in one direction. At any time a receiving player can
say 'zap' to the person pointing at them. When they do the
player that said 'zip' and was pointing at them must change
direction of the pointing. This means that they must quickly turn
around, point and say 'zip to the person that just pointed at
them. Now the 'zip' can zip around the circle, but changing
direction every time there is a 'zap'. Lastly the person that
receives the 'zip' may elect to yell 'zoom' and point at someone
anywhere in the circle. That player then restarts the 'zip' going
in the direction of their choice. The group must really pay
attention for this to work.

8. 1 to 30

count out loud and clap on multiples of three, stamp on


multiples of 5

9. Flower with names

This exercise is complicated to learn. It is started by one person


(A) who randomly picks another person out of the circle (B) and
gets their attention by stating their name or their own name if
they don’t know the others people’s names yet .Once person B
acknowledges that their name has been called person E starts to
walk towards them. You think that this is silly and that person E
is going to crash into person B who is standing in the circle. Well
person B calls out to another person in the circle (let's say
person S). And when S acknowledges B then B can start
walking. So E and B are moving across the circle (hence the
name) at the same time. S does the same to D. By now E
should be stationed in what used be B’s spot. E will wait
patiently, listening, but not moving until she is called on by
someone else in the circle. Complicated, yes, Impossible, No.
Walk through it slowly at first and it will start to make sense.
Variation 1
People cannot move until they say the name of the person that
they have chosen. This forces people to learn names fast. If the
group is big enough you can have more than one cycle going at
once. More than one person can be moving at the same time.
Therefore two separate cycles are crossing the circle.

Variations
It can be done with just pointing and no names. Even more
attention would be required to do this warm-up with just eye
contact.
SESSION 3
WARM UPS

1. Rotations from ankles to neck with music.

2. Rubber chicken

3. Jump circle, 1 individual, 2 rounds of 2, two rounds of three, 2 rounds


of four, a round of all of them.

4. Simon says

Simon Says is the traditional game of concentration, repetition and


listening comprehension. Everyone imitates the leader who must direct
the rest by giving them commands that either start with “Simon says…”
or not. The participants must only do what the leader indicates with
“Simon says.”

Variation Those who move or respond to anything else must sit down
until there is a winner.

5. Tacadada

In a circle, you tell the person to your right 6 tacadadas, one round,
start introducing types of conversations, for e.g. gossiping, something
fantastic, something terrible, something very interesting, something
disgusting, something sad.

6. Rhythm feet and claps:

• 1, 2, 3 (stamp on 1)

• 1, 2, 3, 4 (stamp on 1)

• 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (stamp on)

1. INTRODUCTION OF NEW ACTIVITIES

1) TEACHERS VARIATIONS

2) NEW ACTIVITIES

EMOTIONAL BOUNDARIES
In this activity the stage will be divided into three zones. Each zone will be
designated with a particular emotion, as the players move about on the
stage they must adopt the emotion of the zone that they are in. The
introduction pretty much explains the game. It is important that the players
use the entire stage to explore each of the emotional areas. The transitions
are best done crisply as the player crosses the boundary. The host setting
the scene up should make sure that the emotions are contrasting and
simple.
Variation 1
Rapidly crossing the stage and altering every word in the sentence with the
emotion. Straddling the boundary and combining emotions.
Variation 2
Obviously there can be more than three zones, and emotions can be
assigned to furniture and props. There are genre variations where each
zone is assigned a type of entertainment. Again the common list of
categories can apply to the zones: emotions, genres, animals, professions,
political parties. If we do emotions we can use these concepts: normal voice
but laughing, whispering crying, only mimics and shouting stuttering.

MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB


Mary had a little lamb,

Its fleece was white as snow,

And everywhere that Mary went

The little lamb was sure to go.

REVISE BALL/ALPHABET BALL


A ball is thrown around a circle. Any question (or topic) that has been
covered on the course may be asked (about).
E.g.: animals, fruit, colours, parts of the body, parts of a house, etc.
CLUMPS
Players are invited to move about the room through a variety of imaginary
environments, when the leader calls out a number, everyone must get in a
group of the same size as the number.

Variation

Body Part Clumps. Same as above except leader shouts out number and a
body part e.g. three noses, the players form groups of three and touch their
noses together.

ALL THOSE
Simple game where everyone is seated in a circle and the leader stands in
the middle. When the leader says "all those wearing blue change" everyone
wearing the colour blue must change seats; the leader will also try to find a
seat so that one person will be left without a seat standing in the middle.
Start the game focused on clothing e.g. all those wearing jumpers change,
then combine items of clothing with colours, all those with blue bras etc.
Alternatives: all those with two sisters, all those with a dog, all those who
like pizza, all those who have been to Benidorm.
GIFT
Using the blackboard, get your group to make an exhaustive list of gifts
received or given. To help, ask them to think of gift giving occasions. When
do people give and receive? Valentine, birthday, anniversary, wedding,
Christmas, etc. Get individuals to make their own lists, say of five things.
Make it interesting the five best ever gifts you have been given. The five
things you would give your worst enemy, the five biggest gifts they’ve been
given and the five smallest gifts they have given etc what has given
most/least happiness. When they have finished with their own lists compile
a master list on the board.
Organise the group in a circle or horseshoe with chairs. Explain that you
want each person to imagine a gift and one by one to enter the centre of
the circle or the open end of the horseshoe and collect their gift. They
should pick it up and return with it to their seat and in doing so describe to
the rest of the group the weight and size of what they have got. When they
get to their seat they may interact with their gift.
The object of the game is for the rest of the group to identify the gift
through the mime. Stress that players should not immediately interact with
their gift. I.e. if the gift is a fishing rod they should take it to their seat and
assemble it before launching a cast.
WHO AM I?
Prepare ‘Post-its’ with the names of famous characters, fictional, historical
or real. Place a ‘Post-it’ on the forehead of each player telling them that
they have now acquired a new name and identity and that they have to find
out who they are. When all players have been given their new identity they
should walk around meeting other famous characters. To find out who they
are players can ask each other questions that can only be answered ‘yes’ or
‘no’. When the answer is yes they may continue to ask questions of the
same person, if the answer is no they must allow the other person to ask a
question or search for another character to help them.
Typical questions can be pre-taught: Am I alive? Am I a woman? Do I have
children? Am I real? Can I speak French? Etc.
Variation 1
Have your group prepare the famous characters by writing the living
person they would most like to be, the person in history they most
admire/dislike their favourite fictional character. Compile a list on the board
or simply select your ‘Post-it’ characters from their lists.

VARIATIONS OF ACTIVITIES BY TEACHERS

Session of bright ideas of variations created by the teachers.


SESSION 4
WARM UPS

1. Neck/ankles

2. Rubber chicken

3. 4 steps stop/4 steps move/with conversation

4. Changes

A stands in front of B, they observe each other, then they turn


their backs to each other, A changes 3 things, and they look at
each other and B has to guess what has changed saying them
out loud. Now the other way round. Then with 6 things

5. Who do you think I am?

Each person decides a famous character they want to imitate;


Think of: the way they walk, something typical they do, habits
and gestures, the way they talk, etc.Start walking around
imitating and relating with the rest, chatting, and at the end
even guessing.

1. INTRODUCTION OF NEW ACTIVITIES

1) TEACHERS VARIATIONS

2) NEW ACTIVITIES

CHAIN STATUES
Player A takes a statue position. Player B is asked to be the artist and
adjust or move Player A’s position. Leader shouts freeze at any point
and A & B remain frozen. Player C then becomes the artist and moves
or adjusts both A & B until leader shouts freeze. Continue until you
have entire group up.

PIE

The players must say “pie” to anything that is a multiple of 3,


contains the number 3 or the number 7. For example: 1. 2. Pie. 4. 5.
Pie. Pie. 8. Pie. 10. 11. Pie. Pie. Pie. Pie. 16. Etc.

-Ask for a list of fractions to maths teacher 1/8 2/7 5/11 6/34 ask
what we could make as a rule.
-List of countries of Europe, say pie when the country is not from
Europe.

I WENT TO THE MARKET AND I BOUGHT …


a basic list and memory game, the students sit in a circle and say ‘I
went to market and I bought’ which is followed by an object of some
sort, for example, an apple. The next student then repeats this
phrase and adds their own object. There are many variations to this
game for objects to go through the alphabet using a different letter to
begin each new word. Another idea would be to only allow objects
larger than a television, or only animals, or illegal things. The choice
is wide and the game can be used to teach specific vocabulary.
Spanish Rivers/Spanish painters/multiples of 4.

MONARCH
We need one player on stage to act as a royal monarch. Everyone
else will try to win favour with the monarch. The monarch sits proudly
on stage and is persistently approached by all of the other players in
the workshop. The players approach the monarch making strong
character choices and making offers to please the monarch. Offers
such as "a box of chocolates for your royalness" or "a new necklace
for my monarch" are common. The role of the monarch is to accept
the offer and decide whether the offer was worthy of that player
sitting beside the monarch in an exclusive place in her court. Other
players are constantly coming forward in an attempt to gain that
exclusive spot by offering better and better goodies for the monarch.
An ideal monarch will not base her responses on the goodies
themselves, but how well they are presented by the player. If a
player offers the monarch a rock but does it with a strong and
committed character the monarch will place them at her side. Only
one player may be in the monarch's favour at any one time. Like all
good royalty no commoner may touch the monarch (this keeps the
monarch from getting a 10 minute massage instead of accepting new
offers).
If the monarch is bested with an offer she dies and the new player
becomes the monarch.

SECRET CONVERSATION
Two players begin to talk on a subject without saying what the topic
of their conversation is. The other players are invited to first listen
and when they think they know what the conversation is about, to
join in. They should not try to guess the subject but to participate.

-The king Juan Carlos

-Andalucía
DOUBLE TALK
In groups of three. Player one sits facing players two and three.
Player One’s objective is to listen and respond fully to each of the
simultaneous conversations from players two and three. Player’s two
and three’s objective is to command 100% of Player ones attention at
all times. Each may say or do anything short of physical contact to
hold P1s attention. Run for two minutes. Player 1 decides which of
the two held his attention best. Rotate Player One.

QUESTIONS/NO QUESTIONS

Following on from the previous two exercises and introducing a


competitive element. Two players are chosen to start. The group
establish the who and where of a scene and the two players must
produce a dialogue consisting of questions only. The first player to
hesitate for too long or to answer with a statement must sit down and
be replaced by another with the same situation or a different one,
depending on consensus.

TONGUE TWISTERS
SESSION 5
WARM UPS

1. Neck/ankles

2. Rubber chicken

3. Jeepers peepers

This warm-up is designed to try and get us all in synch.


Everyone get into a tight circle.

Everyone looks down at the ground, not making eye contact


with anyone else. The group all counts to three, and on a count
of three everyone looks up at once. Each player in the circle is
responsible for making a strong choice, and they must either
look to their left, their right, or directly across the circle. If
players make eye contact, both scream and step out of the
circle. This activity is continued until all are out of the circle.

4. The shadow: in couples, stand behind your partner and


shadow his movements. It’s recommended to start with small
and round movements, making it possible for your partner to
follow you, and bit by bit make the movements bigger and
finally make quick and straight movements. Then change
around.

5. Shapes

This exercise calls for instant reaction from the entire group to
an order from the tutor telling them to form a shape. They
must act as one unit, but nobody should speak, although
members of the group may physically guide others to complete
the required shape quickly. The tutor only gives the order once
so that the group must listen and then move swiftly and silently
into the shape. As soon as one shape is completed, the tutor
gives the order for the next shape and so on. Speed, discipline
and economy of movement are required.

Some examples are:

Square, equals sign, multiplication sign, question mark,


exclamation mark, division sign, circle, the letter Z, the number
4, triangle, straight line.
1. INTRODUCTION OF NEW ACTIVITIES

1) TEACHERS VARIATIONS

2) NEW ACTIVITIES

AGREE /DISAGREE
In couples, we watch the couples work individually. They walk
together as if they are walking through the park and they walk at the
same pace and they agree in their conversation, suddenly one of
them disagrees and that makes their pace change and they don’t
walk at the same pace while they are disagreeing, this will change
back and forth, agreeing and disagreeing.
AGE WALK

From the same circle of Word Association begin walking in the same
direction round the circle. Call out an age, starting with 3. The
participants should become that age, adjusting the way they talk to
each other, the way they walk and interact, the types of relationships
they form. Once the idea is established increase the age from 5 to 7
to 10 to 12 to 15 to 16 to 18 to 20 to 25 and increasing in five year
intervals. Before each change give time for the participants to work
on the physical, vocal and emotional qualities appropriate for each
age. At the age of eighty end the exercise by returning to 3 years old.
During the walk arbitrarily 'remove' participants from the circle.
Killing them off or having them emigrate (sit down!)

This exercise is about making fast choices for establishing characters


and varieties of dialogue as well as the obvious fun of physically
representing different ages.

Discuss in groups of three the choices made for different characters,


When did they first fall in love, go to school, what jobs did they have,
when did they have their first cigarette/drink/kiss/sex. Did they
marry, have children, divorce, retire etc.
Did their characters mirror their own experience or were they totally
made up?

WHERE ARE WE, WHERE HAVE WE BEEN AND WHERE ARE WE


GOING?

Two players present a scene with dialogue where they demonstrate


to the rest of the group 1) where they are, 2) where they’ve been
and 3) where they are going without actually saying it directly. For
example: two people ordering beers (they are in a bar) talk with
excitement about the possible team selection available and what the
weather will be like (they are going to a football match) and moan
about the inflexibility of their boss regarding flexi-time (they’ve just
come from work).

Open Your Eyes(Vocabulary)

(Observation, looking at surrounding environment in a different light.


Vocabulary learners, colours, numbers you mention it!)

Ask the class to name five red items in the classroom, then five green
items, five blue items etc. Alternatively for the wee ones ask the
question another way, How many green items can you find? (teaching

ONE-TWO-THREE-FOUR

Groups of three. One sentence only. Each step in the scene building
represents one sentence.

0 – ENVIRONMENT: Player One creates an environment based on the


set up of the scene. The environment is created through mime,
similar to where are we from the day before. Once the environment
has been defined player two enters. E.g. In a kitchen.

1 – RELATIONSHIP: Player TWO accepts the environment that the


first player has defined through mime. Player two contributes only
one sentence to the scene and no more. That sentence defines the
relationship between the two players i.e. Hi mum, I’m back.

2 – CONFLICT: Player one speaks one sentence. This sentence


creates a conflict based on the environment or relationship. i.e.
‘you’re late your dinner will be ruined’

3 – IT GETS WORSE: Player two gets another chance to speak one


sentence to make things worse i.e. mum it’ll probably taste better
after an extra hour in the oven, your cooking is awful.
FOUR – RESOLUTION: Players one and two remain silent. Enter
player three accepting the environment and speaks one sentence to
end the scene and resolve the conflict. The resolution must tie things
together i.e. Hello dear. Hi son. How was school? Hey, there’s a great
offer on at the Indian tonight. Let’s eat out!

DIE GAME

In this game all the players on stage will be telling a story. Each
player is responsible for the story while the director is pointing at
them. When the director switches from one player to another, the
other player must pick up the story without stuttering, repeating
words, or making grammatical errors. If any of the players makes
such an error the audience should yell DIE!!

There is not too much more to add beyond the introduction. The
players should tell a story through action, and not waste time having
the character thinking about things. The director should change from
player to player slowly at first, allowing a sensible story to build. As
the game goes on she can switch from one player to another faster
and faster.

Variation 1:
Elimination Die: Each player that makes a mistake is eliminated until
only one player is left. Theatrical Die: After making a mistake the
player acts out a death on stage. Make a story: Same thing with no
die or elimination. Genre Story: Each player is given a different genre
and continues to tell the same story through that genre. Genre story
can be emotional story, appliance story, occupation story, etc.
SESSION 6
WARM UPS

1. Neck/ankles

2. Rubber chicken

3. 7 to 1: everyone in a line walk together 7 steps and change


direction, then 6 steps and change direction again, continue
until you get to 1 step. Everyone has to change direction to the
same side, changing to the side your legs are open. You start of
counting out loud; in the end the goal is to do it in silence.

4. Socks warm up Players should form a circle arms’ length


apart. Leader starts off by throwing one pair of socks to
another player and asking them to catch the socks and then
throw them on to another player who catches and throws on to
the next. Players are given the instruction that they must
remember who they received from and threw to. Keep it going
until a rhythm has built up and the socks return to the leader.
Speed up and introduce another pair of socks with the same
procedure applying. Increase speed and more socks until you
have six pairs juggling around the circle. An alternative is to
play socks with names. i.e. Ed to Paz, Paz to Pilar etc

5. Animals: we will start creating different animals based on our


movements, bit by bit we will transform that animal into a
character, trying to keep the essence of the animal in the
character.

1. INTRODUCTION OF NEW ACTIVITIES

1) TEACHERS VARIATIONS

2) NEW ACTIVITIES

TONGUE TWISTERS (We will play with rhythm, emotions and volume)
A bitter biting bittern
Bit a better brother bittern,
And the bitter better bittern
Bit the bitter biter back.
And the bitter bittern, bitten,
By the better bitten bittern,
Said: "I'm a bitter biter bit, alack!"
……………………………………

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck


If a woodchuck could chuck wood?
He would chuck, he would, as much as he could,
And chuck as much wood as a woodchuck would
If a woodchuck could chuck wood.
……………………………………..
She sells seashells on the seashore.
The shells she sells are seashells, I'm sure.

INCIDENT

This is basically a "freeze frame" exercise. The player is to describe


an event or incident through three freeze frame shots representing
before it happens, as it is happening and after it has happened. Each
posture is to be held for about three seconds. Stress that it is like a
photo story, they are not to mime or act but through their posture
and gesture describe the action. After the incident is shown ask the
group if they knew what was happening. Ask the performer to repeat
and at each posture ask the questions where is he now, what is he
doing what do you think is going to happen, what has happened etc.

Options: theme the incident ask the players to think of or write down
five things which happened to them on holiday, or five things which
happened the last time they went to the swimming pool, the bank, a
restaurant, a football match, shopping, going to school etc.

BEGINNING / MIDDLE / END

Three groups of 2 or 3

Have two participants establish the who, what and where of a scene
and begin the action. When this has been established, call change
and have two others come in assuming the previous participants'
characters and physical positions, continue the scene, and add a
middle to the scene. Then call change and have a third pair bring the
scene to a conclusion.

Repeat until everyone has been involved in starting continuing and


finishing a scene

PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE OR “TIME WARP”


(Variation of BEGINNING / MIDDLE / END )

Three groups of 2 or 3

Related to “Beginning Middle and End”. Same groupings: three pairs.


Establish a scene and have the first pair of participants establish a
scene in the past. Once the scene develops, call change and have the
second pair come in to play the same characters in the present.
Repeat the process for the third pair who must play the same
characters in the future. The difference now is that you will
experiment with time differences: not all the scenes take place in the
present. Instead you may call out “10 minutes later…”, “An hour
later…”, “40 years later…”, etc. between each scene and the next
group up must pick up from there.

JOURNALISTS

Players witness strange behaviour from teacher at the beginning of


class and at the end of the routine are asked to write down all that
they have observed. In groups of four players compare stories and
compose a more complete story. Each group’s story should then be
read to the whole group.

An alternative ending is for the teacher to repeat the strange routine


again after the various stories have been read.

(i.e. Enter with shoes on backwards (or sweater, suspicious walk,


secret to someone, suspicious look at someone, take off shoes,
sweater, listen, clap 3 times, listen, clap 2 times stomp 1, listen clap
once, stomp 2, listen, stomp 3 times listen. Look satisfied.)

MODERN FAIRY TALE

In this scene the players will combine a well known fairy tale with a
genre of movie. [be sure to recap the fairy tale and recap the genre]

This scene involves altering a known story with characters and genre
clichés from commercial film. Remember to tell the story as it was
recapped. If you are combining a fairy tale and a specific film it is
important to get an idea of what the film was about. If you have no
idea, offer some support, background or sit back and enjoy. What
makes this a useful scene is that players can introduce topics from
either genre, and it is likely that they will know one or the other.
Variations:
Combine any known story with a contrasting genre: science fiction,
war movie, love story, Shakespeare, triple-X, political party,
occupation, etc.