Drama Warm-Up Activities

by Petra Turnbull
Drama groups use warm-up games to lose inhibitions and build team spirit.

Drama groups use warm-up games to lose inhibitions and build team spirit.

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Theater group leaders and teachers use drama warm-up activities to get actors or students in the mood for performing. The games aim to relax the players, remove inhibitions and prepare the individuals mentally for acting. Warm-up activities also can create a team spirit for actors that do not know each other well. There are various warm-up activities available for drama groups.

Make a Story

For this warm-up activity you will need a ball. The actors sit down in a circle. You start by saying a sentence. You then throw the ball to another in the group, who must catch it and continue the story by saying the next sentence. Once that person has finished his sentence, he throws the ball to the next person. Ensure that nobody receives the ball twice. The game is finished when everyone has had their say.

Down the Alley

The actors sit down in a straight line and face the wall. Think of an object, such as a chair, a television or a garden fence, and tap the shoulder of the first player. This player must turn around and step forward. Whisper the name of the chosen object into the player's ear and ask her to mime it to the next player, without the use of words. The player then taps the next participant on the shoulder, who will turn around and step forward. The first player will then act out the chosen object. When the second person thinks he knows what the object is, he taps the next person on the shoulder and performs his version of the object. The miming will continue "down the alley" until the last person is reached, who will say out loud what she thinks the object is. In most circumstances, the last object differs widely from the first. To make the students understand how perception can change from one person to the other, each participant in the game tells the others what he believed he saw in the miming of the other.

Human Knot

The players stand in a circle. Each person reaches her left hand into the middle and connects with the hand of someone in the circle, but not the person next to her. Repeat with the right hand, but make sure that each player holds hands with a different person than the one he already is holding on to. Now ask the group members to unravel themselves without disconnecting hands. If your drama group has more than 10 players, divide the actors into two teams and arrange a race where the first group to unravel according to the rules wins.

Human Sculptures

This game is suitable for players at the age of elementary students or older. Divide the players into groups of three to five members. Give each group a topic taken from a movie, a book or a news item and ask the members to give a figurative representation of the subject matter. The students have five minutes to brainstorm their ideas within their group before assembling a sculpture with their bodies that, according to their interpretation, best represents the topic. Allow the students to explain their decisions before moving on to the next group.

About the Author

Based in the U.K., Petra Turnbull has been working as a journalist since 1989. Her articles on the film and book trades have been published in "Screen International," "Dagens Naringsliv," "Film Magasinet" and other Scandinavian newspapers and magazines. She now manages her own book shop. Turnbull holds degrees in law and economics from Goethe University, Germany and Oslo Business School in Norway.

Photo Credits

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