Theatre Games for Teen Girls

by Karen Smith
Teen girls can develop confidence and trust by playing theater games together.

Teen girls can develop confidence and trust by playing theater games together.

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Theater games teach teen girls acting and improvisation skills while also encouraging their development of creativity and confidence. Most theater games do not have winners or losers. Instead, they challenging a group or pair of individuals to accomplish a task together. Since the tasks require attentiveness and cooperation, theater games are great for developing team spirit among a group of friends, classmates or cast members.

One Voice

Divide the group of girls into teams of two to four people. Have the teams take turns standing in a close circle, facing one another and with their arms on one another's shoulders. The facilitator, who can be a teen or an adult, gives the team either a topic to speak about pretending to be an expert (such as on cockroach physiology or Transylvanian cooking) or the premise on which to tell a story (such as leading a fifth-grade class trip to the zoo). The team should then try to speak on the topic or tell the story together, with everyone saying the same thing simultaneously. It should seem as though no one person is truly leading, but that rather it is a genuine group effort.

Postcards

Separate into two teams each with an equal number of girls. Each team should think of three places, real or fictive, from which they might llke to receive a postcard, such as the Grand Canyon, Atlantis or the dark side of the moon. The first team begins by announcing one of their places, and the second team has one minute to arrange themselves into a frozen tableau or "postcard" evoking a scene from that particular place. Then the teams switch turns and the first team forms a postcard named by the second team.

Park Bench

Select a pair of girls to perform for the rest of the group. Have one of the girls sit onstage on a bench. The other girl should begin offstage and enter the scene only after she has decided on two roles, one for herself and the other for the onstage girl. For example, the seated girl could be a famous author and she an avid fan. When coming onstage, the second girl should not announce the roles that she has chosen to the seated girl or to the audience, but instead try to lead them to guess the roles through her speech and behavior. The seated girl is challenged to play along. The game ends once the seated girl or the audience members have guessed the two roles.

You

Have everyone stand in a circle facing one another. One person should do a gesture to indicate another person in the circle, such as pointing or tilting her head, while saying the word "you." Then the indicated person should do the same thing, gesturing to a new person in the circle while saying "you," but this time the gesture should be slightly larger and the volume slightly louder. Continue passing the "you" across the circle in a random order until the volume has become so loud that it cannot be increased. At this point, shift to decreasing the volume and shrinking the gesture slightly on each turn until the "you" is only being mouthed and the gestures are too small to keep track of who has the "you." This game is good to play with a cast before a performance because it makes the participants attentive to each other and gives them a sense of sharing a psychic connection.

About the Author

Karen Smith has been writing professionally since 2008. Her articles are published in the "Encyclopedia of Muslim-American History" and the upcoming "Dictionary of African Biography," as well as on Patheos.com and in volumes of "Anthropology News," "Contemporary Islam," "Islamic Africa" and "American Ethnologist." She has a Doctor of Philosophy in anthropology.

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