Hello beautiful thespians!
Isn't that such a great word? Thespian. Okay so I haven't even started the article yet and I'm already off track, but ASIDE from that, I think I know why you've stumbled across my page- and I'm here to help! You are looking for some top notch theatre games to play with you cast or club members, eh? I got you covered.
These games are funky. They're fresh. They're actually fun to play. Like they'll knock your socks off- (but I'm sure if you ask politely they'll let you keep them on.)
Here's a list of 5 theatre games to play with your cast!
Oooooooooo this game sounds scandalous (but it's really not that bad!)
How to Play: Gather your cast into a circle or a cluster. If you're in a circle, put a chair in the middle, but in a cluster put the chair in the front of that cluster. Pick a cast member to sit in the seat you've provided, and have other cast members ask them any questions that come to mind. The catch? The person in the hot seat is answering like the role they've been assigned to in the show you're doing, (IE: If you all were doing The Phantom of the Opera, the guy who is cast as the Phantom would answer questions like the Phantom would! (also fun fact the phantom's real name is Erik- yes with a "K")
How to Play: Select a couple of actors from your cast or club (the number of people participating is flexible, standard number is usually four) and have them tell a 30 second to one minute story (they should be actually acting out the story, not just verbally telling one).
The plot of the story told by the actors can be:
A) Created shortly beforehand by the actors themselves
B) Created beforehand by other cast/club members watching the performance
C) Created by other club members, but only with only a small sense of direction, such as a mention of a theme.
D) Given as a script by other cast/club members who actually wrote the whole scene out.
As the actors perform, assign another individual the role of the "director". The job of the director in this game is to find other ways the actors can tell the same story (the content, that is) but in a different way. For instance, when the actors are finished, the director might tell them to repeat the scene but under the condition that everyone has to sound angry. He might also tell the actors that the scene needs to be done very fast, or that scene needs to be done as if everyone needs to use the restroom. There are so many ways the director can tell the actors to play out a scene- it will be as if you're watching a new story every time!
A Scene and a Film Score
How to Play: This games needs a bit of prepping, but it's so worth it! Find music scores that capture certain emotions (like a score where the feeling is sad, sneaky, triumphant, romantic, etc.) Have the actors group up into groups no more than five and no less than two. Provide each group with a film score to listen to. After each groups has had time to listen to the piece, ask them to identify the emotions captured, or more plainly, the "vibe" (as the cool kids say) that the score has. Have the groups improv a scene based on the emotions they listed before. If you have a lot of time, have them write a script instead!
So for example, you gave a group of four actors a film score from James Bond. When the students all hear this piece and discuss, they come to think that the score assigned has a very energetic, on the edge of you seat, kind of vibe. The students then discuss the type of scene they envision going on when they hear the song playing, and either create a script to perform in front of everyone, or improv a scene with the vibe of the music as their guide. From hearing the soundtrack, this group might include; fighting, witty comebacks, sneaking around, hacking into something, etc- if they hear it, they can perform it!
The Numbers Game
How to Play: Take two members from your cast/club, and give them a scenario to act out. It can be anything! Set a timer up for about 30 seconds (although the time is up to you), and have the actors start the scene. This is where the game becomes interesting, however, as the actors involved don't actually speak with regular words. They speak by communicating with only numbers. Actor one gets to only say numbers zero, one, two, three, four, and five, while actor two may only say six, seven, eight, nine, and ten when communicating with actor one. For instance, actor one might say "one one two- zero three five?", and actor two might respond with "nine nine nine! Eight ten eight seven six!". The scene will be carried on by the inflections of both actors as well as their body language and facial expressions. Actors may receive wacky characters suggested by others to portray in this game, or they can use personal roles they have in a show.
How Do You Say that Word?
This game is my favorite! WOO!
How to Play: This game is more relaxed then the others listed, and is more of a casual game to play amongst cast/club members. Find a list of words describing the possible tone someone might have when saying a phrase (or you can find a list right HERE- don't worry I got you dude), and assign a tone describing word (or two) to all of your cast members. THEN, give them a regular word or phrase to actually say using that type of tone. Each round has a specific word or phrase that every member has to say in the style of the tone they received, and after the round is over, members can swap their adjectives for other adjectives. For example, if you received the adjective "sad", and the word of the round was "I'm fine", you would say "I'm fine" in your best sad tone. This game can be played seriously or just for laughs!
Here's a quick list of words/phrases you could use for each round in the game:
- I see
- I'm sorry
- No kidding
- I'm fine
- I love you
- You're joking
- I'm done
- Stop [it]
- That's it
- Oh my god/goodness
- I can't believe it
- Get out
I hope you enjoyed this list and found some new games to play! Do you have any fun theatre games you like to play with your cast? Comment below!