Age: 10 to adult
Players: Whole Group
Time: 5 – 10 minutes per round
Skills: Communication, Confidence, Problem-Solving
You’re on stage – but you have absolutely no idea what to do. Don’t worry, the audience will tell you!
A few simple props are placed on the stage, such as a chair, a hat and a scarf. One person leaves the room while the rest of the group decides on a simple task for him to do. For example, they may decide that he should put on the hat and sit on the chair. When the task has been agreed, the volunteer is invited back. He has to work out what the group wants him to do without talking. The only way the audience can communicate with the volunteer is by clapping. No whispering or gesturing is allowed.
So if the volunteer sits on the chair, the audience might give him a ripple of applause. If he picks up the scarf they won’t do anything. If he picks up the hat, they will start to applaud again. Their clapping will get louder if he puts the hat on his head. When the audience stop clapping he will realise that he hasn’t yet completed his mission. When he finally sits on the chair wearing the hat the audience can clap, stamp their feet and cheer.
Try the game a few times with different players. Initial tasks should be fairly straightforward, otherwise it may become frustrating for the person on stage. The group has responsibility for choosing a challenging but guessable task. The facilitator should allow enough time for the person on stage to try out a number of ideas. Once players get the hang of the game then tasks can become more challenging. For example, an advanced task could involve tying the scarf to the chair, holding the hat in the air and standing on one leg!
This is a valuable activity for helping performers to improve their communication with the audience. It is worth discussing afterwards how the person on stage felt and how he or she managed to solve the challenge.
Come back for a new Game next week!