Saturday, July 26, 2014

What are Drama Games?

Drama games are drawn from a wide range of sources, including traditional games such as Grandma's Footsteps, as well as exercises developed by directors, actors and teachers. They can be used for breaking the ice, physical warm-ups, group dynamics and encouraging creativity.

Use the menu above to search the drama games related to such themes as mime and movement, storytelling and improvisation. They are also listed on this page alphabetically and in order of popularity. These activities are just starting points, so go ahead and invent your own games to add to those which constantly circulate amongst drama teachers and students.

Drama Games

  • Alphabet Conversation
    Have a conversation where each sentence begins with the next letter of the alphabet. This may seem difficult at first, but improves with practice. If you get stuck, you can also use sounds to start a sentence, for example...
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  • Bill and Ben
    You need to know the original tune of the famous BBC children's television programme to play this rather daft game. (You can listen to the tune below.) Everyone stands in a circle. First of all, sing the song as a group....
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  • Catch My Name
    A fun way of learning names. The group stands in a circle and begins by throwing a beanbag or bouncing a medium-sized ball, such as a children's football, across the circle from one person to another. Make sure people are...
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  • Count To 20
    This is one of the simplest, yet most challenging drama games. Sit or stand in a circle. The idea is for the group to count to twenty, one person saying one number at a time. Anybody can start the count. Then a different...
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  • Essence Machines
    This activity provides a useful technique for generating physical and aural ideas around a theme. Explain that the group is going to create a "machine" out of themselves. Name a topic and give the participants a few moments...
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  • Follow Your Nose
    A movement exercise for the whole group. Move around the room, filling up the space, changing pace, changing direction, being aware of other people but not touching them. Now become aware of your nose. Let your nose lead...
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  • Grandma's Footsteps
    Although this is a traditional children's game, in my experience it is also great fun for grown-ups! One person is Grandma - he/she faces a wall. The others in the group start at the other end of the room, then try to creep...
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  • One Two Three
    This is a fun introductory warm-up and concentration game. You can begin sitting down or standing up. In pairs, face each other. Start counting from one to three between yourselves, over and over. Once you get the hang of...
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  • One Word At A Time
    In a circle, the story is started, with each person in turn adding one word. It usually starts with 'Once - upon - a - time'. The idea is to keep your thoughts free flowing, so that you don't try to guess what is coming or...
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  • Random Sound Stories
    Work in small groups of 4 - 6. The groups are asked to come up with a selection of random sounds - with each member making one vocalised sound. Next, the group decides on a sequence in which these sounds are made and practices...
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  • Siren
    By Jonathan Lambert A good exercise for exploring and extending the vocal range. It will help to eradicate unexpected 'catches' in the throat from occurring when speaking or singing. It's also a very good icebreaker. Before...
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  • Sound Pictures
    The leader or one member of the group acts as conductor, whilst the rest of the group are the 'orchestra'. Using their voices (and body percussion if appropriate!), the group paints a sound picture of a particular theme,...
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  • Status Pictures
    In pairs, create a still image where one of you has a higher status than the other. It can be a real situation, or something abstract. Show your image to the others and let them guess who is "high" and who is "low". Discuss...
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  • Ten Second Objects
    (Left: A peacock created in ten seconds at the one-day course Primary Drama Across The Curriculum) This...
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  • There Is Only One Liar
    A psychological but fun group dynamics game from Augusto Boal. There should be no talking until the exercise is over. The group sits or stands in a circle and closes their eyes. The leader tells them that one person will...
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  • Two Truths, One Lie
    Highly recommended for getting to know each other in a new group. Tell your partner three things about yourself - two of which are true and one of which is a lie. For example, you might tell your partner about your hobbies,...
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Game of the Week

  • Clap Across The Circle
    The sound of a handclap is passed across a circle. The group stands or sits in a circle. One player (Ben) begins by making eye contact with another player (Maria) across the circle. Ben claps his hands towards Maria as though he is throwing the sound to her. Maria claps her hands a short distance away from her body as though catching the sound that Ben made and simultaneously bringing her hands towards her. Maria chooses someone else to make eye contact with and claps towards that person. If a...
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