Age: 10 to adult
Players: Small Groups
Time: 10-20 minutes
Skills: Improvisation, Movement
How often do you meet someone who reminds you of an animal? In this game, animal traits are used as a basis for developing bold and funny characters.
Give each group a setting for an improvisation but ask each player to choose an animal on which to base the personality of their character. The character must be human, but will be affected by the movement, sounds and behaviour of the selected animal.
Encourage the actors to begin subtly and allow the animal traits to get more obvious as the scene progresses. A mundane setting is best, such as a doctor’s waiting room, a job interview or a bus stop where we can see the characters slowly developing. The type of animal the characters are based on will affect their status within the group and this will become more apparent as the improvisation progresses.
After watching a few of these it will become clear that a lot of people we see around us may well have animal characteristics without knowing it.
- You can write the names of animals on cards and hand these to the actors just before they rehearse the scene
- The characters in a scene could all be the same type of animal
- As a warm up you can ask everyone to choose an animal and explore its movement
Play the game using Zoom or a similar video-conferencing platform. Ask for two volunteers. Send a message to each player, allocating a different animal to each of them. Give them a situation to improvise using that animal character. Give them a minute or two with everyone else watching, then invite people to put their hand up to guess the animals. If you use breakout rooms then you can divide the class into pairs or groups to improvise as different animals.
Ant, Camel, Cat, Crocodile, Dog, Elephant, Flamingo, Fox, Frog, Giraffe, Grizzly Bear, Gruffalo, Hippopotamus, Kangaroo, Koala, Leopard, Lion, Llama, Meerkat, Monkey, Octopus, Ostrich, Otter, Owl, Panda, Penguin, Rabbit, Seal, Sloth, Snake, Spider, Springbok, Tortoise, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Whale, Wolf
Art gallery, amusement park, beach, bus stop, cafe, cinema, classroom, courtroom, dentist’s surgery, doctor’s waiting room, deep sea diving, disco, garage, gym, hairdresser’s, heaven, International Space Station, launderette, library, market place, museum, pirate ship, playground, railway station, restaurant, shopping mall, supermarket, swimming pool, village square, zoo
Thank you a million times for the great ideas you shared with us!
Just wanted to say thank you so much for that training, it was brilliant. Everybody said how much they enjoyed it. We will definitely be using lots of those strategies in future lessons!
‘Thank you so much for everything. We are all very excited to try out some of these ideas in the classroom – we really took so much from the session.’
For two years online, I have not yet come across such an interesting workshop as yours was yesterday. I have a drama group and will be doing a workshop with your ideas on Thursday. I left your workshop fulfilled because I came across what I need in the work. Thank you. Best greeting from a little village in Croatia.
Thank you for an absolutely brilliant session today! The audience was in awe and we topped the attendance limit so that we had to increase the size of the room to let more attendees in 😄huge success, thank you for your great contribution from everyone here. All best wishes, and thanks a million again, it was a joy to work with you!