Age: 10 to adult
Players: Small Groups
Time: 10-30 minutes
Skills: Directing, Devising, Improvisation
A director creates a stage picture from a book or a play and the actors bring it to life through improvisation
This is good practice for directing, once the participants are familiar with Still Images. The exercise can be applied to a favourite book or play – or one being studied by the group.
Demonstrate the activity with the whole group first. Ask if anyone would like to be a director for a few minutes. The chosen person should think of a favourite moment from a book or play that she would like to bring to life. She can quickly set up the scene with simple props, such as chairs and tables. Now she starts to place characters in the scene by choosing people from the group. She tells them where to go, what position they should be in and a sentence or two about their character. Each person makes a still image in the shape of the character. When the director is happy with the stage picture it can be brought to life for just a few moments with a clap of the hands.
- It is not necessary for the participants to know the book or play – it is up to the director to give clear explanations so that they have enough to go on. Once the short improvisation has been shown you can ask the audience if the scene was clear and give any necessary pointers about staging.
- The exercise provides a quick way of setting up a scene and generating ideas. Once you have demonstrated the activity the class can be divided into groups. You can either nominate a director in each group or if there is time, each person can have a go at directing their own group. Afterwards the stage pictures and improvisations can be shown and discussed.
- Although it won’t be the same as if the actors are in the same space, you can still adapt the game to use online. Divide into breakout groups. One of the group directs the others as explained above, making sure that each image is as clear as possible, as each image will be seen by the audience separately. Then close the breakout rooms and ask each group to show their work.
- Want to try this game out? We play many games in our monthly Zoom Meetings which come as part of The Inspiring Drama Teacher course. We often come up with new ideas between us!