still-imageStill images and freeze frames are both a form of tableau. With freeze-frame, the action in a play or scene is frozen, as in a photograph or video frame. Still images, on the other hand, require individuals or groups to invent body-shapes or postures, rather than freeze existing action.Groups can be asked to tell a story through a series of prepared still-images. This can be an effective method for students who are less inclined to improvise dialogue. The still images can also be brought to life through improvisation. Freeze-frames and still images can be usefully combined with Thought Tracking, Forum Theatre or Flashbacks and Flash Forwards.

Examples of Freeze Frames and Still Images

Still images provide one of the most flexible methods of working in drama. They can easily be used across the curriculum, for example:

  • Groups can tell a story by using three images to create a beginning, middle and end.
  • You can help to improve students’ vocabulary skills by asking them to illustrate a word or phrase in a story using a still image.
  • Fun can be had making group objects that turn from one thing into something else – for example Cinderella’s pumpkin turns into a coach, mice into horses, a rat into a coachman, and lizards into footmen.
  • In Science, groups can develop a series of images showing the process of metamorphosis (e.g. caterpillar to butterfly or frogspawn to frog).
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