Raemer  An Adventure in Drama: Take 1 – Improvisation in the EFL Classroom
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Raemer An Adventure in Drama: Take 1 – Improvisation in the EFL Classroom

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Raemer An Adventure in Drama: Take 1 – Improvisation in the EFL Classroom Document Transcript

  • 1. Use theatre games in the EFL classroom as part of the process of putting on a play, or just as a fun way to practice the domain of Social Interaction. Theatre games are used to develop group cooperation, sensitivity to what is happening around you on stage, quick thinking on your feet, among other skills. All you need are the following: Rules: 1. Follow the rules: just like in a football or basket ball game, you need to abide by the rules. 2. Suspension of disbelief: pretend, imaginary props, decisions of who , what and where we are become reality, conflict, cooperation and awareness or sensitivity to your partner – give and take. 3. Ability to improvise. 4. Ability to be spontaneous. 5. Ability to be aware of yourself and your own associations. 6. A sense of humor. 7. A need to warm up – just like in any game of sports, we need to warm up our bodies, and our imaginations with warm up activities, to allow ourselves to be creative, spontaneous, cooperative and attentive. 8. Commands to be used in some games: Action / freeze / cut 9. Have fun! You can find lots of ideas over the internet (including video clips). Some of the games we are doing today are from my repertoire after years of doing this. Others were gleaned from the website: More Theatre Games and Exercises among others. So – let’s begin! 1  An Adventure in Drama: Take One – ETAI 2010 Adele Raemer 
  • 2. Warm ups: In a circle Zip, Zap, Zop The group stands in a circle. The player who starts points across the circle to another player, makes eye contact, and says, ‘Zip’. The receiving player points to another person, makes eye contact, and says, ‘Zap’. The new receiving player points across the circle and says, ‘Zop’. The game continues with the words passed in this order. Players should try to pass the proper word smoothly. This can also be played as an elimination game (i.e., if the receiver speaks incorrectly, he or she is out of the game). Anything Fabric Participants stand in a circle. The leader shows the fabric to the participants, saying "What could this piece of fabric be? We’re going to pass it around the circle and each of you will show us something that it could become." The leader demonstrates, turning the fabric into something and stating what it is. The fabric is passed from person to person, with each participant sharing an idea. If an idea is repeated, such as "a hat", the leader asks the participant to be more specific (a turban, a bonnet), thereby making the participant come up with their own idea. If the number of participants is small enough, the fabric can travel around the circle twice. A variation on this game is to limit the ideas to a category such as clothing, or things that are the color of the fabric. Story Telling With the players in a circle, the facilitator calls out the title for a story. The players in the circle tell that story, with each player saying one word at a time as the story travels around the circle. Story title: How I got here this morning Gibberish Story Telling Proceed as above, only give no title to the story. A player begins and passes the story as before, only it is spoken in gibberish – no real language is used. At the end, everyone can write down what they think the story was about and compare their ideas. 2  An Adventure in Drama: Take One – ETAI 2010 Adele Raemer 
  • 3. Copy-cat Standing in a circle. One participant initiates a rhythmic sound and movement which is mirrored by the rest. Then, the next student transforms the sound and movement into a new combination, again mirrored by the whole group. Moving through Space Participants begin to walk around the room. They must see to it that there are no areas that have more people in them than others. • The facilitator calls out physical states – such as a shift in tempo, heaviness, lightness, larger, smaller, tightness, jerkiness, bubbles, traveling through a cloud, etc. – and the players respond with their bodies as they move around the space, keeping in mind an even spread around the floor (stage) . • Have participants do different actions while walking around: o sweep floor o drive a car o count to 100 by 2’s o write a letter o clean the windows o dust with a feather duster In pairs Mirror: Follow the leader – move slowly – without speaking , decide who will lead – switch in the middle – try not to let me see who is leading. The slower you move, the better. Theatre Games ABC improvisation Two actors improvise a given situation, but each sentence must begin with the next letter in the alphabet . A member of audience starts saying ABC silently – letter they stop, actors begin. Situation: 1.complaining about hotel service 2. Parent / teacher meeting 3  An Adventure in Drama: Take One – ETAI 2010 Adele Raemer 
  • 4. Dramatic Dialog (pairs- see dialog) Give them the dialog Read the dialog out regularly angrily happily shyly very quickly in slow motion Third Person Enters the Room Two players are asked to improvise a scene and are given a relationship, conflict, location, and time of day. Meanwhile, a third player waits outside the room. She or he has only been told who they are and what information or fact they will bring into the scene. When the facilitator lets the third player in, the players in the middle of their improvisation will have to adjust. Lead a discussion about how the third player affected the scene. Situation: It is 10:00 a.m. The location: a big fancy office. A is a secretary for a big tycoon and has been given orders not to disturb him. B wants to apply for a job but needs to catch a plane that leaves in an hour and is VERY insistent about getting in to see him NOW. C is the long lost child of the tycoon and has come to find her father and really wants to see him NOW. Telling a Lie Two players face the group: They are children (siblings or best friends). The facilitator asks a question and the two children share the explanation. One starts, then turns to the other, who continues the story and passes it back, etc. The audience can ask questions at any time. The more outlandish the story, the more fun. Situation: “How did the dog get painted red?” 4  An Adventure in Drama: Take One – ETAI 2010 Adele Raemer 
  • 5. Scene in Reverse Two players are asked to improvise a scene and are given a relationship, conflict, location, and time of day. The players must play the scene in reverse – starting with the last line, then the next-to-last line and continuing to the beginning of the story. Situation: A & B are classmates. It is the middle of the morning. A wants to sneak away from class. B helps him/her do it. Machine One participant begins to do a movement that repeats itself it should also include a sound that repeats itself. One by one, the remaining members of the group come up and add on to the machine that's being constructed by the first person. You keep playing until every member has a chance to come up and add on to the machine. And then you will have one big piece. It's a great warm up and exercise, because it gets everybody learning how to work together and it's a lot of fun. 1. real machine 2. imaginary machine 5  An Adventure in Drama: Take One – ETAI 2010 Adele Raemer 
  • 6. Dramatic Dialog A: Good morning sir/ madam. Can I get you your breakfast? B: What is on the menu? A: Whatever you want! B: Lovely- I’ll have a cup of coffee, a chocolate croissant, two scrambled eggs and toast with strawberry jam. A: Well……. we DO have the coffee……… Dramatic Dialog A: Good morning sir/ madam. Can I get you your breakfast? B: What is on the menu? A: Whatever you want! B: Lovely- I’ll have a cup of coffee, a chocolate croissant, two scrambled eggs and toast with strawberry jam. A: Well……. we DO have the coffee……… 6  An Adventure in Drama: Take One – ETAI 2010 Adele Raemer