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"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales
painting by Katie Bergenholtz

Drama Class 3: Introducing Improvisations

Relaxation Exercise

I had them stand, stretch and tighten each part of their bodies, one at a time, with me guiding them and then loosen and shake them out at the end.

Warm-Up Exercise: Mirror Game

I broke the class down into pairs, and had them decide who would be the leader and who would be the follower. The leader was to move his arms, legs and head very slowly and clearly so that the other person can mirror everything the leader does as he is doing it. At some point, I called, "stop" and the class had to guess who was the leader and who was the follower.

Acting Exercises

As If...

I asked some volunteer actors to say the line, "It's raining," but I gave each of them a different context:

  • wants to go on a picnic
  • is a farmer who has been suffering through a drought
  • is running into a room soaking wet
  • is a TV weather forecaster whose prediction was wrong.

Hide an Object

I gave some volunteer actors, one at a time, a box (but it can be just about any object), with the direction to hide it as if...
  • he is setting up a surprise party
  • destroying evidence
  • hiding a brother's annoying toy


Sensory and 5 W's as Improv Preparation

We went over what the sensory and 5 w's were and then we went down the list of the 5 w's and I got ideas from them about two characters and then I asked for two characters to a skit based on these elements.
I told them that we were moving toward them doing improvs from now until the end of the 6-weeks of class and that I would be giving them one or two of the 5 w's or some sort of sensory situation and I would give them time in small groups to come up with a scenario for improv. I then broke them down into groups and gave them the idea to work up characters and an improv for a situation of extreme heat, such as a cook in a hot kitchen in July. I gave them twenty minutes to work out the characters and conflict ideas for them to present next week.


Homework: Noticing

For homework, I asked them to notice this week how sensory input and emotions affect the body; for example fear makes the mouth dry and palms wet, perhaps even pain in the stomach.

2 comments:

  1. This is great, Phyllis! My son Micah does improv in NYC!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This so reminds me of my drama class in high school. I'm reliving lots of fun memories when I read these posts.

    ReplyDelete

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