Five Simple Drama Warm-Up Games

Drama warm-up games serve to get your sutdents ready for the work of drama class. They help to focus the brain, as well as warm up the body and voice. Here are five great games to get your class of to a great start.

The Rain Game
This is a great game to begin with, to bring your students together and get them to focus.

Have your students sit together in a circle. The teacher begins to rub the palms of his hands together, making a swishing sound. The students should join in. Once all the students are mimicking this action, the teacher then begins snapping his fingers, in the rhythm of rain falling, with the students joining in. Next, the teacher begins slapping his hands on his lap, imitating the sound of louder rain. The "rainstorm" reaches its peak as the teacher then begins stomping his feet, while the students follow. Next, the teacher winds the storm down again, with the students following his actions: clapping, snapping, palms rubbing, until the storm is over and everything is quiet.

Word Ball
This word-association game is another great focusing exercise, to get your students to think, listen and pay attention.

Students stand up in a circle. The first student holds an imaginary ball in her hands. She tosses the "ball" to another student in the circle, while saying the first word that comes to mind… for example, "flower." The student who "catches" the ball then says the first word that comes to mind, for example, "garden." The students continue, tossing the ball and making word associations. The interesting thing about this game is that if allowed to continue, it often will come full circle.

What Are You Doing?
This one can end up getting quite silly! It's great for building energy.

The students stand in a circle. The first student begins by miming an action or activity, such as playing golf. The student to his right asks, "What are you doing?" and the first student replies with something random, such as "I'm shaving." The second student must then adopt that action (in this case, shaving) while the third student asks, "What are you doing?" and then that student answers with something random, such as, "Dancing the hula." The game continues until you get back around to the first student.

The Mirror Game
This staple of drama classes is often overlooked in favor of newer games, but for your new drama students, this classic acting game can be fresh and fun.

Divide your class into pairs. Choose one person in each pair to lead; the other will follow. Students sit facing each other, and the leader begins large, slow movements that the follower will imitate, as if the leader is their own reflection in a mirror. After a minute or two, switch.

Music Box
This game can be a fun addition to your vocal warmups, as well as a way to focus your students.

Students sit or stand in a circle, heads down, eyes closed. One person begins by making a repetitive sound, such as "dum, dum, dum, dum." The student continues making the sound, as students chime in at random, adding their own sounds, humming, vocalizing, whistling, etc. until the room is filled with sound. When the music box reaches its peak, the first person winds down and stops, with the rest of the students following, until it is silent once again.

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