Getting and Giving

Getting and Giving

To begin this exercise make sure the participants have a specific space that they can walk freely in.  That is define the boundaries of their space.  If there are lots of participants, divide the group into smaller groups of about 8-10.

Have participants walk the space freely.  Call out “Freeze” and “Unfreeze” to get participants used to getting still.  After several times, call out “Freeze” and explain that you will unfreeze one participant at a time to walk the space.  Unfreeze one person and let them walk around for a few moments before re-freezing them and unfreezing another participant.  Make sure everyone has the chance to walk the space alone with others frozen.

When the final person has been re-frozen, explain that they, not you, will give the signal to move.  They will do this without speaking or touching.  Only one person may move at a time.  Let them do this until everyone has moved once.

In reverence, talk about what it was like giving and taking movement.  How did it feel to give someone movement and know they were taking yours?  Was it hard to give away?  Was it worth it?

Adapted from:

McKnight, Katherine S., and Mary Scruggs. The Second City Guide to Improv in the Classroom: Using Improvisation to Teach Skills and Boost Learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2008. Print.

 

Great for the themes of: Generosity, Liberation, Freedom, and Hospitality.

Wisdom Mirror

Wisdom Mirror

To begin this exercise break the group up into pairs.  Give the pairs a topic of conversation that you have decided on.  One person in the pair begins to talk about the topic that you have given.  They are the initiator.  The other person in the pair, the follower, mirrors the words that the first partner exactly out loud.  Their goal is to speak the words that the initiator is saying exactly.  After a short time the sidecoach will say “Change” and the follower will now start to be the initator, picking up where the two just left off.  The first speaker will now become the follower and begin to mirror the words of the new initator.  The goal is to have no break in the flow of the conversation.  For example:

Sidecoach:  Ok the topic is meditation.  First speaker begin!

1st Speaker (initiator): Meditation is something that you can do anytime and anywhere…

2nd Speaker (follower): mirroring speech simultaneously Meditation is something that you can do anytime and anywhere…

After a period of time

Sidecoach: Change!  Try not to stop the flow.

Change the initiator and follower several more times throughout the conversation.

In reverence, talk about what it was like sharing the conversation.  Was it hard to keep the flow?  Did it get easier as you went along?  Did you begin to know what the other person was going to say?  Did you share some wisdom or learn something new?

Adapted from:

Spolin, Viola. Theater Games for the Classroom: A Teacher’s Handbook. Evanston, IL: Northwestern UP, 1986. Print.

 

Great for the themes of: The Sources, Wisdom.  This could work with any theme if you provide it as the topic of conversation.

Kitty Wants a Corner

Kitty Wants a Corner

This is a standard acting exercise.  Begin by getting participants in a circle or surrounding the space.  One person will be in the middle and go up to people in the circle to say “Kitty wants a Corner.” To which the person in the circle will say “Ask my neighbor.”  The Kitty then moves to the next person and says the same phrase.  The people in the circle’s goal is to switch places with someone in the circle while the Kitty is asking for a corner.  The Kitty’s goal is to take the place of someone that is switching.  The person that is left in the middle if the Kitty gets their spot is the new Kitty.

In reverence, talk about how this relates to hospitality.  Have you ever sent someone to a “neighbor” instead of helping them yourself?  How did it feel to be the one asking for help?

Adapted from:

Spolin, Viola. Theater Games for the Classroom: A Teacher’s Handbook. Evanston, IL: Northwestern UP, 1986. Print.

 

Great for the themes of: Hospitality, Common Ground, Salvation, Community, Covenant, and Compassion.

Also a great Warm up.

One Part in a Whole

One Part in a Whole

In this exercise participants will work as whole to do a group activity.  To begin separate participants into groups of 5 to 10.  Participants choose one person to be the leader.  The leader will secretly choose a group activity and begin doing an activity that relates.  As the participants realize what the activity they join in doing a part of it.  For example, if the activity is building a house, the leader starts by miming cutting wood.  The next player hammers nails, the next puts up a door, etc. Tell participants to focus more on the movement and not using dialogue.

In reverence, talk about what it was like working as a whole.  How was it like the covenant in class?  Did everyone think it was the same activity?

Adapted from:

Spolin, Viola. Theater Games for the Classroom: A Teacher’s Handbook. Evanston, IL: Northwestern UP, 1986. Print.

 

Great for the themes of: Covenant, common ground, vocation, community, Hospitality.

Writing For Three

Writing For Three

For this exercise you will need a piece of paper for each group.  The paper should be divided into three columns with a number 1, 2 or 3 and a word or subject at the top of each column.  Begin by dividing participants in to groups of three.  Then you can explain how the game will work.  The participants will sit in a circle and will always pass the paper to their right.  You can either say “pass” or “switch.”  Practice passing the paper so participants get in the habit of just passing to the right.  Now explain that after you tell them to pass, you will say a number of one of the columns.  When they hear the number they should start writing about the word or topic immediately.  Between the three people, they will all write about the topics.  For example:

Writing for 3

Sidecoach: Ok first person ready.  Two!  Write!  (Wait 45 seconds or so) Ok Switch next person!  One! Write! (Wait 45 seconds or so) Ok Switch next person!  Three!  Write! 

You should continue around at least twice and randomly say the numbers.  At the end you should have paper filled with three different people’s writing on the three subjects.  Have the groups read together what they wrote.

In reverence, talk about what it was like writing in a community.  Did they just write their own or did they try to read and add to what was there?  Was one person’s idea of the topic the same or different?

Adapted from:

Spolin, Viola. Theater Games for the Classroom: A Teacher’s Handbook. Evanston, IL: Northwestern UP, 1986. Print.

 

Great for the themes of: Community, scripture, grace, the sources, learning and growth, common ground.  This would be a good exercise for any of the themes.  Just change the topics to fit that theme.