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    drama ideas
    By ck

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    Good luck! I volunteered to help a kids theater group when my son joined in 6th grade. He's a college sophmore now and I'm still volunteering! I suggest taking it slow at first. Get to know your kids, get to know what their abilities are and what their interests are.
    Our group puts on full stage productions, paying for scripts, etc & we perform at the local high school. Don't jump in planning a big stage production right off the bat. Find out what THEY want to do and learn. To get you started, Your local library and/or bookstore should be able to provide you with some ideal books for play productions or just choral readings.

    Some activities:
    Teach them about using stage voices. Here's a game idea: Give each child a simple phrase, easy to memorize. Example: "Anthony, come here." or "Open the door." Each student then has to say their line in three or four differernt tones of voice to convey different meanings.

    Improvisation: Pretend you have a box of shoes (or use an actual shoe box). Take imaginary shoes out and make a big deal about putting them on (a ballerina will lace up to her knees, a fireman will pull on high boots, etc.). Then, silently, act out the character (dance, put out fires climbing ladders, etc.) Have the other kids guess the character.

    Another improv: Two characters start an animated dialogue. At any point another person calls "CUT" and the two freeze. This new person taps one of the characters on the shoulder (he leaves) and the new guy takes over their exact physical pose and repeating the last line, starts another dialogue with the remainig person. I've seen this work, but the kids were experienced jr high kids.

    Human machine: This is a game where each student "adds on" using their own creaivity. One person starts out as part of a machine...perhaps standing in the middle of the room twirling their right arm going "whoosh, whoosh". Another person "adds on" by making body contact (holding on at waist or grabbing the moving arm)and adding another motion and/or sound to the machine. This continues until everyone is part of the gigantic machine with twirling arms, legs and an assortment of noises. This can get really funny, but watch out for inappropriatte stuff (like I said my kids are older).

    Practice annunciation and diction with tongue twisters. Get faster and faster. Momma made me mash my M n M's. What noise annoys an oyster? A noisy noise annoys an oyster. The big black bug bit the big brown bear and made the big brown bear bleed blood.

    Good Luck and enjoy yourself!

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