* Spring 2007 : THR221 Intermediate Acting *

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Improv in acting one

Method Acting

From ACTING

2007 -- no time for "Theatre Theatre"...

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Games

...
Improvisation for the Theater: A Handbook of Teaching and Directing Techniques by Viola Spolin; Northwestern University Press, 1963 - Theory and Foundation - I. Creative Experience - Ii. Workshop Procedures - Exercises: The Workshop Sessions in This Section Can Be Used in Progressive Sequence. - Iii. Orientation - Iv. Where - V. Acting with the Whole Body - Vi. Non-Directional Blocking - Vii. Refining Awareness - Viii. Speech, Broadcasting, And Technical Effects - Ix. Developing Material for Situations - X. Rounding-Out Exercises - Xi. Emotion - Xii. Character - Children and the Theater - Xiii. Understanding the Child - Xiv. Fundamentals for the Child Actor - Xv. Workshop for Six-To-Eight-Year-Olds - Formal Theater And Improvisational Theater - Xvi. Preparation - Xvii. Rehearsal and Performance - Xviii. Post-Mortem and Special Problems
Review: Situations & Circumstances.

Exercises: Warmup, Relaxation, Concentration Animals exes.

Mimesis: imitation

Choices.

SUMMARY

HOME WORK

Something to do

1. Have the class count off into two teams. Team one stands in a line facing
the audience (which is team 2).
2. Team two must try to look cool and relaxed. If someone is fidgeting, or
obviously uncomfortable, give him a task (counting white shoes, counting
lights, etc.) until he is looking comfortable.
3. Keep coaching for them to focus on their activity.
4. When they are all looking comfortable, change the teams.
5. Ask how they learned to overcome discomfort or nervousness while in front of
an audience.

Obvious Observing:

1. Break the class into groups of two. Have them stand facing each other and
observing each other.
2. After a short observance time, have the partners turn their backs to each
other and make three changes in personal appearance (change hair, move a ring
to a different finger, unbutton a sleeve, etc.)
3. Let them observe each other again and try to identify the changes.
4. Repeat this process with different partners and different numbers of changes
with more or less observance time.

Feel Your Feelings

1. Instruct the students to sit comfortably wherever they like. As you read the
following words. Instruct them to keep their eyes open, in order to withdraw
into their heads.
2. Feel your feet in your stockings
Feel your stocking on your feet
Feel your feet in your shoes
Feel your stockings on your legs
Feel your legs in your stockings
Feel your slacks or skirt over your legs
Feel your legs in your slacks
Feel your underclothing next your body
Feel your body in your underclothing
Feel your blouse or shirt against your chest and your chest inside your blouse
or shirt!
Feel your ring on your finger
Feel your finger in your ring
Feel the hair on your head and your eyebrows on your forehead
Feel your tongue in your mouth
Feel your ears
Go inside and try to feel the inside of your head with your head
Feel all the space around you
Now let the space feel you

 Explosion Tag
this can be played before a class period or rehearsal as an excellent warm-up.
1. Have the class break into two groups. Set aside a space that is not too
large, where students don't have to run large distances.
2. Team one will begin in the space, the other team will watch. One person will
be chosen as "it" and they will begin to play tag.
3. After a few minutes of tag, add another simple rule. When a student is
tagged they must explode. "Explode" should be the only direction given, let
their creativity decide how. The explosions should be an immediate reaction to
being tagged. However, the game of tag does not discontinue during an
explosion.
4. Trade teams and repeat the process.

 Do You Love Your Neighbor?

1. Have all the students sit in a circle.
2. One person will approach someone in the circle and ask the question "Do you
love your neighbor?"
3. The person can answer in two ways,
a. "No, I don't love my neighbors"
The people sitting on both sides of him now stand up and try to change seats
before the person who is it jumps into one of their chairs. Whoever is left
standing is it and continues the game.
b. "Yes, I love my neighbors, but I don't like people who ____"
He fills in the blank with anything that refers to anyone in the group, like
"who are wearing jeans" or "who have been in a musical". Those people then jump
out of their chairs and must find a new seat. The person left standing
continues the game by asking a person in the group "Do you love your neighbor?"

 Mirrors

1. Have the groups stand in a circle. One person (perhaps the instructor) will
start the game by creating a pose. The person on his/her right will try to
imitate the pose exactly. She will then change poses and the person to her
right will attempt to imitate her exactly. This should continue around the
circle.
2. Make it more fun by having it go both ways around the circle (right and
left).

 Hunter/Hunted

1. Sit the students in a circle. Ask for two volunteers. Place blindfolds on
the two volunteers.
2. One of the blindfolded persons will be the hunter, trying to hit the other
with a rolled up newspaper. The other will be hunted.
3. The hunter and hunted can move around inside the circle. They should try to
be as quiet as possible so as not to be caught or detected.

Free-to-Fall

1. Break the class into groups of 6 or 7 individuals. Have them stand in a
circle around one member of the group. The should close the circle in until
their shoulders are touching.
2. The person in the middle will cross his arms across his chest and close his
eyes. When he's ready he will make his body as stiff as a board and fall
backwards. The other students will catch him and push him to another side of
the circle.
3. After a couple minutes, another person will be in the middle. Each person
should have a turn.

Blind Swing

1. Have the class stand in a large circle. When the students extend their arms,
their finger tips should just be touching.
2. One person will be "it". they will close their eyes, extend their arms, and
run (not jog or quickly walk, but RUN) into the circle. When he reaches
someone, they will take him by arm and swing him around in a circle, and then
throw him back into the circle. he will then keep running until someone else
grabs him.
3. Each person should have a turn to be "it".

The Jungle

1. Have everyone pair off. One person in each pair will be blindfolded.
2. Change some furniture around so to create more of an obstacle course.
3. Have the seeing students come to the front, and the blindfolded will stay in
the room. One pair will be "it". They want to catch everyone else. This happens
by everyone listening to their partner who is telling them where to go. When
someone is caught, he can remove his blindfold and watch the rest of the game.
4. In round two, when the partners change positions, have the seeing partners
allowed to move around the room and tell them where to go. They can whisper or
talk loudly, but they can't touch their blind partner.

Electricity

1. Have the class sit in two lines facing each other. Now, have every other
person turn out and then the each person in the line will hold hands.
2. At one end place a pillow if there is not already carpeting. the instructor
will sit here with a penny. He/she will flip the penny. If the penny lands on
tails, she flips again. When the penny lands heads-up, the lines squeeze the
hand they are holding until it reaches the end. The person on the end then
tries to grab a paper cup or other object before the other team. This is a race
and should be competitive. To win the students must focus.
3. The persons at the front of the lines then moves to the back of the line.

Vocal Warm-up

Person leading: "I Say a BOOM"
cast: "I say a Boom"
leader: "I say a boom - chicka "
cast: "I say a boom-chicka"
Leader: "I say a boom-chicka-boom"
cast: "I say a boom-chicka-boom"
leader: "I say a boom-chicka-rocka-chicka-rocka-chicka-boom"
cast: "I say a boom-chicka-rocka-chicka-rocka-chicka-boom"
leader "Oh yeah"
cast: "Oh yeah"
leader: "One more time"
cast: "One more time"
leader: "In _____ (opera, jive, asian, preacher revival, sign language,
whisper, sexy, valley girl, fast, slow, etc)"
1. The leader leads this with the cast or class. Each time he changes the style
and the class must follow.

A What?

*this is a complicated exercise and therefore complicated to explain
1. Have the students sit in a circle on the floor. The instructor will sit
within the circle and before him will be many small objects.
2. He will pick up an object, a pencil for example, and while passing it to the
person at his right, he will say "This is a pencil" The person will answer, "A
What?" The instructor will answer "A pencil", and again the person will ask "A
what?" and the instructor will again answer "A pencil." The person will answer
"Oh, a pencil." The person than turns to her right and the process continues;
"This is a pencil", "A what?" "A pencil" "A what?" "A pencil""Oh, a pencil!"
3. Practice this once so everyone can follow the pattern. Then start again,
this time continually adding in objects so each person is carrying on two
conversations at once. One person will say to the person on his right, "This is
a pencil", then turning to his left he'll ask "A what?" and continues, passing
on the next object.
4. Try to get the objects clear around the circle.

Two Conversations

1. Break the class up into groups of 3. Have them sit with one person in the
middle and the others on both ends facing the middle.
2. The students on both ends will simultaneously hold conversations with the
person in the middle as though there was no one on the other side of the middle
person. The person in the middle will try to earnestly carry on both
conversation.
3. Rotate players

I'm Going to New York

1. Break the class into two teams. Place them on opposite sides of the room.
Team one decides on an occupation that they will act out for the other team to
guess. Team one then moves toward the other team while saying the following
dialogue:
Team one: We're going to New York
Team two: What's your trade?
Team one: Lemonade
Team two: Give us some, or go away.
2. The students then act out the occupation and the other team two guesses out
loud. When one student guesses what the occupation is team one tries to run
back to their side before being tagged by team two. Everyone who is tagged
returns back to team two's side.
3. You may also act out different things that are being studied or, for younger
ages, animals or other objects.

The Stupid Name Game
*this is great for an ice breaker or for getting names memorized
1. Have students stand in a circle.
2. You will start by stating your name and showing an action or mannerism that
you commonly.
3. The person to the instructor's left will state the instructors name and
mannerism and then add his/her name and then his/her mannerism. This continues
around the circle until the last person can remember every person's name and
mannerism.

 Three Things Theatre

1. Have three students stand at the front of the class and prepare to do an
improvisational skit.
2. Ask certain members of the class to offer different items that must be used
in the skit. For example, ask one students for an item found in a bathroom. Ask
another for a person found on a cruise ship, and another for a place or
setting.
3. Have the performers create a skit where the three items are utilized
successfully.

 Freeze Frame

1. Have three students get up on stage and begin an improvisation, (you may
give them the situation if necessary).
2. When another class mate yells "Freeze!", the players stop in their exact
position. The student then goes up to one of the players, taps him on the
shoulder which dismisses him, and then takes his place.
3. The person who just stepped into the improvisation must now come up with a
new improvisation which the other players will have to work off.
4. If the students need help getting things going, you may want to yell
"Freeze!" the first few times and send a students into the game. This is often
the most fun when you wait until the players are in odd positions.

 Story Noises Off!

1. Have two volunteers come to the front of the room. One will stand facing the
class/audience. The second volunteer will stand behind the other, with his or
her back away from the audience.
2. The class will come up with a title to a story.
3. The person facing the audience must create a story from the given title
while the other volunteer creates sound effects. The sound effects can either
accentuate the story or encourage it.
duel

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