Aim: To provide the opportunity for the group to develop their acting skills. Taken from the BB Company Section Discoverer Pro Pack, Skills, Creativity D2
Pictures of people
• Video Camera
• ‘Strictly Dragon Factor — Final Script’ template
• ‘Strictly Dragon Factor — Outline Script’ template
Activity 1 - Drama Starters
Aim: To get the group relaxed and aware of their acting talents.
Select some of the following starters to get the group thinking about drama:
Give a pair one of the following scenarios. The actors should improvise their characters and play out the scene.
1. A teacher tells a young person that she is going to fail maths. The young person tries to convince the teacher that she will improve, and asks them not to put a U on their report.
2. A mother and son are shopping for school clothes. The mother does not think her child’s attire is appropriate.
3. One friend tries to convince another that they have seen a UFO
4. A young child is at the doctors to get an injection. The child is very frightened and the doctor has to use various tactics to give the injection. The mother is very nervous.
5. A young person has to write an essay on (pick an historical character), but does not want to have to read a lot. They try to get a salesperson in a bookstore to tell them about the person without reading the books.
6. Two people are at an amusement park. One wants to ride the newest roller coaster in the park, but the other one is terrified. They try to convince the other not to ride without letting on that they are scared.
7. Babysitter tries to get a child to go to bed. The child will not fall asleep, because they are afraid of a monster.
One participant sits on a bench. The setting is a park, and the person on the bench has no character until the second participant enters. The second participant has decided who they are, and who the person sitting on the park bench is. For example, the person entering could decide, “The person on the bench is a famous author, and lam a great fan of their work.” In this situation, The actor would recognise The person on the bench, react to seeing their favourite author in person, ask for an autograph, and tell the author about which books she likes best. The actor on the bench, meanwhile, has to adapt to the situation, developing their own character bit by bit. The improvisation ends when one actor exits, hopefully after everyone figures out whom they are.
• Participants spread themselves out in the room, so that each person has enough space.
• The leader passes out a picture to each participant, explaining, “DO NOT let anyone else see your picture. You have three minutes to look at the person in your picture and become them. Decide what kind of personality he or she has, how old they are, what kind of life they lead, etc. Try to create a “story” for This person, as well as a voice, mannerisms, attitude. All of your characters will attend a party at the end of The three minutes.”
• The participants should not talk to one another before the three minutes are up. At the end of the Three minutes, the participants hand in their pictures.
• As soon as they hand in the picture, they transform into their character. The leader should explain that they need to talk to the other characters, as if they are at a party. The participants should attempt to talk to everyone else, and try to remember things about the other characters. The party lasts five minutes.
• At the end of this time, the leader asks everyone to discard their characters and become themselves. The leader then shows the participants The pictures that were used, and asks the group to identify whose character matches with the picture.
• The group should discuss their reactions to their pictures, and to others’ as well as how everyone developed their character.
Notes: Try to get a good assortment of people — all ages, races, levels of attractiveness, and don’t put any famous faces in the bunch. The more interesting the setting and the appearance of the person, the more there is for the participants to use for inspiration. Remember, there are no wrong answers — but the participants should be able to answer “why” questions about the character and picture.
• In pairs, decide on a topic to argue about in the roles of parent and child (e.g. curfew, allowance),
• Argue for a minute or two, trying to maintain eye contact throughout the debate,
• Partners keep track of the number of times the other breaks eye contact.
• Young people perform a scene and, at a critical point in the action or at the height of a dramatic moment, they are directed to “freeze,” creating a still frame or “frozen picture”.
• After an interval, actors are directed to resume action until the next “freeze” is called. Examples of scenes that lend themselves to the “frozen picture” activity might be a bank robbery, a roller coaster ride, beach volleyball, or a blind date.
• Then get the group to recreate a biblical scene, e.g. Jesus walking on water, Garden of Gethsemane, David and Goliath etc.
• Read out The story and get the group to discuss the different characters and how they might be feeling.
• Then tell the group to form a frozen picture.
NUCLEAR BOMB CHICKEN
• You can do this only once with a new group.
• Tell them they are all chickens in a henhouse, and a nuclear bomb is about to drop on the henhouse within 30 seconds.
• Ask the players to play the chickens as truthfully as possible, then give them the start signal.
• Any chicken that shows acknowledgement of the incoming bomb, fails the exercise. Chickens have no clue what a bomb is.
• The goal of the exercise is to show the difference between the reality of the player and the reality of the character.
Play tag, but in slow motion. This is immensely entertaining if played well; players are not to escape the tagger by making a sudden movement, and the tagger cannot lash out to tag another player. Tell players to breathe, scream and groan in slow motion. You may want to have the players exercise walking in slow motion first, to make sure they are aware of how they (naturally) move, and learn how to stick with that in slow motion.
Activity 2 - Writing a Drama
Aim: To get young people creating their own drama.
• Give the group of young people an outline of The script and get Them to improvise to add detail.
• Write down the lines that they add.
• You might like to use the Strictly Dragon Factor — Outline Script’, which is based on Luke 6:37 and requires films to be recorded and played as part of the drama. However, you could write your own.
• In the first session plan the drama and through improvisation add lines to the script.
• In the second session do a dress rehearsal. In the third session record the drama.
• The drama could then be performed as part of a church service or display.
• Look at the ‘Strictly Dragon Factor — Anal Script’, which is an example that some young people produced.
Tips / Advice: —‘
Use www.dramatix.org for some good scripts if you just want to get the young people to perform a sketch.
Try and get them to pick The topic or even get them to write one from scratch.
For full details see the BB Company Section Discoverer Pro Pack, Skills, Creativity D2