Theatre Games & Exercises

Theatre games & exercise are an important part of our workshops and rehearsal because they play an important role to warm up our bodies, waking up our sense and also to heighten our focus.

It’s also a great tool in getting a group to work together on the same level of energy and this is important in collaborative work.

Below are one the few games we constantly use in our sessions. If you have other games and exercise to share with us, please do so!

Pass the Clap
Suitable for all ages
Players: 5 – 20

This is an ideal introductory exercise for warm-up and ice-breaking session. It is a simple game that enhances focus in the human senses (seeing, listening and reacting).

  • Get the group to form a circle.
  • Person A will pass a clap towards the direction of either side (begin with one side first) towards person B, who will then pass on the clap to person C, and so on until the circle completes several times.
  • After the group is used to the passing the clap, players could now pass on either side of the circle, changing the direction.
  • Another variation is to pass the clap across.
  • The key to this game is to keep the flow continuous without any gap in between and that players clearly indicate the direction their clap with their body.

Variation: Assign a specific sound for each direction i.e. “Zip!” (right), “Zap” (left) & “Zoop!” (across). You could also modify the clap into a physical movement i.e. pass the kung-fu move around the circle where each player could choose any sound & movement, as long as it’s a kung-fu action!)

Name & Move
Suitable for youth & adults
Players: 5 – 15

Usually played with a new group and it is a good exercise for body warm-up as well as to learn each other’s names.

  • Gather the group in a circle.
  • Each person will say their name and come up with an action to go with their name.
  • Once they have decided on their name & action, person A will start by taking a step into the circle and say their name & action – immediately after, everyone else in the circle will step in the circle and repeat person A’s name & action out loud.
  • Repeat the same instruction until everyone has their turn.
  • Practice this several times so that everyone’s name & action has been memorised.
  • Next, players will have to ‘pass’ their name & action to anyone they choose in the circle and this continues on.
  • How to pass the name & action: First say your own name & do your own action, followed by the name & action of the person you want to pass it to.
  • Keep going until someone forgets or gets confused with the name & action, and start again!

Anyone Who
Suitable for all ages
Players: 5 – 30

A great exercise to play with a big group without making anyone feeling excluded by the numbers. It is also an ideal game for a group to get to know each other.

  • Each player will sit on a chair formed in a circle. (Note: Make sure the number of chairs is one less than the group size i.e. if there are 20 players, only 19 chairs will be needed.)
  • Pick a volunteer to stand in the middle of the circle.
  • This person will then say a fact or a statement that is true about himself/herself. This could be a physical thing or it could be their hobby, likes and dislikes i.e. “I’m wearing a t-shirt”, or “I like eating ice-cream” or “I dislike waiting”.
  • For the rest of the players sitting on the chair, if the person in the middle says something that they share, they will have to get up from their chair and find another chair as quickly as possible.
  • The person in the middle will also find a chair.
  • The last person who didn’t get a chair will now be the person in the middle.
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