How to Teach Your First Drama Class
Below are several drama name games that can help your students get to know one another. Inside of Drama Notebook there is a whole collection of name games!
Name and Action Game
This is classic theatre game used for name memorization! Have students stand in a circle. One at a time, each student states his name and makes an action that reflects his personality. In unison, the rest of the class repeats the student’s name and action. For a more challenging version, have one person say his name and do an accompanying action. The person to his right then repeats it, and says her name and makes her action. The third person repeats the first two and then adds her own. This continues around the circle. The last person will have to remember all of the names and actions of the entire group!
Circle of Names
Everyone sits in a circle. One Player starts by saying his name and then add, “and I like…” Fill in whatever you want: pizza, hiking, music…Go around the circle clockwise. Each person in turn repeats the name of each person who has gone before and what that person likes. He then adds his own name and what he likes. The last person has the hardest task, but everyone will be asked to help or correct each other’s memories as you go, so it’s a challenge for all. For the younger kids, have them repeat the names of their fellow players as a group. For a larger group, just use the names, don’t add, “and I like…”
Have students stand in a large circle with plenty of room between each person. This may be accomplished by having each person grab the elbows of the person next to them and then dropping their arms. Next, have players to toss a soft ball or small stuffed animal back and forth across the circle in no particular order. After players become accustomed to the flow of the game, introduce a second and possibly third ball into play. Tell students that it is the responsibility of the person throwing the ball to make sure that the receiver catches it. Slow down or speed up the game depending on how well the group is doing.
Group Juggle Name Game
In a circle, players toss a ball back and forth across the circle after calling out the name of the person being thrown to. Coach players to include everyone. Say, “Notice who hasn’t been thrown to in a while. Toss to a different person each time!”
- What helped us achieve our task?
- What stood in the way?
- What happened when I suggested that it was your responsibility to ensure that
- your partner caught the ball?
- How is this like real-life teamwork?
Have the entire group form two lines facing each other. Each side is given a line, such as “Hi, how are you?” And the players on the other side say “Fine, thank you.” The leader calls out a way of greeting such as “Greet each other as if you are old friends.” Next, the players walk toward each other, meet in the middle and deliver their lines ‘in character.’ The point of this game is to show how one line of dialogue can change dramatically given different characters and situations.
Be sure to also check out ‘Open Scenes’ listed alphabetically below in this document for another way to play this game!
Examples of Ways to Greet Each Other:
- Like old enemies
- Like snobs
- Like long lost friends
- Like people in a big hurry, but friendly
- Like rude people in a big hurry
- Like business executives
- Like old people
- Like young children
- Sadly, crying
- As if on a cold day
- As if on a sweltering hot day
- Like they are drunk
- While giggling
- With accents
- Like suspicious spies
- Like robots
- Too much coffee
- Like Martians
- Rock stars
- On the edge of a cliff
- Someone you know a secret about
Players start in a circle and one person is chosen to be the ‘zombie.’ The zombie begins walking another player with his hands out in front of him. If he reaches the person and touches him, he is out. Players can stop the zombie by calling out the name of another person in the circle before the zombie touches them. When another person’s name is called out, the zombie must start moving toward that person. Again, the newly named player will have to call out the name of a different player in the circle. If the zombie touches a victim, or if a player calls out the name of a player who is already out, she becomes the new zombie!
Inside Drama Notebook, there are 15 more fantastic name games, some on video and some ready to print out and play!