Hey, Party People! Happy March!
It’s time for me to share another fun drama game with you! This is a great one for teaching stage positioning and comes with the added bonus of burning off some extra energy with your drama group. Dance it out, I say!
MARCH DRAMA GAME: “Dance Party!”
Directions: Have your entire drama group stand together on stage. Call out “Dance Party!” and play a happy, highly-danceable song. Encourage everyone to shimmy, boogie, and sway inside the stage space, staying aware of the other dancers around them. Their challenge is to keep moving and grooving while making sure everyone in the group is always visible to the audience. This will take a little teamwork and a lot of body awareness.
As the director, you’ll choose a moment to call out “3, 2, 1…Freeze!” and stop the music. That is the cue for everyone on stage to freeze as if a picture was just taken. While your group is holding their frozen state, you’ll check to see if anyone is being blocked by anyone else…or hiding in a dark corner. Reposition them if necessary. Repeat. Play the game until everyone gets a sense of how to freeze without being blocked or blocking anyone else.
This is one of those magical games that feels rather silly and simple, but it really does help young performers become more aware of their position on stage. They will actually begin to feel awkward standing right in front of someone or right behind someone else, and they’ll reposition themselves almost unconsciously. I’ve seen this instinct kick in with my own middle school actors, and I give “Dance Party!” all the credit!
Rules: Everyone dances! (And does so in a safe manner, of course.)
Variation #1: Call out a type of shoe that the group should pretend to be dancing in: cowboy boots, ballet slippers, roller skates, high heels, heavy boots, uncomfortable shoes, etc..
Variation #2: Try a different type of music with each turn.
Variation #3: Attempt a silent dance party without music—as if the music was going to be dubbed in later.
This game is a perfect exercise for large casts…especially if they’re performing on a small stage! My Cowgirl Cookie Plays have a reputation of squeezing a large number of kids into a fairly small space with everyone still magically visible. It takes practice, to be sure!
I’m sure you’ll have success playing a peppy, popular song of the moment. But if you’re at a complete loss as to what to put on the sound system, I have one word for you. Disco.
Wishing you all the best on stage…and beyond!
Fun Middle School Plays
P.S. Another free drama game dropping in on April 1st!