No tricks here! Just a Happy April!
It may be April Fool’s Day, but I assure you, there’s nothing hidden up my sleeve. I definitely have another free and fun drama game for you!
Many of you know exactly what it’s like to work with that unpredictable, erratic, crazily-dramatic creature known as “the middle schooler.” They will be immediate geniuses at this game.
APRIL DRAMA GAME: “Emotional Rollercoaster!”
Directions: Have your group sit in one long line of chairs on stage facing the audience. Their job is to act as if they are watching a movie. As the director, you’ll narrate an erratic story that prompts a different emotion every few seconds. The “movie-goers” should respond with the appropriate facial expression and ride the emotional rollercoaster!
Here’s an example of an over-the-top/ridiculous story you can use:
“The movie has begun and everywhere on screen there are chickens. You’re confused. Why are there so many chickens? What in the world are they doing? But the chickens look happy and content, and you really like chickens, so you’re happy, too! But wait. A big, burly farmer has come onto the screen, and he looks awfully mean. You’re suspicious. Oh no! The farmer’s grabbed one of the chickens and is holding it tightly…too tightly. You feel quite angry at this. Why is he trying to hurt a perfectly innocent chicken? And then, the chicken turns into a zombie right before the farmer’s eyes. You’re shocked. A chicken zombie? Whoa. No one saw that coming. Actually, that chicken looks pretty hilarious. You’re laughing pretty hard now! That is until the chicken’s eyes start spinning, and he’s smoking from the beak. Now you’re genuinely frightened. You can see that the chicken has clamped his claws on the farmer’s arm and is pecking madly at his face! Suddenly, you’re worried about the farmer. He looks like he’s in real trouble. But then the farmer manages to free himself from the chicken zombie and escapes. Phew! You’re relieved! Then the chicken returns to normal. Everything looks calm again. But none of the other chickens want to go near him now. The chicken zombie is left all by himself. Now you’re sad for that chicken. He’s lonely. He has no friends. But then a puppy appears and approaches the lonesome chicken and nuzzles it, wanting the chicken to play. The chicken perks up, and your heart melts. All is well. THE END.”
Rules: No one talks during the movie.
Variation #1: Have a few students act out the short movie as you narrate while the rest play the movie audience.
Variation #2: Have your students take turns playing narrator and making up their own emotional rollercoaster stories!
Variation #3: Instead of a verbal story, use various clips of music to inspire different emotions.
This game is excellent for practicing convincing facial expressions and dramatic gestures. Many of my Fairy Tale Comedy Skits end with a particular expression on an actor’s face designed to get a laugh. Taking a ride on the “Emotional Rollercoaster” game will help them practice that non-verbal punchline!
Wishing you all the best on stage…and beyond!
Fun Middle School Plays
P.S. Look for my next free drama game on May 1st right here on my blog!