Theatre Games to Play Online
As we all continue to navigate online learning, I’ve created a list of great games to play online for a theatre class. Over the past few months, I have been teaching numerous classes to all ages. Online classes create a certain level of difficulty and frustration, but they also create some great opportunities.
So, what kinds of games workin this new genre? Let’s take a look at what has worked for me when teaching weekly classes.
I always start each class with a welcome and make sure there is no one new in attendance. One of my classes has rolling attendance, so it’s important to make sure everyone knows who I am and that I know everyone. It’s easy to go around and do brief intros. It’s also a great time to see if anyone has “Good News” to share. Each student/participant gets to share a bit of good news from the prior week.
We also have a group movement to cheer each other on. This could be a high five, spirit fingers, jazz hands, or whatever you might like. After each person shares their news, the rest of the class gives the high five.
Each class also includes a warm up. There are a variety of warm ups you can do.
Kids love tongue twisters. The sillier the better for young students. The older students need more challenging ones. Click Here for my list of tongue twisters.
Another great warm up is to stretch. Playing some fun music makes this warm up more fun.
The goal is to stretch all parts of the body, starting with raising your arms up high above your head and then wiggling fingers, rolling wrists, waving arms.
Next go to your head. Tip head back to look up at the ceiling, then tip the chin into the chest. Next look to the right, then left, then roll your head gently around.
Twist your upper torso back and forth, then forward and back. You can also shake your arms as well.
Roll your hips around in a circle and then shake your behind (little ones especially like this)
Lastly, shake each leg, roll your ankles and wiggle your toes.
You can create a virtual obstacle course by asking each participant to stand where you can see them.
Next you give a series of “obstacles” each person has to navigate through. Some ideas include:
Walk through the peanut butter swamp
Tiptoe around the sleeping troll
Blow a kiss to the adoring crowd
Throw a basket
Skate across the ice
Type in the password on the computer
Catch a fly ball
Crawl under the bridge
Hide from a giant
You get the idea, add as many as you want. I have started with four one week and then added on the next week to see if participants can remember the order. A fun variation is to have the students do the actions backwards for an extra challenge.
Interview with a Stranger
This was one my middle school and high schoolers really enjoyed.
Have three students participate. One is the interviewer, one is the interpreter and one is the interviewee.
The interviewer asks the questions, the interviewee answers in a made up language. The interpreter then interprets what the interviewee has said. Students should be encouraged to use large hand motions lots of expression.
You can set up different situations for the interview:
A new planet has been discovered and the interviewee is the scientist who discovered it
The interviewee is an award winning actor, talking about their next big part
A famous cook describes how to make their award winning chocolate cake.
The interviewee is explaining how to build a campfire.
You can tell the class the scenario or you can not. If you don’t tell the rest of the students the scenario, they will have to guess what is going on.
Today I Am
In this game, students are given various emotions that they might be feeling today and encouraged to do the most exaggerated facial expression for each one. For example:
Today I am happy…
Today I am excited…
Today I am exhausted….
Today I am angry…
Today I am sad…..
Today I am scared….
Today I am shy….
Today I am disappointed….
Today I am overjoyed….
Don’t ever underestimate the old standard, Charades. You can provide different scenarios for participants to act out. Some examples:
Playing a guitar
Petting a dog
Reading/ turning pages of a book
Do a magic trick
Ringing the doorbell
Putting up an umbrella
Singing a song
This is one of my favorites for online theatre games. You come up with different types of families and count to three. On three, everyone freezes making themselves look like a member of that family.
For example, you say, we are taking a family portrait of the “Happy Family” and on three, everyone makes their happiest face and freezes for a photo. You can take a real photo or pretend.
Next, you can say, we are now the “Angry Family” and on three everyone looks as angry as they can.
Some other ideas are: the Silly Family, the Disgusted Family, the Shy Family, the Magical Family and so on.
I love this because the Zoom squares make a really fun photo. If everyone gets right up to the camera, the faces will be super cute.
These are some of my favorite games to play with my kiddos online. What are some of yours? Comment below and let’s share some ideas!