Physical Theatre Exercises
Count on me – Friendship and Trust (Music – Count on Me, Bruno Mars)
Listen to music
Pick someone to be the main focus/perhaps someone who said they were feeling sad earlier.
Put some movement to the music so that each person/or people if you wish to work in groups, tries to find a way to cheer the main person up.
Emotions and physical actions
I person takes centre stage. The others choose an emotion. Without words put that emotion into action i.e., by the way you stand, walk, place your hands, etc. What do the others observe?
This activity provides a useful technique for generating physical and aural ideas around a theme. Explain that the group is going to create a “machine” out of themselves. Name a topic and give the participants a few moments to think of a repeating sound and action linked to that theme. For example, if the theme was “shopping” a participant could mime taking money out of a purse to give to a shopkeeper, whilst saying “I’ll have two of those, please.”
As soon as someone has an idea, ask them to step into the centre of a circle to begin their repeating sound and movement. Ask if somebody else can think of a suitable way to add in their own idea. Gradually, more and more people join in the activity. Some may be linked to existing parts of the “machine”, whilst others may be separate. To continue the example above, someone could join the action by becoming the shopkeeper and saying “Shall I wrap them for you?”, whilst somebody else could be a cleaner in the shopping mall.
You may find that everybody wants to join in the activity, although be careful not to let it go on for too long or get too unwieldy. Once it is set up, the machine can be frozen, then played back at twice or half the “normal” speed. Themes could include: a football match, a meal in a restaurant, folk tales, Halloween. You could have a machine that actually makes something, like chocolate biscuits, school dinners or weather conditions.
Creating a space
Read the following passage to the group twice. When they are ready then can individually start to create their own physical movements which go with the story. Split into two groups and watch eachother.
THIS IS MY LAND
I CLIMB UP THE HILL
AND REACH OUT TO THE SEA
I TAKE A BRICK, THEN ANOTHER
AND ANOTHER, AND ANOTHER
THE BRICKS BECOME A WALL, 4 WALLS
THE WALLS BECOME A HOUSE
THERE ARE OTHER HOUSES
FILLED WITH LIFE AND LAUGHTER
THIS IS OUR COMMUNITY