Middle School Musical Theater Games: A Fun Way to Develop Cooperation and Creativity

Musical Theater Games For Middle School

Musical theater offers children an opportunity to experience life from a new perspective. They can tackle huge social issues in a fun and engaging way.

In this energizing drama game, students form a conga line and each person in the line takes on the character walk of the actor in front of them. When the teacher calls “Freeze!”, new players replace the previous actors to start a scene.

1. What Are You Doing?

Unless your students are putting on a one-person show, they’ll need to work together to create an effective production. Energizing theater games can help them develop the cooperation skills they’ll need onstage and off.

Pass The Applause is an energizing theater game that helps participants build confidence by physically expressing their emotions. The leader starts the clapping and the group members follow in sequence. The leader then “takes a photo” of them in their frozen tableau.

Alphabet Improv (for inhibition and working memory) is a fun way for students to practice improvising. They must inhibit their impulses to create a line of dialogue that follows alphabetically.

2. Objects in Motion

Unlike the one-person shows that many students assume theatre is, most productions require teamwork and cooperation. This is why drama games and improvisations are so important — they help kids practice working together in a group while boosting their creative abilities.

Encourage kids to use their body language and movements to communicate with other players in this expressive acting challenge. The caller chooses a word and players must interpret it by doing a sound, pose or movement that reflects its meaning.

Two people in the middle of a circle begin a scene; anyone in the audience can call “freeze.” The person who yelled freezes the actors and takes their exact position while changing the storyline. This continues until everyone has had a turn. Then, the actors can start over again.

3. Hitchhikers

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is a series of comic science fiction novels by British author Douglas Adams. They mock modern society with a mixture of humour and cynicism. The novel centres on the hapless Earthling Arthur Dent, an unwitting hitchhiker in a universe of alien travel writers, an unhappy robot, and hyper-intelligent mice. Other notable characters are the two-headed galactic president Slartibartfast, the fungus moth Erechthias beeblebroxi, and the astrophysicist Trillian.

To play this drama game, have students form a circle and grab hands with their partners. The teacher then calls, “Action!” and the students act out a scene together. If the teacher yells, “Freeze!” the scene stops and they each assume the other’s position on stage. The new actor then starts a new scene.

4. Portraits

The ability to observe the small details of people and their movements is a necessary skill for actors. Playing a quick game of portraits with your students can help them develop this observational skill. The teacher chooses two students to start a scene, and then calls “freeze.” The actors must freeze in their positions until the teacher selects a new volunteer who taps one of the actors on the shoulder and takes their place in the scene.

This drama game is a fun way to build group teamwork and focus. Divide students into groups of three or four, and assign a letter to each person in the group. Then, call out the letter and topic that each student will portray as an expert in front of the class.

5. Body Objects

Encourage students to use their bodies to create and tell a captivating story with this theater game that also supports the development of working collaboratively. It’s sort of like a non-musical version of Musical Chairs – with a twist! Students stand in a circle, but the student in the middle calls out an object or characteristic and anyone who has that specific attribute moves to another seat in the circle.

Then, the teacher goes to the center and calls out something that could go with the original object or place/event. Then those who can think of that connection clump together to show the group and then the other students jump in to form their shape. This continues until the remaining students are left alone and “die” a comic-like stage death for added fun!

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