My students love improv.
They don't at first. It scares them, and they shuffle around nervously and giggle. I introduce them to the game of Freeze. At first they stick to things they are comfortable with, like animals or young children. A lot of games involve running around in circles. The older kids take the lead. They're proud of their scenes and try hard to impress the newbies. They create hilarity and help the younger students feel more comfortable.
It doesn't take long for the new students to loosen up and get creative. They let their imaginations run free. It also creates lasting friendships as the students work together to create scenes.
I use Freeze at almost every rehearsal. It's a great warm-up to help them get creative and energized before rehearsing the script. It also works well at the end of a really hard rehearsal to give the kids a chance to let loose and blow off steam. There are days when I feel like we don't have enough time to rehearse and cut out the other improv games. I always keep Freeze. They just love it.
How To Play:
The students form a line across the back of the stage.
The first two students step forward and start to improv a scene. Make sure that you establish any rules/guidelines at this time. Example: No freezing a scene until it has gone on for 30 seconds.
The next student in line yells, "Freeze!", and the actors freeze in whatever position they are in.
The "freezer" chooses a student to replace and takes their position.
The chosen student goes to the end of the line.
The new pair of actors start a brand new scene.
Em is a writer, theatre director, and hiker. She likes mixing horror with magical realism and adding sci-fi twist.