As fun as writing a script and rehearsal can be, some of our campers’ favorite parts of the week were playing improv games! Each week, we taught campers how to play some classic improv games to help them hone their acting skills. While we usually think about improv when we think about shows like Whose Line Is It Anyway or as a type of comedic theater. However, improv skills can also help actors learn how to think quickly, listen to their scene partners, and recover when a scene doesn’t go the way it’s supposed to.
One special favorite game is Gibberish Expert. In this game, a “world renowned expert” on an obscure topic gives a seminar for the class, but they don’t speak any English! Luckily, a member of the class is able to translate. This is one of the silliest games we play, as obviously the student translating can use body language and intonation to try and convey the message of the expert- or at least try their best! It’s always fun to see what kind of gibberish each student chooses to use.
Another crowd pleaser is the classic game Freeze, or Freeze Tag. This one is tons of fun with our Theatrical Teens groups and is great for encouraging students to use their bodies to tell stories and to commit to some big movements. Two teens take a wild pose to start the game, then have to create a scene using pantomime based on their poses. Once the scene has time to develop, another member of the class will yell Freeze! This student will hop onstage where the two players have frozen in place and switch places with one of them. Then they’ll have to start an entirely new scene based on the poses the previous scene ended with. It’s definitely entertaining to see how students can use their imaginations and the silly situations their characters can get into!
Although the summer is winding down, we’ll continue to use these games and others to help our students find their most confident and creative selves during our fall classes. Registration is now open for our after school classes across Northern Virginia and Maryland so make sure you sign up today to get a spot.