Acting Games

Acting Games for classrooms, theatre groups, thespians and professional performers. These games are directed especially for those people who wish to use acting, improv and theatre games for warm ups, ice breakers, or bonding sessions. These are great to use to give the group fun and laughter while developing spontaneous acting skills. We hope you enjoy them.

If you are a teacher please check out the classroom games page which are great games to play for students on a down time or while teaching between subject areas. Do check out the Ice-Breaker Games, which will be great for acting games as well. The adult Games might appeal too.

Clown Girl by Victor Habbick

Photo Victor Habbick from freedigitalphotos.net

Name Game

This is great as an ice-breaker if people don't know each other. Everyone should be standing around in a large circle. The first person will introduce themselves using an adjective and their first name. The second person will introduce the first person using their adjective and first name. They will follow suit by adding an adjective and their first name. Carry on around the circle with everyone saying the name of the previous people and their adjective and first name.

Get random people to have a go at naming their fellow players in the circle.


Name Game Shoot


Everyone in a circle sitting down. People will say their first name loudly in the circle. Go around the circle at least twice so everyone has had a change to hear other people's names and say their own. One person should start the game by pointing to someone they think they know their name. They will say loudly their name while pointing at them. That particular person will then point randomly at someone else and say their name loudly. Once everyone has had a chance at being named by another person and they have named another person the game is over. This game should speed up as it goes along. (If someone has forgotten a name of another, they should say, "Excuse me but what is your name?", they will say it and carry on with the acting game)


Naming Mash

Everyone stands in a circle. The first person begins by saying their name and doing a crazy movement. Everyone should copy their name while doing the movement together. The next person should say their name while doing their movement and again everyone must copy both the name and movement. Carry on until everyone has said their name and done a movement. This is great for bonding sessions and co-operative lessons.


Yes, Let's!!

This is a very good game for beginning acting students to learn how to give to a fellow actor without blocking the action. Everyone should stand in a circle, or they can sit and watch two volunteers begin the game. Two people should stand next to each other and begin a scene to act. One of the actors should make an offer in the scene such as; "Lets go to the supermarket." The other actor should always go with what the other actor offers, and should say"Yes lets!" They should then act going to the Supermarket together. The other actor should then make an offer such as; "Lets sing to the check out worker." The other actor should say; "Yes Let's!!" So they act singing to the check out worker. The object is to make an offer and go with the flow rather than blocking. If they say no I don't want to, they are blocking.

One Word At a Time

Demonstrate the game in pairs for other actors to see. Tell the group that they are going to become one person while doing something in a scene. Both the actors should entwine themselves with their arms to become one person. Actor one should say one word only. The next actor should pick up on what the first actor said and say another word which has to make sense. The object is for the pair to speak in a coherent sentence. If one of them says a word which makes no sense, they start again with a similar scene. Have pairs demonstrate their scene, this can get very funny.


Variation: Have the pairs physically move the scene forward while saying one word at a time.


Tails

Cut out enough strips of materials (to act as a tail) for each player. (Think a ripped up sheet). Each player should place the strip of material in the back of their pants to act like a tail. On the count of go, everyone should aim to gather as many tails as possible from their fellow actors. Once all the tails have been taken by others, count up who has the most. They are the winner. This acting game is great for a great energizer.

Variation: Have the players in groups of four and holding on to each other in a long chain. Place the tail at the back of the last person only. Play the game and see who gets to rip of whose tail. This is hilarious fun and a great acting game.


Stiff Candle

Two people should be the catchers in a large group or one for a smaller group. On the count of go, everyone should run around trying to avoid the catcher. If the catcher tags someone, that person should become stiff and stand with their arms out and their legs apart. If other players want to save them, they can climb in between their legs to release them. While they are through their legs they are safe and cannot be tagged by the catcher. Keep the acting game going, this is crazy fun.

Mirrors

Stand everyone in pairs in two long lines. Get them to turn towards each other to find a mirror partner. Get them to stand together and one should be nominated as the leader. On the word go, the leader should slowly complete fluid movments. The partner should act as the mirror and follow their partners movements as closely as the can. This acting game is good for beginning actors to be in sync with their fellow actors.


101 Drama Games and Activities

This book is great as it has 101 Drama games for the theatre or classroom. These games a really useful for getting communities groups together, can use them as ice breakers, or even team building. Click on the book to find out where to get it.

Theater Games for the Classroom: A Teacher's Handbook

This book is excellent resource to have for classroom teachers and theatre/drama directors and tutors. This book has provided myself with tons of Drama exercises to use on tertiary Performing Arts students (author of this website).

Includes over 130 theater games and exercises, instructional strategies, a lesson planning section, alignment to other curricular areas. Click on the photo to find out where to get it.

Murder

The teacher, tutor or leader should take one person aside without the others knowing and tell them they they are the murderer and should get ready to wink at unsuspecting actors. The teacher should explain that someone is the murderer for this game. Everyone should walk around the room and if they are winked at, they have to count to 5 and die a loud hammy death. This is great to get the inhibitions out of the way. If someone guesses who the murdere is, then they are the winner of this acting game. If they guess the wrong person, then they die. The murderer has to murder four people without dying or they are the winner of the game.

Over Exaggeration

Have three people lined up in seats infront of the rest of the group. Give the three groups a short reaction to exaggerate and act. For instance, they have seen a very good looking girl or guy, a monster is about to eat them, they have won a million dollars. This acting game quickly gets the players out of their comfort zone and provides lots of hilarity.


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