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Silent Telephone

25 10 2007

This is one of those goofy games that is bound to get you giggling. It’s always important that actors (be they human or puppet) communicate clearly. But just like the regular “Telephone” game you probably played as a kid, messages can get mixed up as they travel. Heh heh heh. So, have fun and see how well you can get your message across!

Set up. This game works best with groups of four to six, so divide your group if needed. Any extra people will become the audience. All but one player stands with their backs to the audience. This game is done in mime (hence the name) but you could have these players also cover their ears… ya’ know, for effect. With smaller groups, just make sure you rotate who gets to go first.

Action. The first player receives “the script” from the director (see examples below). The player must then communicate all parts of this story to Player 2, without using any words. You might consider limiting the communication time to one minute. Then Player 2 must retell to Player 3 in mime the story as he understood it. Player 3 tells 4, etc., until the story has traveled to the end of your line. Have the last player relay the information to the first player to see if he got it right. Or have the director read the original script. Read the rest of this article »

Props and Scenery

14 10 2007

It’s time for another silly improv game. Try this one with your group of puppeteers to force players to think quickly and work together to make a harmonious whole.

Set up. Gather your group around one person who will be “it” for the first round. Players need to be able to clearly see and respond to what the “it” person does.

Action. “It” gets to choose and play an action that clearly defines where he or she is located. For example, the player could mime primping or brushing her hair. When the action begins, the rest of the players immediately must become the props or set pieces that would be in that kind of environment… in this case it might be a mirror, a sink, a faucet, a toilet, a shower, a bottle of hairspray, etc. Read the rest of this article »

Name That Monster

20 08 2007

itza monsterOK, puppeteers. It’s time to think fast. This game forces players to be spontaneous and creatively random… while working with a partner! Oh, the hilarity.

Set up. Pair up and set the scene by first determining a location. This can be anything… the surface of the moon, an amusement park, a dairy farm at sunrise, etc.

Action. With your partner, you will enter the scene and run into some kind of monster–it’s not really going to be there… just pretend. What kind of monster? That’s completely up to you. Imaginary, realistic, exaggerated, etc. After you see the monster, you need to let the audience know what it is, then run away.

Sound simple? Well, I haven’t told you the most fun part… this whole scene needs to be done with the players only saying one word at a time. You know, like this: Read the rest of this article »

Big Fish, Little Fish

24 04 2007

We love warm-up games that get brains going as well. This little exercise will force players to concentrate on their words, actions, and timing within the group. It’s a really simple game, but it’s certain to be a fun way to get your puppet rehearsals going.

Set up. Gather your group into a circle - - sitting or standing, it doesn’t matter. Instruct your players that they will be passing a simple pattern around the circle. Read the rest of this article »

Group Juggle

28 03 2007

Wanna see if your team is in sync with each other? …working together? This simple group warm-up game illustrates the need for teamwork and stresses the importance of focusing on a particular task no matter what else is happening. Now, grab some bean bags and a bunch of friends and get juggling!

Setup. For this game you’ll need at least 6 people, but the more the merrier–I’ve done this with groups that approached thirty! You’ll also need small, soft beanbags. Grab at least 3 beanbags, but you may want to have more on hand… How many more? That depends on the size of your group. Read the rest of this article »

Surf’s Up

23 02 2007

This exercise is a fun characterization game that takes a bit of concentration and requires silly physical movement. Use this as a fun warm-up to get blood flowing and giggles going. There are other similar games like this out there, but this version is my kooky twist on the standard. Have fun, dudes.

Set up. Spread out across the room, making sure each player has room to move without smacking his neighbor (think aerobics class). This is an elimination game. The last person to complete the required task is out. The game continues until one player is left standing. Read the rest of this article »


12 02 2007

This is a well-known warm-up game that is frequently spotted at youth camps, scout meetings, and drama classes. It’s another one of those group games that helps reinforce the idea that a team has to be connected and alert to what is going on around them in order to make things work.

Set up. Gather your players into a circle and have them hold hands. That’s it. You’re ready to play. Read the rest of this article »


22 01 2007

This week’s improv game is a classic. It’s always fun to see what players come up with when asked to become inanimate objects! Use this exercise as a good physical warm-up as well as an opportunity to challenge players to be aware of each other and perform as a group. Read the rest of this article »

One Duck

11 01 2007

This week’s improv game is a great one for building up those concentration skills. Whether we work with spoken lines, lip synchronization, choreographed moves, or assisting another puppeteer, it is important that we are able to remain focused even when things get silly. Unlike some of the other featured games, this one does not require a large space in which to move around. Gotta love circle games! Read the rest of this article »

No Doubles 1-10

23 12 2006

We love concentration games! This week’s feature is a simple game that forces players to watch each other, listen, and concentrate to avoid a repeat. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it is important that puppeteers (actors) are able to focus attention on lines and choreography and other characters no matter what is going on around them. It is also important to be able to “read” your fellow actors and anticipate their actions. Concentration games help build those necessary skills. Read the rest of this article »

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