Have you run out of creative ideas on what to do besides taking your team out for an evening or a weekend of excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages? Try adding a few drama games and activities to spice up the event!  Whether you’re a manager, facilitator, educator or team leader, drama games are a fantastic tool. Build team spirit and at the same time lay the groundwork for your team to communicate and work more effectively together through drama games.

Hon Chong, Artistic Director of Funnylicious Improv Theater, shares his list of 5 all-time favorite drama games. I’ve used them in my previous workshops and training seminars with great results.  Use them as icebreakers, warm ups or energizers to help people to relax and break down social barriers.

These 5 simple, fun and non-intimidating drama games can be adapted for virtually any setting, group size and event.  They are also carefully selected to suit people who are new to drama and also for introverts.  These drama games are really useful for encouraging team members to develop mutual respect, openness and understanding.  Furthermore, you don’t need to be an experienced actor or drama teacher to facilitate these activities.  

When facilitated properly, these activities can become a significant, enjoyable and memorable experience for participants.

1. Game: Random Chairs

Minimum number of participants: 7

Resources needed: Clear space and enough number of chairs for all participants

Instructions: This energetic game gets the group to work together as a team. Tell all players to take a chair and place it somewhere in the room.  Make sure that the chairs are well spread out from one end of the room to the other.  Now tell the players to sit on their chair. Make sure you put one extra empty chair somewhere in the room.  Now, you tell your players that you want to sit on that empty chair and they must stop you from sitting on it by sitting there before you get to the chair.   However, as soon as another chair is empty, you can also sit on that one so someone else has to stop you from sitting there and so it goes until you get a chair to sit on and someone is left standing.  That person is then “It”.  The “It” person is only allowed to walk slowly to get to the empty chair.  The game continues until most players have had the chance to be “It”. At the beginning, players will lose their chair quite quickly, however allow them to have a team talk to find out the way to play the game more effectively.

Rules:  The “It” person must not run.  This is a non-contact sport, so no pushing and shoving.   Once someone get up from their chair they must move to a different chair to sit on.  

2. Game: Any One Who…

Minimum number of participants: 6

Resources needed: Clear space and enough number of chairs for all participants

Instructions: This game is great for getting people to work as a group. Set up a circle of chairs for everyone except you.  Stand in the middle of the circle and invite the group to sit on the chairs.  Explain that the main goal of the game is to get a chair to sit on.  The way to achieve that aim is by saying a statement that is true for you, and also true for most players in the group.  So for example, if you have brown eyes, you can say “anyone who has brown eyes please change seat”. If that statement is true for anyone in the group, they must get up out of their chair and quickly move to a different chair. The game continues with the person left without a chair and he or she must then say something true for them and so the game goes on.

Rules: Do not pull or push someone out of their chair.  Players are not allowed to get out of their chair and return to the same chair. They also can’t sit on the chair next to them. As a facilitator, it is important for you to start the game by giving the players a good example of a statement that most people would need to get up and move to a new chair such as “anyone who wears underwear please change seat”.

3. Game: Keepy Uppy

Minimum number of participants: 4

Resources needed: Clear space and a ball (soft football or volleyball is best)

Instructions: For this game you will need a ball. Any type of ball will work and I’ve played this game with a small children’s ball, balloon and squishy ball.  Invite everyone to stand in a circle. The idea of this game is for the group to keep the ball in the air. You can use any part of your body to tap the ball up, but you can’t tap it more than once.  For example, if you tap the ball up, a different person must tap it after you before you can tap it up again.  See how many taps the group can get before the ball hits the floor or someone double taps. After the first round, ask them group to guess how many times they think they can tap the ball, and aim to achieve the target.

Rules: Do not double tap.

4. Game: The 10-Second Machines

Minimum number of participants: 7

Resources needed: Clear space

Instructions: This game is designed to help players work together and develop physical cooperation. Divide the players into groups of 3 or 4. You as the facilitator calls out a machine and the group has 10 seconds to make the object, using their bodies.  Each player in the group has to be part of the machine. To make it more interesting, you can ask the group to provide sound effects.  

Examples of machines: Dishwasher, television, radio, fridge, car, plane, ship, photocopier, computer, telephone, lawnmower, etc.

Rules: For a more advanced version, tell the group that they are not allowed to speak or discuss.  They can only work together to create the machine in 10-seconds through nonverbal communication.   

5. Game: Touch and Tell

Minimum number of participants: 5

Resources needed: Clear space

Instructions:  This is a great exercise for heightening sensory awareness and developing trust. Divide the group into pairs. Ask the pairs to decide who will be A and who will be B.  Partner A closes his/her eyes at all times.  A must place their hand out in front of them and Partner B must place their hand on top of A’s hand.  There is no need for any holding of hands.  It is up to B to stay in contact with A’s hand.  Explain that B must keep A safe at all times.  The game should be played in silence. Partner B guides A slowly around the environment and find 5 different surfaces for A to touch.  B takes A’s hand and gently brushes his/her fingertips against each object/ surface.  B then leads A back to the starting position. At the end, A opens his/her eyes and has to guess where and what the surfaces were. The roles are then swap where A can lead B.

Rules: As the facilitator, you must keep an eye on all pairs and be ready to say stop if someone is in danger.  Blindfold is not recommended.  Players should feel safe and in control of when they close and open their eyes.  This exercise should build trust and not fear and anxiety. A discussion can be followed about what you need to trust someone.

Nothing builds relationship and trust like laughter and fun.  At Funnylicious Improv Theater, their trainers are experienced in leading fun and immersive drama based games and activities.  With their flexibility and positive attitude, they can create an event for all types of organization and group of any size.

Check out their website funnylicious.eu or email them at info@funnylicious.eu

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