Hey all, Liam here! As part of my mini-takeover of the PYT Blog, it’s time to start sharing some of my favorite theatre games! First off, we’ve got a game you’ll want to stick right at the start of a workshop.
This is a great one for a new group, especially if you’re working with them for a few sessions. The more they do it, the easier it gets, and the more they bond as a group!
The group walks around the room, without interacting with each other. Then, the facilitator gets them to make eye contact, give a little smile and a nod, and eventually, leading into a handshake while greeting the shake-ee with a ‘Good morning’!
Now here’s where it gets interesting: at a certain point, the facilitator tells the group that they always need to be holding hands with one person. So you shake one person’s hand, say good morning to them, but can’t let go until you’ve got someone else’s hand!
Eventually it just becomes a big tangle of arms. Then the facilitator has the group freeze, and asks them if they can untangle this knot and come into a circle without letting go of their hands.
The first impulse a group is probably going to have, especially a new group, is to talk it out. Don’t let that happen; it’ll shut things down big time!
One possible solution: the facilitator delegate a few people to ‘lead’ the untangling at a time. This could be volunteers ,or you can pick out people! This is also a good opportunity to notice who’s a natural leader and who’s more quiet.
The facilitator should ask the group to notice who needs the most help, as in who’s in an uncomfortable position and needs to be helped out first!
They may not get it in the first session (don’t give them longer than 10 minutes, especially if you have other stuff you wanna get to!). But in the second, or the third, when they come into a full circle, the sense of relief and achievement is absolutely electric!
Give it a try if you can!
Drama Facilitation Intern
Liam is an American-born, Dublin-based Theatremaker and Drama Facilitator. He holds a B.A. in Drama from the D.I.T. Conservatory of Music and Drama, and a First Class Honours Certificate in Directing for Theatre from N.U.I. Maynooth. He has worked with adults with learning difficulties, young people on the autism spectrum, as well as with youth theatres and schools in Ireland, France and Belgium. As an actor, previous credits include REDPILL, which was nominated for the Outstanding Performance Award at Prague Fringe 2017, as well as the Emerald Isle Theatre Company’s 2015-6 tour (Belgium + France). Directing credits include ‘The Shape of Things’, ‘Beyond Therapy’, ‘Picnic on the Battlefield’ and the Irish Premiere of ‘In Arabia We’d All Be Kings’ for Some Yank’s Theatre Company. He is currently completing his training in Youth Theatre Ireland’s Artstrain Drama Facilitation Programme.