Shape Shape

Drama Ideas

  • Drama is a brilliant and effective way for School Councils to looking at and discuss issues that affect you, your school, your community and the wider world.
  • But I can’t act! You don’t have to be a wonderful actor to take part in these exercises. It is to help you find out what issues are important to you and to come up with some possible solutions that can be put into practice.
  • It’s a fun way to try out ideas, discuss and debate. You can also show the short sketches you create to your friends

Warm up games

‘General Election’

With thanks to the Cultural Co-operations

  • All players sit in a circle facing one person stood in the centre.The aim for this individual is to talk their way out of the centre of the circle.The person stood in the centre asks the participants a question e.g ‘Does anyone have brown hair?’ – Those who do have brown hair must change places. There is always one chair short and so the group is left again with one person standing.
  • This person must again talk themselves out of the circle e.g ‘Does anyone watch Eastenders?’
  • After about 5 questions ask the people in the middle to develop questions which express belief e.g ‘Anyone who believes in affordable housing’ ‘Anyone who believes in equal rights’….
  • This is the ultimate aim of the game. If a player can’t think of a question or wants to promote a total change they can call for a ‘General Election’. Now all players must change places at the same time

The Line

With thanks to the Theatre Royal Stratford East

  • Imagine there’s a line dividing the room in two. Divide the players into two equal groups facing each other and choose a ‘caller’ who will ask question with a positive and negative answer.
    e.g The caller asks: Who believes in ‘More Learning’ or ‘Less Learning’?Those who believe in more learning go to the right side of the room, those who believe in less to the left.
    e.g The caller asks: Who believes in ‘ More school clubs’ or ‘Less school clubs’?
  • And the players divide to the half of the room they agree with.
  • This game is a great way of looking at our individual and group differences in belief and opinions. By taking turns as the caller you also get the chance to raise issues important to you. Try to develop the confidence to stick to your belief even if you seem to be the only one on your side of the room.

3 more warm up ideas

With thanks to the Theatre Royal Stratford East

  • Something should be done about….
    Split into pairs. Each pair has 2 minutes to find 5 basic details about the other e.g name, where they live, which year they’re in at school, a favourite pastime and one issue they think something should be done about.
    Each player then presents his/her partner to the rest of the group.Lobbying
    In pairs –
    Person a) is a young person who wants to raise an important issue.
    Person b) is a very busy member of staff late for a meeting.The aim is for person a) to get their issue heard by trying out a number of strategies and finding out which ones have proved successful.
  • The Meeting
    The young person is now granted a 2 minute meeting to discuss their issue with the member of staff. What are the most effective strategies for getting yourself heard in a short meeting?

Image Theatre

Originated by Angusto Boal

  • In image theatre small groups create still ‘photographs’ of real situations that a member or members of the group have experienced.
  • Let each person in the group have a turn at being the ‘sculptor’. Their role is to think of a situation that illustrates an issue important to them. An example could be smoking in the playground, police harassment, bullying etc…
  • Next they mould each person into a character in their scene.
  • They can do this by demonstrating the pose and asking the person to copy.
  • When the picture is complete the sculptor asks the frozen characters to come to life one at a time and each one to speak their thoughts out loud. These are called ‘thought tracks’.
  • Once everyone has said their thought track the whole group comes to life to perform a short sketch.
  • You can follow each discussion of the image by asking members of the group to sculpt a ‘possible solution’ to the situation.

Forum Theatre

Originated by Angusto Boal

  • By bringing your frozen photographs to life you are already on the way to creating Forum Theatre. What you need to do now is develop a short sketch from your still image.
    You don’t have to make the acting incredible, just make sure the sketch is clear, actors can be seen and heard and that it is true to life. You can also develop a short sketch to show a ‘possible solution’. Next the sketch is performed to an audience. Your audience could be a group of teachers, the rest of the school council.
  • The audience are asked by the ‘joker’ if they agree with what they have seen. Do they think the situation could be avoided? Are there any moments when the characters could have acted differently and helped resolve conflict?
  • The ‘joker’ then tells the audience that the sketch will be performed again except this time if anyone in the audience wants to suggest a different action or change to the script to bring about a better solution they must shout ‘STOP!’
  • They can then exchange places with the ‘actor’ and try out their idea themselves.