Does your child enjoy the spotlight? Have her round up the family or a group of her friends and orchestrate a game of freeze theater! This entertaining activity provides great practice for kids who aspire to be theater actors, clowns, or stand-up comedians. This improvisational, confidence-boosting game will challenge your child's ability to enter scenes smoothly and create continuing action.
What You Do:
- Explain the concept of improvisational theater to the children. It is a type of acting that involves spontaneous action and dialogue. Tell them that the fundamental goal of freeze theater is to maintain the action, even if it seems silly. Remind them that freeze theater is not charades, so they can make noise and improvise lines during the scenes.
- Select a volunteer to begin acting out a daily life action suggested by someone else. Simple actions, such as washing the car, brushing your teeth, waking up in the morning, or doing homework work well. She can also try more inventive actions, such as blowing out candles on a birthday cake, running through the sprinklers, or pushing a shopping cart with a bad wheel around a grocery store.
- As the actor engages in the suggested action, the other participants watch the performance. At one point, an audience member will shout, "freeze!" The actor freezes in the current position. Either prompt the frozen actor for a line relevant to her current position, or have the child who shouted "freeze" join the scene and direct the current pose to a new activity.
- The two actors continue until someone else yells, "freeze" and then taps one of the frozen actors on the shoulder. The actor will leave the scene as the person who froze the action joins it, assuming the same position. The new actor must provide a line or a new direction for the scene.
If you have a larger group, create a finale by having actors join the scene one by one until everyone is participating. Direct the final scene to culminate with a frenzy of action, such as a disco dance contest, an Olympic race, or clowns piling into a clown car.
Serena Makofsky has a multiple subjects teaching credential with an emphasis in cross-cultural instruction. She taught in inner city classrooms for many years. She also writes curriculum for English language learners.