Subscribe to my mailing list and receive a free copy of Aesop’s Fables on Stage
If you would like to sign up to our mailing list and receive a free copy of Aesop’s Fables on Stage, click here.
Main objective of workshop: Mime encourages confidence and awareness of self and of others. It encourages physical control, simplicity of thought and movement and more importantly it stimulates the imagination.
- To introduce relaxation exercises and understand their role in a drama class.
- To promote group work and co-operation.
Be a star: Lie sown on your back and spread your arms, palms up to the side and open your legs. Stretch the limbs all together. Feel you are making a four pointed star. Suddenly the star collapses. Feel the tension disappear.
Be Hercules: In the same position, imagine that the body is being pushed down by a heavy weight so that all parts of the body are being pressed into the ground suddenly the weight is removed. Feel yourself float on the ground.
Shake off the ants: In the same position, imagine you are tied to the ground but you can wiggle. A colony of ants finds and begins to crawl over you. Commence to wiggle the body until the last ant leaves you. Then collapse.
Be a rubber puppet: Imagine you are made of rubber and there are strings attached to your shoulders which someone can pull from above. You are being pulled up and you find your limbs fly out in all directions. Even the feet can be pulled off the ground at times, finally the strings are cut and the body relaxes.
What’s in the Box: All the students sit in a large circle. The teacher asks them to imagine there is a magic box in the centre of the circle. The teacher can ask what size is it? What colour is it? Ask can everyone see it. This is a fun mime game. Everyone sits in a circle. Ask the children if they can see the box in the centre of the circle. Ask them what colour it is? What shape it is? Tell them it can be a different shape and colour, depending on where you are sitting in the circle. This is because it is a magic box. The teacher goes into the centre of the circle first and mimes opening the box and taking out an object. She then mimes holding the object and the class must guess what it is. When the children guess correctly the teacher mimes putting it back in the box and closing it. The child who guessed correctly takes a turn at taking an object out of the box.
Pass the object: This is a follow on from the Magic Box game. The teacher mimes taking an object out of the box, for example a mouse, a rotten egg, a cream cake, chewing gum, lipstick or a puppy, and the children guess what it is. When they have guessed she passes the object around the circle. The children should react as if they were holding the actual object in their hands. Eventually the last child in the circle gets rid of the object and the teacher goes to the box and takes out a new.
Locomotion: Get the students consider the ways that people walk. The teacher gets the children to walk around the room. Then call out different ways of walking
Walk like a …..
• child in high heels
• child wearing heavy wellington boots
• child splashing in a puddles
• child stuck in mud
• child walking on stony beach
• child walking on hot sand
• someone walking on fire
• someone walking wearily
• an old frail person.
Chain Mime: Divide the class into 2 or 3 groups. Have at least 6 in each group. Number the students from one to six. Get each member of the group to leave the room except for number one. The other groups stay in the room. You then give number one an action to mime. You then call number 2 into the room and number one mimes to number 2. They do not talk. Number 2 can not say anything and she has to do mime exactly what she saw to number 3, then number 3 comes into the room and watches number 2 very carefully. Number 3 does the mime for number four and so on. When number 6 comes into the room she has to guess what the original mime was. This is like broken telephone but it is done through mime. Here are some suggestions for mimes:
• Riding a horse
• Washing dishes
• Eating hot food
• Counting money
• Telling someone you love them
• Eating spaghetti
• Playing tug of war
• Washing your dog
• Ballet dancing
• Moon walk
• Playing basketball
• Singing opera
• Walking in the desert
• Playing tennis
• Making pancakes
• Opening a present that you do not like
The other groups watch how the mime changes with each person. This is a fun game and helps with observation skills.
Basic Situation: Divide the class into small groups and they must use body language and facial expression to 5 ways of showing that their are
The class gets into pairs. Each pair stands back to back. When the teacher calls out go they must turn around and pass their partner if
• They were strangers
• They were a casual acquaintance
• Meeting some one they haven’t seen for 10 years
• Meeting someone that owes them money.
Group Mime: Divide the class into groups and give each group one of the following outlines for a group mime. Allow the class 10 to15 minutes to prepare
- Audience arrive for outdoor concert
- Band enters with different instruments
- Audience is very enthusiastic, claps, jumps up and down and waves hands in the air.
- One person faints
- Security arrives and removes him and her
- No one takes any notice
- Band plays on
- Girl gets up on the stage and tries to touch members of the group
- Security removes them
- It starts to rain and after awhile everyone goes away disappointed
- Passengers board the plane
- Welcomed by the air hostess
- The plane takes off
- One hijacker takes over the plane and an other one holds up the passengers
- One passenger faints
- This distracts the hijacker for a second
- Pilot overcomes him
- Airhostess holds him and the handcuff are put on him
- Pilot overcomes the second hijacker and handcuffs him to hijacker 1
- All the passengers have a strong drink and cheer the pilot as he brings the plane to land.
The Bank Robbery
- Cashiers arrive bored and yawning they open up their desks and talk to each other
- People come in and walk up to the cashiers and put in and withdraw money
- Suddenly two robbers come in wearing masks
- They make everyone lie on the floor and they hold up the bank clerks and make them hand over the money
- Little old lady trips up robber and he falls and spills the money
- Security guard then holds up robbers and takes off their masks.
Other ideas/themes for group mimes: Camping, The Circus, Christmas morning, The big mistake.
Starting to use mime in a Drama session;
Start beginner groups on occupational mimes and later move to emotional mimes. Mime starts within and is then portrayed by the body. Never forget that through mime is that art of movement it is also the art of stillness.
Occupational Mimes: lift a bucket, box, brush. Place the same objects on a shelf or table, place them, carefully on top of each other. Use scissors, shears, pickaxes, fishing rod. Use activities such as sewing buttons, cooking, putting on clothes, painting, cleaning windows.
Character Mimes: Portray different types of character, the young girl, the old woman, the rich lady, beggar, clown. Watch people around you.
Emotional Mimes: These are the hardest to portray. Feel, understand, convey happiness at receiving a gift. Sadness at hearing bad news, shock, horror, love etc..,
More mime games
What’s the Chair?
Place a chair in the centre of the circle and particiapnts take turns to mime what they imagine it to be:, for example: a post box, a kitchen sink, a dog, a naughty schoolboy, a new car.
The person who guesses correctly takes their place in the middle.
• in a circle, walking on the spot
• leader makes a gesture, in time, that the everyone else imitates
• continue for 8 beats or so, then shout the name of a particiapnt and they must change or add to the action
• this can continue until the group have warmed up
What’s my job?
All sit in a circle. Give everyone an occupation (e.g. policeman, astronaut, postman, teacher). Use each occupation twice, and make sure the occupations are kept secret.
Students use the space to mime their own occupation. Their task is to spot the person with the same occupation as them. When they have done this they should approach their partner, and without speaking, check that they are both miming the same job.
They should sit down in their pair when they think they have found them.
The game continues until everybody is sitting down. The teacher should check they are all correct at the end of the game!