The following are the outline of three solo mimes.
A magician enters , bows and then takes off his cape and hat – he puts them to one side.
He slowly and carefully takes off his gloves, – throws the gloves up in the air – they change into a bunch of flowers – he smells them, shows them to the audience and then hands them to his assistant.
He pulls a long handkerchief from his breast pocket – he shows this handkerchief both sides, bunches it up and then produces a dove from it. He strokes the dove – lets it fly away and then it lands on his hand again. He gives the dove to his assistant.
At the back of the stage there is a large box. The magician walks back to it and then pushes it forwards. He swings it round, opens the front door and then gestures to his lady assistant who gets into the box, and closes the door.
The magician produces a sharp word-he brandishes the sword and then sticks it through the box. More and more swords are put through the box – perhaps he saws the box in half as well.
He pulls the sword out – opens the door. The lady walks out and the magician takes his bow. (Or the lady could collapse down to the floor – the magician shrugs and goes off).
The Driving Lesson
(There are two chairs to represent the two front seats in the car)
A lady gets into the car for her first driving lesson.
She gets into the passenger seat by mistake.
After some maneuvering she climbs in to the driving seat.
She tests all the controls – when she sees the rear view mirror she checks her appearance and starts to tidy her hair – then remembers the driving lesson.
She tries to get hold of the gear lever, but gets hold of the instructor’s knee by mistake.
She gets embarrassed. At last the car starts but it goes backwards.
Suddenly it stops. It starts again but this time it jerks forwards.
It begins to start speeding.
The lady takes her hand from the steering wheel to shield her yes.
The car crashes.
The lady opens her eyes. She is unhurt – so she gets out of the car, dusts herself down and walks off cheerfully as if nothing happened.
You carry a heavy parcel.
You take a large sheet of brown paper and wrap it around the parcel.
You try to keep the paper the parcel as you reach for a roll of sticky tape.
You get your sticky tape stuck to your fingers and your clothes,
As soon as pull it off one part gets stuck to another part – it gets stuck everywhere but on your parcel.
You get more and more stuck up until finally your knees are stuck, and your arms are stuck, every part of you is stuck and you hobble off.
(This is a mime play with a storyteller, the mime actions are in italics).
This is the story of Cu Chulainn and how he got his name and became one of Ireland’s most famous warriors. Cullen was a blacksmith to the high king of Ireland. His job was to make swords of flashing steel that could cut the thickest of trees and bronze shields that would protect the king from the wrath of the fieriest dragon in Ireland.
Cullen the blacksmith walks to the centre of the stage. He has got helpers. They make a still image of a blacksmith’s forge. Then, they mime making the swords. They hand them to each other. They brandish them. They cut down trees to see if the sword is sharp enough and they present if to the king who is sitting on his throne.
The high king was pleased with Cullen and one day he held a royal feast in his honour and invited all the noble warriors in Ireland to the feast.
The King leads the procession of warriors. Servants bring in seats. They sit and the servants carry in great plates of food and bottles of wine.
As night fell, Cullen left his mighty black hound to guard the king’s palace. The hound was very fierce with ugly red eyes and huge teeth.
One of the children takes the part of the hound. The High King,, Warriors and Cullen stretch out and go to sleep. The hound stands in front of them and guards them.
The King had forgotten that a boy called Setanta was playing hurley on the field outside. No one had warned him about the dreadful hound.
Setanta approaches the palace. He is happy and swing his hurling stick. He sees the hound. The hound attacks Setanta. The battle continues in slow motion as the storyteller speaks. The king, warriors and lords wake up and watch the fight.
There was a mighty fight between them. Setanta eventually kills the hound by ramming his hurley down the hound’s throat.
The hound dies.
The king, Cullen and all the noble warriors rush out when they hear the combat. The king hugs Setanta as he is delighted that the boy is safe.
The king comes forward and praises Setanata. Cullen stands over the dead hound. The King and warriors go to him.
Cullen however was sad and grieved at the loss of his great guard hound. He wondered who will guard his workshop. Who will guard all the bronze and gold in the workshop that’s needed to make the swords and shields.
Setanta lifts his hand and gestures that he will take the place of the hound. He could take the mask from the hound and change this into a helmet which he lifts high and then places on his head.
“I will guard your forge from now on and I will take the place of your hound” said Setanta. So he did – and guarded the forge of Cullen, the blacksmith. He was known by his new name Cu Chulainn – the hound of Cullen. He became the highest and greatest of Irelands’s ancient warriors.There are many more exciting stories about Cu Chulainn and the heroes of Ireland. Make up your own mime plays from these stories.
Resources needed: Clear space, triangle and pictures of different types of instruments (optional).
Introduction: Tell the children they are going to participate in a movement story about a magical music shop. Show them pictures of different type of instruments. Discuss different kind of musical instrument families.
Brass instruments are made of brass or another metal and they make sound when air is blown into them. The instruments in the brass family include trumpet, trombone, tuba, French horn, cornet, and bugle.
Percussion instruments usually make sound when they are hit or shaken. The instruments in the percussion family include drums, cymbals, triangle, tambourine, chimes, bells, and xylophone.
String instruments are made with strings. The strings may be struck, plucked or bowed. The instruments in this family include violin, viola, cello, bass.
Woodwind instruments make sound when air is blown inside or across them and vibrates. Woodwind instruments include flute, clarinet, recorder, bassoon, and oboe.
Ask the children what their favourite instrument is? If they could be an instrument what would it be? Why did they choose it? What sound does their chosen instrument make? If their instrument could move how would it move? What kind of musical family does their chosen instrument belong to? Make sure everyone has a chance to explain their choice. Before the story starts get one of the children to volunteer to be the music shop owner. The teacher is the narrator. The rest of the children are their chosen instruments.
Narrator: Once upon a time there was a very special music shop. The music shop was special because all the instruments that lived in the shop were magic. (The children all freeze in the shape of their instrument.) The music shop owner loved his instruments very much. He treated them with tender loving care. (The owner goes around the shop. He polishes and dusts all the instruments.) Every night the owner would close the shop and go upstairs to bed. (The shop owner goes off to bed and lies on the floor and falls asleep. He snores loudly.) What the owner didn’t know was when the clock struck midnight the instruments would come alive. (Narrator tinkles the triangle.) The magic instruments would come down from their shelves and out from the window display. (The instruments start to move slowly out of their positions.) They would all play together. (The instruments start playing their music and moving around interacting with one another.) The instruments were so happy when they were with their friends. They had so much fun and nobody knew about their magic powers. Every morning when the instruments heard the music shop owner’s footsteps (the owner makes loud stomping noises with his feet) they would quickly run back to their places on the shelves or in the window display. (The instruments go back to their original positions and freeze.) Every morning the music shop owner would walk around the shop inspecting his instruments and every morning he would rub his head and say, “That’s funny. I thought I had put the violin on that shelf, or didn’t I leave the drum on the window.” But the music shop owner never suspected a thing and every night when he went to bed and the clock struck midnight the instruments would play to their hearts content. (The instruments come out and play.) Every morning the music shop owner would come and they would quickly move back to their places. (The instruments move quickly back to their positions.)(The narrator can say this section as many times as he wants.)
After a while the music shop owner knew something was not quite right. So one morning he tiptoed into the shop and he found the instruments all playing together. (The owner tiptoes very quietly into the shop.) He heard the most beautiful
Drama is a great way of expressing emotions. Explain to the children everything we do and every thought we have comes with a feeling. Sometimes the feelings feel good and sometimes not so good. Some feelings are strong, some are weak. When we feel something we can choos want to do about that feeling. Sometimes we try to ignore it and it goes away and sometime it takes over and we cannot think of anything else. When you get a feeling, first work out what it is and come up with an idea about what to do about it.
When you are feeling…….
Everyone makes mask with different emotions. Walk around the trying portray their emotions.
The rest of the class has to get what emotion you are portraying.
ACTIVITY: EMOTION ACTION SONG.
The song is a variation on the classic “If You Are Happy, And You Know It.”
When I sing this, I over exaggerate my faces. And I encourage the children to make the faces along with the body language. So often we focus emotion lessons only on faces, but children’s bodies tell us how they are feeling too.
If you are happy, and you know it clap your hands
If you are happy, and you know it clap your hands
If you are happy, and you know it, then your face will surely show it
If you are happy, and you know it, clap your hands.
Now replace happy with different emotions:
Mad – cross your arms.
Frustrated – stomp your feet.
Excited – jump up and down.
Sad – make a frown
Scared – hide your face.
Pair the children up. One child makes an emotion face and their partner identifies the emotion and duplicates it.
For more drama activities for children visit my amazon page.
Game: Object relay
Age: 5 years +
Minimum number of participants: 4
Resources: Clear space, a ball and a variety of objects (optional).
Instructions: Children stand in a line. If there are lots of children in the class you make more than one line. Each line has a ball. The ball must be passed down the circle. The teacher calls out the instruction of how the ball should be passed down the line. Once the ball gets to the end of line it has to be passed back.
Pass the ball overhead.
Pass the ball between your legs.
Pass the ball without using your hands.
Pass the ball by just using your chest.
Pass the ball by just using your head.
If a team drops the ball then they have to go back to the beginning.
Extension: You could have a box of different objects that they must be passed down the line. Each line should have the same objects. The line that gets all the objects down safely are the winners.
Game: Bean Bag balance
Age: 4 years +
Minimum number of participants: 2
Resources: Clear space, bean bags for each member of the class.
Instructions: Have the children put a bean bag on their heads and they walk slowly around the room. Once they feel comfortable the children can walk faster and faster. They can see if they can run with the bean bag on their heads. Once they have master balancing the beanbags on their head then they can see if they can balance the bean bag on other parts of their bodies.
Suggested Body Parts:
Again they start off slowly and then they get faster and faster. The child can balance on the most body parts and move the fastest is the winner.
Game: Pick up the bean bag
Age: 3 years +
Minimum number of participants: 2
Resources: Clear space and a variety of bean bags.
Instructions: The teacher gets a variety of bean bags and spread them across the space. The children have 10 seconds to see how many beanbags they can collect.
Game: Call and Response
Age: 4 years +
Minimum number of participants: 2
Resources: Clear space
Other Benefits: Creativity, focus, listening.
Instructions: Everyone sits in a circle. The teacher starts the activity by making a simple clapping rhythm. The rest of the circle repeats the rhythm. The child who is sitting next to the teacher takes a turn at making a simple clapping rhythm and the rest of the group copies it. When the group has got comfortable with the call and response technique the game can become a little more complicated. Each child must add on to the clapping rhythm that has gone before them. The child who is last in the round must remember everybody else clapping rhythm before they do their own.
Extension: Older children can stand in a circle and use different parts of their bodies to make the rhythms. For example they could use body percussion, stomping or tap dancing.
Game: Action Charades
Age: 4 years+
Minimum number of participants: 4
Resources: Clear space and a list of verbs.
Other Benefits: Critical thinking, creativity.
Instructions: If there is a large number of children divide them into groups of 4 or 5. Give each group a verb such as cleaning, cooking and swimming. One child will mime the verb to their group. The group members have a minute or two to guess the verb. . To reduce noise, have one group participate at a time, while the other group members watch.
Suggestions of Verbs:
Game: Balloon Keepy Ups
Age: 4 years +
Minimum number of participants: 2
Resources: Clear space, balloons.
Other Benefits: Coordination, imagination, spatial awareness.
Instructions: Divide the group into smaller groups of six to eight, hand each group a balloon, and ask them to form a circle holding hands. The teacher tells them that, on her/his cue, they are to put the balloon in the air between them and to keep it up using the body part the teacher calls (e.g., knees) without letting go of hands. They are to continue until the teacher calls out a different body part.
Suggestion of different body parts that can be used:
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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.
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!