Here are the top 5 acting games & exercises for character development, confidence building, emotional expression and improv for drama class lessons.
Monologue Blogger has hundreds of free acting games and drama exercises you can use for your drama class. At the end of this article we share additional links for even more acting games.
Top 5 Acting Games for Drama Students
Acting games are a significant way to enhance the acting chops of your students. It’s a wonderful way to open your students up to their imagination and to familiarize themselves with a creative way of working.
There are times when a director or casting agent will want to do an exercise with an actor. This can be in the audition room or in rehearsal. It will be an advantage to your student if they have the built in awareness and confidence of taking on an exercise.
Host of The Party
This game is a lot of fun because one actor hosts a party and is focused on introducing people. The host of the party will introduce one person to another person but in doing so they provide ‘character descriptions’ of the person as they are being introduced.
For example: “Hi Emily, this is Robert, Robert comes from the Bronx and he has a terrible limp and hunched back with a slur, he has a German accent and a high pitched voice. Robert this is Emily, she is mute and her tongue hangs out of her mouth, she likes to clap her hands and shrug profusely.”
Now the two actors must engage in conversation while the host of the party introduces two more actors.
This continues until everyone at the party has been introduced and is engaged with one another in conversation.
Objective: This acting game focuses on improvisation, spontaneity, listening and characterization.
For this acting game, a group of actors are playing hikers in the woods but everything that comes out of their mouths is entirely negative. You can change the scene up to being a group of photography tourists, friends at a party, friends at the beach and on.
Objective: This is valuable for communication, ensemble building, internal/external actions and emotions.
Act Without Words
The drama teacher needs to bring in a recording of mixed music. The actors stand on the stage and when the music is played they must interact based on what the music encourages them to do. The idea is to have the actors interact and express physically and without using any words.
Objective: Great for ensemble building, movement and improvisation.
Take one actor out into the hallway and assign them a Hiring Manager role. It will be their job to interview an applicant for a position within the company. The Hiring Manager will be told what job the applicant is coming in for but the applicant has no clue what the job they are interviewing for will be.
Rotate your actors, having them take turns as the Hiring Manager or applicant. It is also a good idea to let all your actors in the classroom know what job the applicant is going on but be sure the applicant does not know until after the exercise.
The applicant is eager to get the job and must do their best to get hired, even though they have no idea what the job actually is.
Objective: This is good for character objective, improvisation and playing on circumstances truthfully.
Tag Team Monologue
This acting game is pretty cool. Have an actor start improvising a monologue. Give them a character profession such as mechanic, doctor, plumber, secretary, hair stylist, car salesman ect. The idea is to have the actor make up a story related to their job.
At some point, the next actor comes on stage and taps the first actor out and assume their story narrative and characteristics that the first actor invented.
This continues until reaching your finally actor but the challenge is to arrive at the end of the monologue on the final actor in order for the exercise to be successful.
Objective: Great for character work and storytelling. Improvisation is strong for this exercise as well.