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MICHA: The Future of Theater

Sharing and Playing Games

Cara Rawlings - 7 July 2014

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Cara Rawlings
Playing/Sharing Games to Create a Sense of Play in Rehearsal or the Classroom
Sunday 10:30-12:00PM in the Arbor

Participants: Gianluca/ Rena/Cara/Mara/Gina

Rena offers:

(As preparation for exercise, you may want to do the David Zinder work of moving through the room changing directions, expanding/contracting the space, etc.)

1) Actors stand in two lines facing each other (staggered) with a good amount of space between the lines of people:
A B C D E

K
J

F G H I

2) Actors focus on a space between the people in the opposite line.
3) Send your Imag. Body into the space until you are compelled to move forward.
4) Do this several times.
5) Then repeat steps 2 & 3 walking backward.
6) Then all close eyes. Repeat walking forward then backward.
7) Then add two people walking through the middle space perpendicular to the two lines. Each walking in opposite directions. (J and K both cross the space moving through center to get to the other side) All begin moving at the same time. Forward and Backward. Then repeat with eyes closed.


Cara offers: “Groucho & Harpo” (Marx Bros.)

1) All move through the space doing Groucho walk (In plié, reach heels out in front of you as you walk. Let non-dominant hand swing in opposition. See Marx Bros. films!) holding an imaginary cigar saying “Hello Sweetheart” to each other.
2) Someone shouts “Harpo!”
3) All rush to find a partner. One partner throws his/her leg into the other partner’s arms, and one arm across the back of the partner’s shoulders, looks the partner in the eye and says “Honk, Honk!” as he/she honks an imaginary horn with the other hand (see Harpo fall in love with women in the films!).
4) There should always be an odd man out so teacher might have to play as well.
5) The odd man out does a Harpo Hop. Hops up and down on one leg as he/she turns in a circle saying “Honk,Honk, Honk…”
6) Then odd man calls “Groucho!”
7) Go back to step 1

Everyone discussed this and wanted to add the other Marx Bros. or do it based on the Three Stooges, or even Commedia characters as variations.


Gianluca offers:

1) In a circle.
2) 1 Person calls a name in the group.
3) Named person crosses the space to touch another person on the shoulder.
4) Person who is touched says another name in the group.
5) Named person crosses the space to touch another person on the shoulder.
6) And so on…
7) Variation: Person saying name may look at someone and say someone else’s name making everyone really listen. Or person saying name may look away from person he/she is naming.


Gianluca offers: “YES”

1) In a circle.
2) Partner A points to someone in the circle (Partner B)
3) B nods and A crosses to take B’s spot.
4) B Points to someone else (Partner C)
5) C nods and B crosses circle to take C’s spot.
6) And so on…

Important Notes:
- The gesture of the point must be filled with the desire to move toward the other person.
- The person receiving the point must say “YES” through a clear, definite NON-VERBAL gesture BEFORE the pointer is allowed to move.
- Game becomes quick so that the space is available for the pointer to fill before he/she gets to it.


Gianluca offers: “Balancing the Plateau” (Lecoq exercise)

1) Imagine the working space floor is a horizontal plane balanced on a single point in the center. Players are standing on the perimeter of the plane in readiness.
2) First person steps in and moves to the center.
3) Then person 1 moves to another space. Someone from the perimeter moves in at the right time and tempo to balance the plane.
4) Both actors make eye contact.
5) Second person who entered moves first. Other person responds.
6) A third person may enter…. And so on. (it is very complex to describe)


Cara offers: “Red Light, Green Light”

1) Play by regular rules. See internet or personal childhood experience for details.
2) After a round or two, people are encouraged to find new ways to achieve their objectives. People often use the architecture of the room or form alliances.
3) Everyone must play the loss when they are sent back to the beginning.
4) The winner of each round must celebrate his/her win.


Cara offers: “Shouting Ninjas”

1) All stand ready in a circle.
2) Person A puts palms together above his/her own head
3) Person A steps forward and w/ cutting action (as if cutting vertically with a katana) and throws energy to another person (B) in the circle with the verbalization “HI-YA!”
4) Person B receives (catches) energy (cut) by stepping back, raising hands above his/her head in the same gesture (palms together, arms extended as if arms and hands are the katana) and shouting, “HI-YA!”
5) People on either side of Person B shout “HI-YA!“ and “cut” B by sending (palm to palm) hands toward B’s center, stopping the gesture a couple of inches from B’s stomach.
6) Person B shifts weight forward as he/she throws to someone else.

Notes:
- Rhythm should be a quick ¾.
- You can make the game an elimination game and raise the stakes. (Cara does)
- If someone falters/hesitates/doesn’t commit, the teacher (ref) call’s “Out”
- That person then goes to the center of the circle, sits down, and begins an action (beating the floor, waving arms, whatever.)
- As people join the person in the center, they begin a follow-the-leader game, mirroring the person that initiates the movement. The initiator changes every time someone is “out” following the order in which they are out.
- As the group in the center grows, the teacher moves those people to the outside of the circle to continue a traveling follow-the-leader around the circle.
- When the number of players is 5 or 6, those on the outside are encouraged to choose their champion and stand behind that person (teacher ensures everyone has fans who cheer).
- The crowd begins cheering and the Ninjas begin the game. When someone is out, all must celebrate the win or the loss.
- Two people will ultimately win the game.
- Gianluca suggests losing happily on a scale of 1 to 4. Teacher can help people lose happily by using number values.

Gina offers: “BUH”

1) All begin in a circle
2) Person A sends energy and a vocal “BUH” to someone (B)
3) Person B may send the “BUH” in the same direction or send it back or across the circle.
4) The person who has received the energy may throw it to the center saying “SCHLOP!”
5) Anyone may take the energy from the middle saying “ZORT!” and then send it on with a “BUH”

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