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# ALI BABA by chenboying

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Table of Contents. ALI BABA ......................................................................................................................... 2 ANYTHING FABRIC ...................................................................................................... 3 BLOB (SIMPLE) ............................................................................................................... 4 BLOB (COMPLEX) ........................................................................................................... 5 CATEGORIES .................................................................................................................. 6 EMOTION PARTY .......................................................................................................... 8 IMPROVISATION STARTERS................................................................................... 9 MIME IT DOWN THE ALLEY ................................................................................... 12 NAME GAME #1 ........................................................................................................... 13 NAME GAME #2 .......................................................................................................... 14 OBJECT PERMANENCE .............................................................................................. 15 OPEN SCENES .............................................................................................................. 16 PARK BENCH .................................................................................................................. 17 PEOPLE PICTURES I ................................................................................................... 18 THIS IS A WATCH .................................................................................................... 20 YOU ................................................................................................................................. 23

ALI BABA

ANYTHING FABRIC
Game Type: Warm-up Age Range: 5+ Number of Participants: 5-20 Materials: A piece of fabric, about a yard square, solid color or pattern Explanation: This game stimulates imagination by encouraging multiple answers for the same question. How to Play: Participants stand in a circle. The leader shows the fabric to the participants, saying "What could this piece of fabric be? We’re going to pass it around the circle and each of you will show us something that it could become." The leader demonstrates, turning the fabric into something (for suggestions, see list below) and stating what it is. The fabric is passed from person to person, with each participant sharing an idea. If an idea is repeated, such as "a hat", the leader asks the participant to be more specific (a turban, a bonnet), thereby making the participant come up with their own idea. If the number of participants is small enough, the fabric can travel around the circle twice. A variation on this game is to limit the ideas to a category such as clothing, or things that are the color of the fabric. Notes: Here are some of the answers to the question, although the possibilities are endless.
        

A Superman cape A Diaper A Magic carpet A Flag A Picnic blanket A Dog’s leash A Toga ("One of those things they wore in Greece" was the original description) A Leg cast A Wig

BLOB (SIMPLE)
Game Type: Warm-up Age Range: 7+ Number of Participants: 5-40 Materials: Enough enclosed space to accommodate the number of participants Explanation: The blob tries to assimilate everyone, and everyone tries to avoid assimilation. How to Play: Participants spread out in an enclosed area and the Blob is chosen. At the leader’s signal, the Blob begins trying to tag another participant. When the Blob succeeds in tagging a participant, that person latches on to the Blob, becoming part of the Blob. The Blob continues to try to tag others, and as they get tagged, they also join the Blob. Eventually, everyone is the Blob, and there is no one left to be tagged. Encourage both groups of participants as they try to avoid or assimilate, and remember that the last person to be tagged by the Blob is not the "winner" and the first person to be tagged is not the "loser". The objectives for the Blob and the non-blobs should prevent the participants from thinking of this. The group will probably ask to play again, and because this is a fairly short game, there should be time to repeat the game. The second time, encourage the Blob to work together to find better ways to tag people, and the non-blobs to discover original ways to avoid the Blob. Notes: Make sure that any obstacles that could cause a fall are removed before playing this game.

BLOB (COMPLEX)
Game Type: Warm-up Age Range: 7+ Number of Participants: 5-40 Materials: Enough enclosed space for the participants to play this game. Explanation: The Blob tries to assimilate everyone, and the other participants try to avoid being assimilated, while all are "blind". How to Play: The participants spread out in the enclosed playing area, and they close their eyes/put on blindfolds. Remind the participants that they will have to move slowly and carefully to avoid crashing into anyone. Select a Blob by tapping him on the shoulder, and then signal the participants to begin. At the leader’s signal, the Blob begins trying to tag another participant. When the Blob succeeds in tagging a participant, that person latches on to the Blob, becoming part of the Blob. The Blob continues to try to tag others, and as they get tagged, they also join the Blob. Eventually, everyone is the Blob, and there is no one left to be tagged. Encourage both groups of participants as they try to avoid or assimilate, ask them to use senses other than sight to determine where the Blob is or non-blobs are. The objectives for the Blob and the non-blobs should prevent the participants from thinking of this. The group will probably ask to play again, and because this is a fairly short game, there should be time to repeat the game. The second time, encourage the Blob to work together to find better ways to tag people, and the non-blobs to discover original ways to avoid the Blob. Notes: Make sure that any obstacles that could cause a fall are removed before playing this game. The leader and assistants should monitor the speed and positions of the participants to help avoid any collisions with people or things.

CATEGORIES
Game Type: Warm-up Age Range: 7+ Number of Participants: 8-20 Materials: None Explanation: Participants try to think of as many things as they can that fit into a particular category. How to Play: Participants sit in a circle and begin a one-two rhythm (Clapsnap, or slap(legs)-clap). One person says, in rhythm, "I am thinking of ….." whatever the category is, and then says something that fits the category. On the second beat after the first person, the second person says something that fits the category, and so on around the circle. Example: "I-am-thinking-of-kinds-of-fruits" (Clap) "Apple" (Clap) "Orange" (Clap) "Strawberries" (Clap) "Banana" (Clap) "Watermelon" It is okay if saying the category items takes longer than one beat, because of multiple syllables, but the participants are not allowed to pause for more than one beat between the end of the last person’s item and their item. Everyone continues this process until someone gets stuck or repeats an item. When this happens, the participants can either start over with a new category, keeping the person who got stuck in the circle, or the person who got stuck could be "out" and the same category could be repeated until there is only one person left. If everyone stays in, the leader could time the participants to see for how long they can continue.

Notes: The category chosen depends on the ages and interests of the participants. A younger, less experienced group could play for a while with a category of "Different kinds of candy", while a high school drama club might have fun with "names of playwrights". The leader should explain that the objective of the game is to keep the category traveling around the circle as long as possible, even if the participants who get stuck or repeat are out. This way, the participant choosing the category won’t be encouraged to come up with an obscure one that only they know several answers to.

EMOTION PARTY
Game Type: Improvisation Age Range: 10+ Number of Participants: 5-15 Materials: None Explanation: The host of a party and the guests acquire the emotional state of whoever enters the party. How to Play: One person begins, as the host, with a neutral emotion. The first guest knocks or rings the bell (saying "knock-knock" or "ding-dong"), and enters in highly charged emotional state. Emotions that work well with this exercise include, excitement, fear, anger, jealousy, joy, sadness, etc. As soon as the host picks up on the emotion, she "catches" it, and interacts with the guest. The next guest enters with a different emotion, and the host and guest "catch" it. Things get more chaotic as more guests enter, as each new guest causes a different emotion to permeate the party. Once the first guest has entered, the participants can interact with different people until they notice a change in the emotion, and then they must adapt that emotion. The participants should not watch the new guests for the emotional state, rather, they should let the emotion "travel" to them as it will. To make things really tricky, two guests could enter at the same time with different emotions. The participants will be really wired after this game, so plan accordingly to use that energy. Notes: If this has not been discussed before, it might be a good time to discuss with the participants how to express negative emotions such as anger without hitting any other participants- what verbal and physical things show anger (in performance) without hurting anyone in reality.

IMPROVISATION STARTERS
The situations in these starters should be fairly easy for beginning improvisers to put themselves into. Each character has a motivation, what that person wants in the scene. The actors should decide the "why" behind their desire before they start the scene. This will help them to keep focused during the improvisation. The specifics of the scenes can either be determined ahead of time, or they could be made up during the improv.

For Younger Actors (8-12):
1. A girl brings a dog (not another actor-imagine it is there) into her house who "followed her home". She tries to convince her mother to let her keep the dog. 2. Two siblings play a board game. One accuses the other of cheating. An argument ensues. 3. A grandparent and grandchild have a talk about what they did during their day. The child expresses a desire to be older, and the grandparent wishes to be younger. 4. A teacher tries to teach the multiplication table to a student who only wants to talk about TV shows. 5. One friend tries to convince another friend that she has seen a UFO. The friend is disbelieving. 6. A child tries to convince parent to stay home from work and let her stay home form school.

For Older Actors(10+)
1. A teacher tells a student that she is going to fail science class. The student tries to convince the teacher that she will improve, and asks her not to put an F on the report card which comes out next week. 2. A mother and son/daughter are shopping for school clothes. The Mother does not think her child’s attire choices are appropriate for his/her age/weight/personality. 3. One friend tries to convince another that he has seen a UFO. (Is he lying or not?) 4. A young child is at the doctor’s office with his/her mother to get a shot. The child is very frightened and the doctor has to

use tactics in order to give the shot. The mother is very nervous. 5. Two friends are deciding which clubs/classes to sign up for. One wants to take/join something (i.e. cheerleading, ROTC, Feminist Theory) that the other thinks is an awful choice. 6. One sibling tries to convince another who is shy to come to a party. 7. A boy has been told (falsely) that a girl likes him. Actually, the girl’s best friend likes the boy. He runs into the girl at the library, and she tries to get him to go over to the section of the library where the best friend is. 8. A young person has to do a paper on (pick an historical character), but does not want to have to read a lot. He tries to get a salesperson in a children’s bookstore to show him books on the subject that will provide enough information for the report. 9. A teacher is trying to teach the multiplication table in a one-onone situation. The student only wants to talk about TV shows. 10. Three friends are in a restaurant. They try to order from the menu, but each has some dietary restriction that requires them to change the preparation of each dish. The waiter is new on the job. 11. Two friends are on a talk show. Their problem is that one keeps changing her interests and attire to match the other friend. The talk show host is on the imitator’s side. 12. Two people are at an amusement park. One wants to ride the newest roller coaster in the park (choose specifics), and the other one is terrified to do so. He/she tries to convince the other not to ride without letting on that he/she is scared. 13. Girl/boy talks to male/female (opposite gender) friend about new boy/girl she/he is dating. The person is a JERK and the friend doesn’t think she/he should see him/her. 14. Babysitter tries to get a child to go to bed. The child will not fall asleep, because he/she is afraid of a monster (pick a kind). 15. Four people are going to the movies, but two want to see one movie (choose a type) and the other two want to see a different one (choose something radically different from first).

16. A schoolmate tries to convince another to convert to his new religion, which is based on the idea that computers are omnipotent. 17. Two strangers are stuck in a room that has a security door. The one is overly concerned with getting out, the other wants to become friends, and so is in no hurry.

MIME IT DOWN THE ALLEY
Game Type: Skills Development Age Range: 10+ Number of Participants: 8-10/line Materials: None Explanation: A pantomimed version of "Whisper down the alley". Participants try to communicate an object or idea to each other so that the last person has the same "message" as the first. How to Play: Participants are divided into groups of eight to ten people. Each group sits in a straight line, facing backward except for the first person. Participants are not allowed to talk at any point in the game. The first person in each line is given an object to mime (i.e., a toaster, a computer, a jack-in-the-box) – the only requirement is that it can be shown in pantomime in a seated position. The first person taps the second person in line on the shoulder so that they turn to face each other. The first person mimes the object, and when the second person thinks he knows what the object is, he nods. Then the object is mimed to the next person, traveling down the line to the last person. The objective is for the pantomime of the object to be clear enough each time that it stays the same object all the way down the line. Usually, the object changes into something entirely different – the interesting thing is to see how it changed along the line. Each person should tell the others what they thought the object was, and discuss what they saw the others demonstrating. Notes: There are many variations that can be played with this game, by changing the object to a movie or book title, or incorporating concepts from a curricular area into the game. For example, the pantomime could be of a preposition or a science concept.

NAME GAME #1
Game Type: Group Cohesion Age Range: 10+ Number of Participants: Unlimited Materials: None Explanation: A game for the first day of class, so that everyone learns each others’ names. How to Play: The participants sit or stand in a circle. The leader says, "We are having a party, and everyone has to bring something for the party that begins with the same first letter as their name. My name is JANINE, and I am bringing a bag of JELLYBEANS." The person to the leader’s right says his name and item, and then repeats the leader’s name and item: "My name is ERIK, I am going to bring EGG SALAD. This is JANINE, who is bringing JELLYBEANS." Each person in turn introduces himself, announces their item, and repeats the name and item of everyone who preceded them. This means that the last person has to remember everyone in the group, or at least try. The leader should encourage others to help out when participants get stuck on someone’s name or item, with verbal or pantomimed clues.

NAME GAME #2
Game Type: Group Cohesion Age Range: 8+ Number of Participants: Unlimited Materials: None Explanation: Participants learn each other’s names with the help of gestures. How to Play: Participants stand in a circle, and each person in turn says their name, at the same time executing a gesture that expresses their personality. For younger participants, the leader can suggest that the gesture shows a favorite hobby, sport or activity. After everyone has shared their name and gesture, the participants play "tag" with the names and gestures. While standing still, the participants can tag each other one at a time by saying a person’s name and repeating their gesture. The leader should encourage the participants to get to everyone’s name without repeats, so that all members of the group are included. Notes: The leader should continue this game until he knows almost all of the participants’ names. Hopefully, this will be before the group is bored with the game.

OBJECT PERMANENCE
Game Type: Skill Development Age Range: 7+ Number of Participants: 2-20 Materials: A melange of 20 to 50 objects, pens/pencils and paper Explanation: Participants try to remember things they can no longer see. How to Play: Prior to playing, the leader places the group of objects on a table and covers it with a cloth or places it in a separate room, so that no one can see it ahead of time. The leader explains that the participants have one minute to look at the objects on the table, and then they will be asked to write down as many objects as they can remember. The participants are not allowed to touch any of the objects, and they cannot talk aloud during the minute of looking. The leader has the participants stand around the table, and pulls the cover off, saying "Go." After timing a minute, the leader covers the table, and asks the participants to write down as many objects as they can remember. The leader gives the participants two minutes to do this, and at the end of this time, the leader lists all of the objects on the table. Notes: This game helps participants focus on their sense of sight – it can be repeated so that they can try different methods of remembering all of the objects.

OPEN SCENES
The two lines in each scene are to be repeated over and over again in a predetermined situation, i.e., for scene one, character A is stuck underneath a fallen tree, and character B is not strong enough to lift the tree. One A: Help me. B: I can’t. Two A: I’m sorry. B: It’s all your fault. Three A: Stop it. B: Make me. Four A: What are you doing? B: What does it look like? Five A: It’s time to go. B: Not yet. Six A: I need you. B: Just a minute.

PARK BENCH
Game Type: Improvisation Age Range: 10+ Number of Participants: 2 Materials: A Bench Explanation: In this game, one person decides the character for both participants. The other participant has to react to this while trying to determine their character. How to Play: One participant sits on a bench. The setting is a park, and the person on the bench has no character until the second participant enters. The second participant has decided who she is, and who the person sitting on the park bench is. For example, the person entering could decide, "The person on the bench is a famous author, and I am a great fan of their work." In this situation, the actor would recognize the person on the bench, react to seeing their favorite author in person, ask for an autograph, and tell the author about which books she likes best. The actor on the bench, meanwhile, has to adapt to the situation, developing their character bit by bit. The improvisation ends when one actor exits, hopefully after everyone figures out who they are. Notes: With younger or less experienced actors, the leader may want to supply the person entering with characters, so that there is no worry about clear characters.

PEOPLE PICTURES I

to their pictures, and to others' as well as how everyone developed their character. Notes: The pictures can be cut out of magazines, and then pasted onto oak tag or posterboard for stability. Try to get a good assortment of people - all ages, races, levels of attractiveness, and don't put any famous faces in the bunch. The more interesting the setting and the appearance of the person, the more there is for the participants to use for inspiration. Remember, there are no wrong answers - but the participants should be able to answer "why" questions about the character and picture.

THIS IS A WATCH
Game Type: Concentration Age Range: 7+ Number of Participants: 5-20 Materials: As many one syllable objects as participants- pen, book, etc. Explanation: The object of the game is to pass the object or objects around the circle without stopping or breaking the rhythm of the script– eventually, the group should be able to complete a circle in which everyone has an object. How to Play: The participants sit in a circle. One person has a watch (GIVER), which she will hand over to the person on her right (RECEIVER) once the lines are completed. The first time, the watch is passed from one person to the next, following the script (see below) until the watch is back at the beginning. Once everyone knows the lines exactly as written, the group can try two objects. The person with the watch again passes it to the right, but the person to the left of her hands her a pen AT THE SAME TIME that she is handing over the watch. This means that the person with the watch is saying both parts of the script – the GIVER’S and the RECEIVER’S part. The chart below will illustrate. (The GIVER has a watch, and turns to the person on her right, the RECEIVER) GIVER: (Offering Watch) This is a Watch. RECEIVER:( To GIVER) A What? GIVER:(Replying) A Watch. RECEIVER:(Repeating)

A What? GIVER: (Replying) A Watch. RECEIVER: Oh, A Watch. (Takes Watch) The RECEIVER now has the watch, and becomes the GIVER with the person to her right, who is now the RECEIVER, and they repeat the same script. When there are two objects in the circle, someone is the GIVER and the RECEIVER simultaneously, and must say both sets of lines. ARROWS indicate to whom the comment is directed GIVER This is a Pen. à (silence) A Pen. à (silence) A Pen. à (silence) GIVER & RECEIVER This is a Watch. à ß A What? A Watch. à ß A What? A Watch. à ß Oh, A Pen. RECEIVER (silence) ß A What? (silence) ß A What? (silence) ß Oh, A Watch.

Notes: It is best to move from one object to two, then to three, and so on from there. Do not add another object until the group has successfully completed a circle with the number before. This is not an easy game for everyone to master, but nearly everyone can with some perseverance. I have taught this game to over two hundred different children, and only one of those did not learn it – he quit trying after the first time. Most likely, some participants will catch on faster than others, and become frustrated with those who are having difficulty with the rhythm. As soon as this occurs, it is time to say "Well, we have all been working very hard at this game. The next time we try it, maybe we will be able to give everyone an object." Usually, the participants are eager enough to master the game that they will practice with others until you see them again. It may help to have the lines written on

a large piece of paper for visual learners, and if you have an assistant or two, demonstrate the game with them.

YOU
Game Type: Group Cohesion Age Range: 10+ Number of Participants: 4-10 Materials: None Explanation: Participants enhance their communication skills by passing "you" from one person to another. How to Play: Participants stand in a circle. One person starts by gesturing towards someone else in the circle and saying "You." That participant then gestures and says "you" passing it to another person in the circle. There is no particular order or sequence for the "you", but as it is passed, the energy of gesture and volume of the "you" increases. This continues until one participant achieves such energy and volume that the person to whom she is passing the "you" realizes that he cannot top it. The energy and volume then begins to decrease in steps until the gesture disappears and the "you" is not heard, only mouthed. From there, the mouthing stops, the "you" is passed with movement of the eyes, and eventually nothing happens to indicate who has the "you", but it is still being passed around the circle. It will get lost very soon after this point, but the participants will feel as if they have had a psychic connection with each other. Notes: This game is especially good for small cast plays to try with each other. The more secure and closer actors feel with each other, the more risks they will be able to take in rehearsal.

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