Sharing International Drama Games

A practical toolkit of activities for practitioners working in Theatre for Young Audiences, from the Next Generation 2017 cohort.

Participants in the Next Generation 2017 sharing skills workshop at Cradle of Creativity
Participants in the Next Generation 2017 sharing skills workshop at Cradle of Creativity

The following activities were facilitated by members of the Next Generation 2017 cohort during a sharing skills workshop. You can hear the rhythm and sounds of the activities on the following audio recording (6 minutes), or scroll down the page for the written instructions.

Wa Energiser (South Africa)

The objective is to pass energy around a circle through the vocalisation of “Wa” and an accompanying gesture. When the “Wa” has been passed around the circle once, add in “Skida” to change the direction of the energy. For example, if you have been passing “Wa” around to the person on your right, “Skida” will be passed to the left. The point of this exercise is to warm up the body and voice to bring everyone into the space and moment.

Bodies of a Thunderstorm (Zimbabwe)

Through the use of your body, you create the sound of thunder as a group. You can clap, click your fingers and get creative. The purpose of this exercise is to engage participants in thinking about using their body to create soundscapes.

Mosquito, Mosquito (South Africa)

To begin, everyone squats in a circle, facing one another. With each chant of “mosquito, mosquito”, the rest of the group claps and says, “Catch it!” Once the whole group understands the rhythm, the facilitator adds “Ouya Pa Pa!” to which the rest of the group responds “Pa!” but remains still. If the facilitator says “Ouya Pa!” the rest of the group must respond with “Pa!” and jump to face the outside of the circle. This continues until someone makes a mistake. This call and response activity is a warm-up and, in listening to the facilitator, a focus-building exercise.

Venga Venga (UK)

The facilitator starts with a call (which can be “Venga Venga”, or anything else of their choosing) to which the participants respond both vocally and physically (again can be anything that the group agrees upon). To make it harder, the facilitator adds new calls and responses to build a repertoire of calls and responses. This activity is a warm-up and focus-building exercise that can be useful for children with special needs, where repetition and patterns are key to helping them to engage in play.

Laura is a keen advocate for the Arts in Education. A graduate of the Comparative and International Education MA program at Lehigh University (Bethlehem, PA, USA), Laura’s research interests revolve around how Arts subjects, and Theatre in particular, can play a crucial role to the development of a student’s social and emotional well-being, whilst bolstering their academic attainment. Having lived in numerous places around the world, and worked to support international students in a university setting, Laura is interested in supporting global Education policy. With an avid interest in Theatre & Performance, she is delighted to be bringing her two passions together to lead on Dialogue’s Community Performance for Education work.