Improv Workshop from

This workshop is free for use in educational situations.   In return, I ask that anyone who uses this workshop provide any suggestions and improvements by email: ( 


Introduction of instructors and introduction to acting.   What is acting?   What types of acting do people do?  Movies, television, theatre.   What is theatre like?  How is it different from television and movies?


Do you want to be actors today?  Actors have to practice and they play games to practice being good actors.


K-6 Honey Walk: All students stand and walk in place. The instructor calls out different things they must pretend to walk through.  Snow, deeper snow, ice, water, mud, jello, honey...


Actors have to be good at pretending. 


K-6 Pass the Ball: All students in a circle. Ask the

students to pass a mimed ball to others quickly. Then when it gets back to the instructor, the instructor changes the ball in some way: it becomes heavier, until it

weighs a ton, or extremely light, extremely big (and

light or heavy) or extremely small (and light or

heavy). The ball can take on other characteristics (or adjectives) such as hot, cold, etc.  Students need to show the ball's characteristics in the way it gets passed.   Instructor let students suggest other ways the ball changes to extend the activity.  The instructor can also give the ball sounds that need to be passed as well and the students must imitate the sounds. 


Have to be aware of other actors.  Good actors can work with other actors and learn to react to what they are doing.


K-6 Group Stop: Everyone quietly mills about the room.  When the instructor yells stop, then everyone must stop.  After doing this a couple of times, the instructor will freeze in position unexpectedly and not say stop. As soon as one notices that the instructor has frozen in position they freeze as well. So the effect of one person freezing causes everyone to freeze. Once everyone is still the group starts milling around again. The goal is to see how quickly the group can freeze in position.  Once the students get the hang of it, then the instructor will have everyone close their eyes.  The instructor will tap a student on the shoulder and that student becomes the secret leader.  Everyone opens their eyes and then starts moving around the room.  The secret leader freezes and everyone must freeze.  The other student then guess who the secret leader was.  If they can’t tell, then everyone starts again and tries to figure it out.  Then the instructor selects a new secret student and continues.  Try to see which student can be the secret student the longest.


Discuss how actors need to practice different emotions.  Ask the students if they’ve even been stuck somewhere.  Discuss the emotions they felt when they were stuck.  The students may say things like scared, happy, sad.  Once the instructor gets a variety of answers/emotions, then the next game begins.


K-6 Shrinking Box: Actors pantomine that they are in a

very large box.  At first they might think it is fun and get excited.  The students show that emotion.  Then they might get mad and show that emotion.  Then they might get sad and cry. Then the box gets smaller.  They find the sides of the box and then show the same three emotions again.  The box shrinks a couple more times until they are on the floor.  Then they must figure out a way to escape.

The students call out ideas and then the instructor picks an idea and they escape with that idea.


Actors must learn to copy different characters. Do ever copy something you see in a tv show or movie?  Like Homer Simpson “Doh!”


Copy cats: The instructor leads the students.  The students must copy everything the instructor does.


Mirror Exercise: Pair up students. One student is the

mirror and must copy everything the other student does.


3 Noses: A fun and silly game. Let everyone walk

leisurely around the room. When you shout '3 Noses'

the players must form little groups, each group

consisting of 3 touching noses. Use your imagination -

say 4 feet, 3 hands, 2 ears, 9 fingers, 5 hips, 4

elbows, 3 heads, 7 left big toes, 4 little fingers.

Repeat till everyone is giggling.


Actors must be able to do different types of acting. What is a fairy tale?


Fairy Tale in a Minute: The students pick a fairy tale

(or get one from the instructor) and then act out the

story in one minute.  For older students: Then they must act out the same story in 30 seconds. THEN they must act it out in 10 seconds.


Melodrama: We have an old fashioned melodrama for you,

but with a twist. The twists will be based on

suggestions from other students. We have three

characters: a damsel in distress, a hero, and a

villain. Students: you will Boo at Villain, Cheer for

Hero, Ahhh for Damsel. Students will suggest...

Damsel: something strange to raise on a farm, Villain:

a weird form of torture, Hero: an odd weapon someone

might use to stop a villain.


A way for actors to practice speaking clearly is Tongue Twisters. 


Hidden Hot Spot: Instructor divides room up in four areas.  Students move around and then the instructor says stop and they must freeze.  Then they reveal what four areas are (sing, dance, exercise, sleep).  These can be written on cards.  Then students move around the room and the four areas change (either mix up four areas or add new ones).


Happy Place: Sit and think about your happy place.  Where is a place you really like to go?   Open your eyes and tell us some of your happy places.  Now close your eyes again and imagine doing something fun in your happy place.  With your eyes closed show us what you’re doing without making any sound.  Instructor can pick students who are doing good pantomime and bring them up front.  Have students guess what they’re doing.

Ends up in charades.


Another game: Here Comes Jack and Jill - Students get up in groups of four. Two of the team members describe what the other two (Jack and Jill) are like and then the two others enter and act the way they were described. After everyone gets a turn and if everyone is having fun, then the teams can go again and switch roles.


New idea: Follow the leader to get into line – silly walk – yell out “that’s not a very silly walk when you have an idea for a fun one.




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Flowers in the Desert stage play script with monologues for teen actors ISBN-13: 978-1530169085



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Featured Monologue from the Play “Death of an Insurance Salesman”



An ambulance is coming for you now. And the policy will cover that ride so you're in luck.

(Ralph waves good-bye and watches person go)

He's lucky. Most people wait until it's too late. Last minute is always better than never. Sometimes I think I should set up my office in the lobby of the hospital emergency room. I could probably sign up half the room as they are waiting... what else are they going to do while they wait for help? Come on. What's the number one thing on their minds? They worry about how they'll pay for the hospital. That's where I come in. I kind of see myself as a hero... swooping in to save the day... can't pay your medical bill? Let me do it for you. I know no one sees an insurance salesman as a hero but we really are. You know how much that heart attack would have cost him without me? You know how much a car accident would cost without insurance? We're not the bad guys... we're your knight in shining armor, protecting you from going bankrupt. We are the guardians of the wallet. Don't let them suck you dry. Insurance will protect you... save you... rescue you... and that's what I wanted to always do with my life. Be a hero.


**** “The Cynical Professor” a monologue by D. M. Larson

Okay class. I know you hate classes that are required for your degree so I am going to try and make this as painless as possible.

Because you're taking a lot of loans, using a lot of credit and building up some serious debt to be here, I don't want this class to be any more difficult than it needs to be. I mean you are going to be paying off these loans for the next 20 or 30 years. It's like you're taking out a mortgage and buying a house. And who can afford a house mortgage anymore when you have all these loans, credit and debts piling up just so you can get a degree in Egyptology or Greek mythology?

That brings me to lesson number one in your Freshman Orientation class. You want to make all your loans worthwhile? You want to be able to pay off your credit card debt when you graduate? Then become a lawyer.

Come on... What's with the moans and growns? Being an attorney can be great. Are you a tree hugger and love the Earth? Be an environmental lawyer. Are you into women's rights? There's a attorney for that. Want to help people who are defaulting on their mortgage and losing their homes or being crushed by credit card debt? There are lawyers for that too. Lawyers make a difference. Lawyers change things. Call an attorney if you want to get things done.

Law not for you? You could play the stock market and do some day trading. Or you could be a software designer. Maybe be an engineer and figure out new ways to get us the limitless electricity that we demand or come up with alternate fuels so we no longer need gas in our cars. You can still help the world without picking a degree that will drown you in debt that you can never pay back.

If you want to study a dead language or some mythological beast, go hang out in the library or watch the History Channel, but don't run up thousands of dollars in loans to study something that won't pay the bills. A Egyptologist is not going to change the world, but an attorney just might have the power to right some wrong.

Gandhi was a lawyer. So was Abraham Lincoln. And Nelson Mandela. These are great people that left their mark on history and transformed nations. I'm not telling you to transfer out of your history classes. History has wonderful lessons for us. I'm telling you not to major in it. Learn from history but then USE what you learned. Go out there and change things. And who better to change things than someone who understands how the system works than a lawyer.

Those of you that agree with me will go declare their majors - pre-law, engineering or economics. Those of you that don't, head on over to the library and write me a 10,000 word report on why your major is so awesome and a plan how you are going to pay off all that debt.

Class dismissed.

End of Monologue ****


Freedrama provides free stage play scripts for actors, directors, teachers and students. Our free theatre resources are for both schools and theatre groups. Freedrama also has free help for new actors including a no cost online acting school. Improve your acting and communication skills with our variety of educational materials including improv drama games and fun learning activities such as MadScripts.

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