Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Pirate improv games (fun drama classroom activity with a theme)

Here are some Pirate Improv Game ideas for a themed drama classroom experience.

Pass the Cannon Ball: All players in a circle. Ask the players to pass a mimed cannon ball [present] to others (one ball at a time). The cannon ball becomes heavier, until it weighs a ton, or extremely light, extremely big (and light or heavy) or extremely small (and light or heavy). Actors need to show the ball's characteristics in the way it gets passed. When the cannon balls makes it around the circle, then the last person loads the cannon and fires it off and everyone says boom!

Pirate Mirror Exercise: Pair up actors. One actor is the mirror and must copy everything the other actor does (who is a pirate).

Shrinking Treasure Box: Actors pantomine that they are in a very large treasure box. They jump in and are excited about the treature (show it without using words). Show audience all the sides. Then the treasure box gets smaller. Show the audience how small it is getting. Then they must figure out a way to escape. The actor must do a good job showing the audience how they have escaped (without talking) so they can correctly guess how.

Find the Captain: Everyone quietly mills about the room. No one knows who the captain is. One person (the Captain) will elect to freeze in position unexpectedly. As soon as one notices that someone else 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 and also figure out who the captain is.

3 Peg Legs: A fun and silly game. Let everyone walk leisurely around the room. When you shout '3 Peg Legs' the players must form little groups, each group consisting of 3 legs touching. Use your imagination - say 4 hook hands, 2 ears, 9 fingers, 5 patch eyes, 4 elbows, 3 heads, 7 left big toes, 4 little fingers. Repeat till everyone is giggling.

Pirate Alphabet Game: The actors act out a scene but they must start each sentence with the letters of the alphabet. The scene is a captain is getting his crew to prepare the ship for it's first voyage to sea. If an actor gets a letter wrong, audience yells WALK THE PLANK (and that actor must pantomime walking the plank and jumping in the ocean). The remaining actors continue.

Lines from our Pockets: The audience will write lines that pirates might say. Someone will collect the lines and not show them to the actors. The actors put the papers in their pockets without looking at them. The actors will act out the scene and then they must take a paper from their pocket after saying a few made up lines and add the line in their pocket at the end of what they are saying. The scene is a group of pirates looking for treasure on an island.

Pirate Melodrama: We have an old fashioned melodrama for you, but with a twist. The twists will be based on suggestions from the audience. We have three characters: a damsel in distress, a pirate hero, and an evil pirate villain. Audience: you will Boo at Villain, Cheer for Hero, Ahhh for Damsel. Audience 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.

Stunt Doubles: 2 Actors are acting a scene such as swabbing the deck of the ship. When it comes time to do a "dangerous" step (such as filling the bucket with water or getting soap) they call in their stunt doubles.

Here Comes Blackbeard: One actor plays Blackbeard who is off stage. The other two actors are pirates who want to join Blackbeard's crew. They describe what Blackbeard is like while he is off stage. Blackbeard enters to inspect the troops and Jill acts like he is described. He repeats this three times and must add each new trait on top of the other ones that are said.

Find more improv games at http://www.freedrama.net/improv.html


  1. These are fabulous! Just what I was looking for to use in Theater class on International Talk Like a Pirate Day. :)