Aug 022010
 

Synonyms

Sofa

Introduction

This exercise focuses on non-verbal listening and getting in synch. Let’s get four players sitting on the couch.

Description

Once the players are sitting on the couch one of them begins a repetitive activity. In the beginning this could be a subtle hand tapping combined with a quiet noise. The other players on the couch are supposed to mimic the activity. Other players on the couch contribute actions such that the four are creating a fidgeting chorus line between themselves. Eventually the actions become stronger and stronger and the four simultaneously get up off the couch. Hence the name leaving the couch. Watch for people leading the exercise. Leaving the couch should represent a shared synergism.

Gimmicks

None

Variations

None

Credits

None

 Posted by at 13:11
Aug 022010
 

Synonyms

Walkies

Introduction

This warm-up helps to build trust in the group members. Everyone get into a large circle.

Description

Someone is chosen to get into the middle of the circle. They simply close their eyes and start to walk in any direction. The spotters on the outside of the circle redirect the walker as she comes to the edge of the circle. The spotters in the circle need to remain silent so as not to alert the walker when she is about to be turned. The blind folded walker is supposed to pick up speed, and trust that her players will not let her crash into something. Continue until all have gone into the centre.

Gimmicks

If outdoors you can let someone cover a great distance by moving the circle around her.

Variations

None

Credits

None

 Posted by at 12:38
Aug 022010
 

Synonyms

None

Introduction

Everyone get into a circle. Now put your hands on the shoulder of the person in front of you.

Description

Simply a shoulder massage exercise. You have to judge the group if anything more involved is appropriate. Encourage the massagees to let the massagers know how they are doing. Turn the line around after a few minutes.

Gimmicks

None

Variations

Break off in pairs. Here are some massage tips

Credits

None

 Posted by at 12:36
Aug 022010
 

Synonyms

Statues, f-stop

Introduction

This is listening warm-up. Everyone start milling about the room.

Description

Everyone quietly mills about the room. One person 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.

Gimmicks

None

Variations

The warm-up can be made more interesting by having the players make noises as they move around. Increasingly noisy characters make it harder and harder to notice the group stop, and therefore makes it more challenging.

Credits

None

 Posted by at 12:25
Aug 022010
 

Synonyms

Group gravity, trust game

Introduction

This is a trust game that requires careful listening skills and quick reactions. It is potentially dangerous so everyone must pay close attention. Let’s start milling about the room.

Description

Once everyone is milling quietly one of the players chooses to fall. The player will announce their plan to fall, by calling out “falling” clearly. Once they do that, and it is obvious that they are going to fall they close their eyes and start falling towards the centre of the room. It is safest if they make themselves rigid and fall backwards towards the centre of the room. I cannot stress enough how important it is to fall inwards. Everyone else in the warm-up rushes to the person’s aid and lowers them slowly to the ground. Everyone must help the person be lowered to the ground. Even if one is across the room and the falling player can be safely lowered by those that already there one still must rush over and help. Once the player is lowered safely to the ground she gets back up and the whole thing starts again. Enormous people should refrain from falling in this exercise, people with bad backs should only help with a light touch. Everyone should be able to participate in one fashion or another. Remember, safety first!Once everyone is milling quietly one of the players chooses to fall. The player will announce their plan to fall, by calling out “falling” clearly. Once they do that, and it is obvious that they are going to fall they close their eyes and start falling towards the centre of the room. It is safest if they make themselves rigid and fall backwards towards the centre of the room. I cannot stress enough how important it is to fall inwards. Everyone else in the warm-up rushes to the person’s aid and lowers them slowly to the ground. Everyone must help the person be lowered to the ground. Even if one is across the room and the falling player can be safely lowered by those that already there one still must rush over and help. Once the player is lowered safely to the ground she gets back up and the whole thing starts again. Enormous people should refrain from falling in this exercise, people with bad backs should only help with a light touch. Everyone should be able to participate in one fashion or another. Remember, safety first!

Gimmicks

Watch how the frequency of falling increases with the familiarity of the group amongst themselves.

Variations

There are more risky versions for those who get jaded with the one above. The next increase in risk removes the calling out “falling” as a warning. One player makes eye contact and touches another player, and that is their indication that they are going to fall. That player immediately spots the falling player, and when the others notice they come to her aid. The last level is where the player spontaneously starts to fall and trusts that others will defy gravity for her. In all of these variations the falling player falls towards the center of the room, falls backwards, and remains rigid like a board. There is another variation that I do not recommend. All the players mill close together with their eyes closed. They always in constant light touch. The falling player trusts that she will brush against others and the group will move to catch her. This is just plain dangerous.

Credits

Northwestern Combined Neurologic and Neck Trauma Services

 Posted by at 12:03
Aug 022010
 

Synonyms

Screamers, haunted house, vampyre game

Introduction

This warm-up builds trust amongst workshoppers and helps break the ice. We need four people on each wall, and everyone else milling about in the center of the room.

Description

The people on the outside are spotters. Ideally there will be more than four spotters. Remember safety first. The people that are milling about in the centre of the room close their eyes and are asked to keep their hands at their sides. They continue to move about slowly bumping into each other with their eyes closed and being safely redirected towards the centre of the room by the spotters. This activity continues for a while once the milling group manages to remain quiet. Then one of the people with their eyes closed is selected as a vampyre. The vampyre will blindly mill about the room. When the vampyre encounters another player she will grab her by the wrist. The players are informed that if they are grabbed by the wrist they yell out a scream, open their eyes and move to being a spotter. This continues until there are no players left in the center.

Gimmicks

The spotters can make spooky noises as the vampyre gets close, don’t pick a vampyre and let them wander for hours.

Variations

No vampyre–some groups are so intense that just closing their eyes is enough of a trust builder, let alone being touched by someone; Healer–the players touched by a vampyre become vampyres, if two vampyres touch they heal themselves to being none vampyres.

Credits

None

 Posted by at 11:46
Jul 172010
 

Synonyms

Rock, paper, scissors

Introduction

This is an exercise used to break the ice, and get everyone in synch. Everyone into a circle.

Description

There are three things that the players can be. The first is an alien. The alien is signified by making antennae with your fingers and leaning into the circle making the noise “zeep zeep zeep”. The second thing you can be is a tiger. The tiger is signified by leaning into the circle exposing your ferocious claws and roaring. The last is the cow. The cow’s udder is exposed by putting your hand on your stomach and mooing loudly. Someone in the circle briskly counts to three. On three everyone commits to one of the three character types alien, tiger, or cow. Keep repeating the cycle of 1-2-3 until everyone does the same creature. Generally dissolves into complete chaos before there is any synchonicity.

Gimmicks

Increase the number of options i.e., cow, android, fridge, Chevy

Variations

Majority Rules– the odd people out are out. I.e., if there are six tigers, four cows and two aliens the two players that chose aliens are out of the circle.

Credits

None

 Posted by at 02:38