MET 2015 with Playwright Michelle Read – Session 5 – Thursday 26th February

This week we warmed up with a well-known improv game is called ‘Yes, Let’s’. This game is about making offers and having everyone in the group accept them.

Group Shot

We then played ‘Good Morning Your Majesty’ where the children disguise their voices to fool one of their class-mates. The girls seemed to have a slight edge on the boys at guessing and could mostly recognise the boys even with some brilliantly disguised voices. This introduced the idea of characters having their own voice.

Developing characters is a big part of what both actors and playwrights do. Some characters are quite close to the actor, but others may be much more extreme. To explore this idea, and to develop on from changing our voices, I asked the group to move around the space and to gradually transform into different animals, exploring the behaviour of cats, dogs, monkeys, chickens and wasps.

The animals then became the inspiration for human characters and I asked the children to create a short scene using the animal traits to make the human characters. This involved the children working together in groups of four or five to come up with an issue that a family are trying to solve. Each of the family members is based on a different animal.

This was quite a challenge as it took a while for everyone to get to grips with the idea that the characters weren’t actually animals, but were people with a small bit of animal behaviour. In the end, however the scenes all came together really well and we were able to guess which animal had influenced each character.

This Session – Working as a group to accept offers. Looking at a way of creating unusual characters. Creating a new scene in groups and incorporating the character ideas.

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