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Theater Games Modifications

Here are some suggested, simple modifications that can be made to our Theater Games Series. Whether you’re teaching in person or online, there are several easy ways you can adjust your favorite exercises while adhering to COVID19 state/city guidelines. We want to make sure to provide a safe space for our students and leaders, so please use your state/city/county guidelines as a bare minimum while you design your class time. Scroll to the bottom of the page for links to state COVID19 guidelines.


QUICK TIP | All circle games can be expanded so that each player is at least 6 feet apart.


ZIP ZAP ZOP | IN PERSON

For no speaking at all, simply eliminate the words, “zip, zap, zop” and focus on clapping/eye-contact.

ZIP ZAP ZOP | ONLINE

Since it’s hard to make clear eye-contact through a screen, add the player’s names into the structure of the game.
“Erin, Zip,”
“Mica, Zap,”
“Soo, Zop,”

PASS THE CLAP | IN PERSON

You could also do this exercise in a straight line with the actors calling out each other’s name before they clap together. This would require a lot of focus/listening.

PASS THE CLAP | ONLINE

The time lag on zoom can make clapping at the same time almost impossible. So, try having each student clap alone, then calling out the next player’s name.

Jono says, “Ian,” then claps, followed by Ian who says, “Rajiv,” then claps… the clap being the indicator that each turn is over.

OY! | IN PERSON

This game can be done without speaking at all. Simply clap in place of each “Oy!”, while continuing to do the original/grand arm gestures.

OY! | ONLINE

Unfortunately, we don’t have any suggestions for online modifications for this game yet. But let us know if you come up with something!

007 BANG | IN PERSON

Try this exercise in a line, calling out the person’s name instead of pointing.
“Kara, zero,”
“Jimmy, zero,”
“Faith, seven,”
“Darnell, bang,” then the people to the sides of Darnell would scream while putting their arms up.

007 BANG | ONLINE

Try having each student call out the person’s name instead of pointing.
“Kara, zero,”
“Jimmy, zero,”
“Faith, seven,”
“Darnell, bang,” then, have ALL participants accept Darnell scream while putting their arms up.

COUNTING TO 20 | IN PERSON

Try this exercise in a line, or even facing away from each other

COUNTING TO 20| ONLINE

This exercise is perfect for zoom, without any modifications!

PSST! | IN PERSON

Simply have partners stand at least 6feet apart.

PSST! | ONLINE

The time lag on zoom can make doing these sounds/gestures at the same time (and quickly) almost impossible. It should still work if performed slowly, but you might want to look at other games first.

SNAP, CLAP, STOMP | IN PERSON

Try doing this exercise in a line, or facing away from each other.

SNAP, CLAP, STOMP | ONLINE

The time lag on zoom can make doing these sounds/gestures at the same time (and quickly) almost impossible. So, after you’ve explained the game, try giving your class one or two minutes to mute themselves, and try the exercise by themselves, getting faster and faster.

WALK IN THE PARK | IN PERSON

Assign each student an individual lane to walk in so that folks don’t cross paths. Space out each lane in your playing area at least 6feet apart. For younger actors, you might consider taping this out on the floor.

WALK IN THE PARK | ONLINE

Invite your students to use the space they have at home to the fullest; weaving between chairs and under tables.

STATUE | IN PERSON

Try this exercise touch-free. Have your students spread out at least 6feet apart in your playing space. Then, have your ‘statue’ person strike a pose, just like in the video. Delegate one person from the group to call out to the statue, telling them how they should move. The statue must listen very carefully, only moving exactly as they are told without embellishing. 

STATUE |  ONLINE

Select a ‘statue’ person, and one ‘mover’. Have your ‘statue’ strike a pose, just like in the video. The ‘mover’ would then call out to the statue, telling them how they should move their body. The statue must listen very carefully, only moving exactly as they are told without embellishing. Make sure everyone gets a turn as both the ‘statue’ and the ‘mover’.

LINE UP | IN PERSON

Have students begin in the far corners of the playing space, in a spot they have personally delegated as ‘home base’. Students will return to ‘home base’ after every round. Then, using tape on the floor at least 6 feet apart, mark numbers 1, 2, 3… (for as many students as are in your class) in a straight line in the center of your playing space. Call out the prompt, ex. “Line up in order of cleverness,” then call out the name of your students one at a time. Each of them will walk to the taped number where they believe they fit in the order. 

At the end of each round, students return to ‘home base’. Try calling them back to this position one at a time as well, in order to avoid crossing paths.

LINE UP | ONLINE

Establish how many students are in the class. Call out the prompt, ex. “Line up in order of cleverness,” then have your students  hold up their fingers to indicate where they feel they belong in each ‘line up’. They can change their minds until there is a clear order, 1, 2, 3…

BA-DUM-BUM-BUM | IN PERSON

Try doing this exercise in a line.

BA-DUM-BUM-BUM | ONLINE

The time lag on zoom can make clapping and speaking  at the same time almost impossible. So, try eliminating the clapping altogether. Decide on an order (who is speaking after who) and play a simple round of word-association. Player One calls out a word followed by  Player Two who calls out a word they have associated with the first word, in real time, without planning ahead. This would continue on an on.

MACHINE | IN PERSON

Try doing this exercise in a line, spaced at least 6feet apart, without touching one another. Ask your students to really watch the player before them, and use their movement/sound to inspire their contribution so the machine will seem connected, though people are never touching.

MACHINE | ONLINE

Decide on an order (who is going after who) and play the game as intended. Ask your students to really watch the player before them, and use their movement/sound to inspire their contribution so the machine will seem connected, though people are never touching.

BOPPITY BOP BOP BOP | IN PERSON

Try adjusting the response-movemements so that students do not have to face each other to do their motion following the  ‘boppity bop bop bop’ cue. 

BOPPITY BOP BOP BOP | ONLINE

Unfortunately, we don’t have any suggestions for online modifications for this game yet. But let us know if you come up with something!

ASSOCIATION CLUMP | IN PERSON

Assign each student an individual lane to walk in so that nobody crosses paths. Space out each lane in your playing area at least 6feet apart. For younger actors, you might tape this out on the floor.

Each round, the student who is making the statement will walk all the way to the other side of the room, in their lane, to announce, ex. “I have a pet.” 

Following this, the rest of the students will then decide to walk, in their own lane, to join the speaker, or simply stay where they are on the other side of the room. Walking towards the student indicates you agree with their statement/ you yourself also possess that quality. Walking away from the student indicates you do not. 

ASSOCIATION CLUMP | ONLINE

Each round, the student who is making the statement will put their face close to the camera and announce, ex. “I have a pet.” 

Following this, the rest of the students will then decide to bring their face towards the camera or duck away so they can not be seen. Faces in the camera  are students who agree with their statement/ possess that quality. Empty screens are students who do not.


Special thanks to Evelyn Stickland, RN. for her guidance as we navigate #artsincovidtimes.


COVID19 Guidelines By State

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