Freeze (grades 4+)

 

Author: Brian Skinner, University of Lethbridge, Canada

 

Subject: Dramatic Arts and Others

 

Objective: A fun way to let kids perform various improv situations

 

Materials and Preparation: Ahead of time have situations prepared for the younger grades. Older grades will be able to handle situation creation on their own. If the play "hangs" for too long, a new pair of preformers go on the "stage" and a new situation is announced.

 

Student Grouping: 2 teams (best if you have t-shirts in black for team 1 and white for team 2).

For the long term, if you want to take the show on the road, have the kids design a team name and put the names on the t-shirts in the front with acrylic paint, the kids can put their last name on the back jersey style.

 

The Play:

 

  1. Split class up into 2 teams.

  2. One member from each team is called up to begin the freeze game. They are given a situation (list of situations at bottom) and they begin to act out the situation by improving off the cuff.

  3. After a minute of so someone from from either team calls "freeze" and the two actors freeze in whatever body motion they are in.

  4. The person that called freeze goes up and taps someone out, taking their place (and their frozen body position).

  5. The new player begins a totally new situation based on the frozen body positions.

  6. The person who was tapped returns to their seat, and the other actor reamins frozen until the new actor begins to act in the new situation.

 

Rules:

  • The two actors on stage (in the front of the room) must comply with each other while acting. ie. Do you want to go to the movies with me? Sure! I'd love to your highness...(begins worshiping) [INSTEAD OF] Do you want to go to the movies with me? Drop dead you lunatic!

  • The actors should be frozen every minute to change the situations, the more change the more points can be earned for their team. (I'll get to scoring later), but they must have enough time to get the new situation underway before someone calls freeze.

  • The actors can't be stationary for too long, and their bodies have to be in constant motion, making more and more opportunities for the class to say freeze.

  • No situations should be used the promote unsafe hands on or fighting. If you can trust the students, during a parent night have them start talking in slow motion mode so the other actor knows that there is going to be a slow motion physical skit.

 

Scoring: Teams score 1 point for each time one of their members freezes the act and taps someone out. It doesnt matter if they tap a teammate out. They don't score 2 points for having 2 people from the same team on stage at once. This is why it is best to have the teams in their team jerseys for easy scoring on the teachers part.

 

At the end, the teacher awards the team that made the class laugh the most with 5 bonus points.

If profanity accidently slips out... the culprit's team does not lose a point, instead the censor bag is administered...

 

The Censor Bag: Use your discression as some people might be offended; however it is all in good fun. The censor bag holds the same weight as the "dunce cap" from yesteryears. It is made from a large brown paper grocery bag, with the words printed CENSORED across it in red. The actor slipping the offending word must wear the bag over their head until the next freeze session.

 

***Dont force anyone to wear the bag, as I had one parent who snapped at me for having her child wear it (for cultural reasons) but I have had the students perform this game infront of parents on parent night where one unlucky actor had to wear the bag and the parents were in stitches laughing so hard.***

 

Further Play: This game can virtually go on forever, either at one setting or over months of PATs. The students really look forward to it and it builds great self esteem for the shy students.

 

Samples/Examples:

 

  • waiting in line for a movie, bus, taxi

  • stuck in an elevator

  • on a roller coaster

  • being kidnapped

  • playing any sport

  • little kid being babysat

  • two cheerlearders at a sports game (hilarious if two boys are stuck in this one, but they will need to be frozen soon)

  • someone speaking a foreign language

  • lost little kid at an amusement park

  • at a bank robery

  • getting food poisoning at a fancy restaurant

  • in a aerobics class by mistake

  • suddenly having a baby

  • walking along and seeing something hideious

 

 

Comments or Variations: Have fun and try and do it as a class show for parents, or talent show night. It goes over REALLY well.

 

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