I Only Have One Theater Book…

I only really have one theater book that I’ve used over the last two years in playing games with kids and getting them to perform in various capacities.  It’s the wonderful resource book On Stage by Lisa Bany-Winters.  We’ve checked out many other theater books from the library, including a couple others by the same author, but they’ve all been disappointing, at least from my perspective.  All the other theater books we’ve used have focused on information about the theater – types of shows, the terminology of the theater, etc.  That’s all fine and good but not so useful for someone who is trying to figure out what to do with a room full of 5-8 year olds who need to learn how to express themselves on stage.  However, this book is 100% nitty gritty activities of all kinds.  It has wonderful games, some of which are very simple and others of which are much more complex.  It has warm ups, improv games, character building games, games for thinking about movement and expression, games just for fun and much more.  The activities in here extend from preschool all the way up to middle school and beyond.  Since our library doesn’t seem to have anything else like it, I know I need to take the plunge and get another book or two of theater activities to keep things fresh.  However, in the meantime, this book has really gotten me through coaching two years of Destination Imagination as well as preparing kids for our ambitious Tempest production, so I highly recommend it.

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