Whether you’re an experienced actor or just starting out, theatre warm ups are an essential part of preparing for a performance. They help to loosen up the body, improve concentration, and create a sense of ensemble among the cast. Here are 5 classic theatre warm ups that are still popular today:
1. Zip, Zap, Zop
Zip, Zap, Zop is a classic improvisation game that helps actors to focus on listening and responding to their scene partners. Here’s how to play:
- Standing in a circle, one person starts by pointing to someone else and saying “zip.”
- The person pointed to must then point to someone else and say “zap,” and the third person points to someone else and says “zop.”
- The game continues with each person pointing to someone else in the circle and saying one of the three words.
2. Tongue Twisters
Tongue twisters are a great way to warm up your voice and improve your diction. Some classic tongue twisters include:
- She sells seashells by the seashore.
- Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
- How much wood would a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
3. Mirror Exercise
The Mirror Exercise is a classic physical warm up that helps actors to focus on their movements and develop a sense of ensemble. Here’s how to play:
- Standing in pairs facing each other, one person leads while the other person mirrors their movements exactly.
- The leader can then switch roles with their partner, and the game continues.
4. The Yes Game
The Yes Game is a classic improvisation game that helps actors to be more open to new ideas and build on each other’s creativity. Here’s how to play:
- Standing in a circle, one person starts by making a simple statement, such as “I’m going to the store.”
- The person next to them then responds with “Yes, and…” and adds a new detail to the statement.
- The game continues with each person building on the statement made by the person before them.
5. Group Counting
Group Counting is a simple warm up that helps actors to develop a sense of ensemble and focus. Here’s how to play:
- Standing in a circle, the group begins to count together, each person saying one number.
- If two people say the same number at the same time, the group starts again from one.
Theatre warm ups are an important part of preparing for any performance. By incorporating these classic exercises into your warm up routine, you can improve your focus, concentration, and ensemble skills. So next time you’re getting ready to perform, try out these classic warm ups and see how they can help you to give your best performance yet.