Monday, April 27, 2009

On Stage: Theater Games and Activities for Kids Ages 6-13

Kids learn about theater with games and activities that cover basic theater vocabulary, puppetry and pantomime, sound effects, costumes, props, makeup, and more.
On Stage: Theater Games and Activities for Kids
By Lisa Bany-Winters
Edition: illustrated
Published by Chicago Review Press, 1997
ISBN 1556523246, 9781556523243
180 pages
From School Library Journal
Grade 1-6, Ages 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 A compendium of theater games that is sure to delight young thespians. While the material is not new and many of the games are classics ("Mirrors," "Change Three Things," and "Freeze"), Bany-Winters has a clear and concise way of explaining both the activity and its purpose, making her work a useful source for ensemble-building games for student-run drama groups and rehearsal techniques for adult teachers/directors. Often renamed for greater child appeal, the activities range from vocal warm ups to improvisational scene work, and many include helpful suggestions for variations on familiar games. Exercises in puppetry, mask making, costuming, makeup, and set design, as well as several short scripts, round out the presentation. Explanations of theatrical terms are smoothly incorporated into the text. Tips for young actors and short anecdotes about theatrical figures or plays are featured throughout. Simple black-and-white graphics add touches of humor. One drawback is the list of "Suggested Plays and Stories for Kids," which includes some titles that are beyond both the abilities and interests of preteens. Nevertheless, this will be a terrific addition to drama collections. Purchase an extra copy for the professional shelf as well. Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence,
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Booklist
Gr. 4-7, Ages 10, 11, 12, 13. Here's a welcome addition for libraries that have calls for theater-related topics. Bany-Winters, who has taught children's theater, has compiled a varied and interesting assortment of theater games that will stimulate the imagination and get young thespians ready to perform on stage. The games are divided into different categories, among them improvisation, creating characters, using and becoming objects, and ideas for pantomime and puppetry. There are also suggestions for monologues, scenes, and plays. A clean design, highlighted by ink drawings, makes the book accessible for kids who want to use this on their own (though teachers, scout leaders, and other interested adults may be the book's best audience). There are also plenty of tips for costumes, makeup, sets, and props. Glossary; bibliography. Ilene Cooper

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