Virtual Theater for the Classroom

Originally developed for our Drama in the Schools program, Virtual Theater for the Classroom contains a series of engaging theater activities to help students on their artistic journey! Each exercise has been modified for virtual classrooms and aligns with the Illinois Arts Learning Standards. Teachers are welcome to follow the videos led by our VG teaching artists or simply use the pdf instructions found under each description. We are thrilled to present this new program to our partnering schools! The full series of videos is also available as a YouTube playlist.

Special thanks to the Illinois Humanities Council for their grant to support the development of this series. 

BRAIN GYM
Teaching Artist: Kristin Hammargren

The Brain Gym is a series of movements designed to stimulate your brain, wake up your body, and activate creativity. It was created by neuroscientists as an activity for students to do before taking a test and works terrific as a quick warm up!

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WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
Teaching Artist: Jessica Dean Turner

“What Are You Doing?” is a fun improv game and a great remote learning activity to keep students engaged! It is especially useful for building ensemble and working on the “yes” impulse.

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CAPTAIN’S COMING
Teaching Artist: Kristin Hammargren

Captain’s Coming is a theatre game that works for all ages and our VG Teaching Artist has found a perfect way to adapt it for virtual learning! In this activity, students are pirates who must follow certain commands from their captain. For example, when the leader says “Shore,” the students must leave the frame. When the leader says “Ship,” they must be in the frame. Students can trade off playing the captain and are also free to create new commands!

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TINY UNIVERSE: CHARACTER CREATION
Teaching Artist: Phillip Lewis

The deep dive into character building can be arduous and frightfully vast. Luckily, “Tiny Universe” gives students a fun and simple way to tackle character analysis. This activity includes a PDF worksheet. If you are unable to access, students may also enter their character’s information on a separate sheet of paper.

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VOCAL MOTION
Teaching Artist: Kristin Hammargren

Vocal Motion is perfect for warming up the face and voice! This activity introduces students to the concept of resonators and encourages them to explore vocal range in an adventurous way. It includes three exercises and can be led by the classroom instructor or students can simply follow along with the video.

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OPPOSITES ATTRACT
Teaching Artist: Kristin Hammargren

Opposites Attract is a great activity guaranteed to wake up the mind and body. Using a simple list of paired command words, the students must use their wit to do the opposite of what they hear! For example, the first pair is Walk/Stop. Walking can be done in place on camera. When the leader says “Walk,” you are still, and when they say “Stop,” you walk in place. If you’re looking for a nice warm-up or a way to reset the room, this exercise is perfect for you!

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