Book Review: Drama Games for Young Children & Drama Games for Rehearsals  

by Katherine Zachest

Drama Games for Rehearsals

by Jessica Swale

Nick Hern Books

A couple of new additions to the bestselling Drama Games series from NHB landed in our office. These dip-in, flick-through, quick-fire books would make an excellent addition to the resources at your disposal – whether you are working with young children or directing a play.

Games for Young Children is packed with over 200 individual games and is perfect for teachers, playgroup leaders and drama facilitators who want to inspire and entertain children, aged 3 and up, with vibrant and engaging drama experiences. The book includes 40 complete and easy-to-follow lesson plans that can be implemented with little prior preparation – all appropriate for exploring the curriculum or running extra-curricular workshops.

The action-packed sessions will transport you and your group to enchanted forests, pirate ships, bustling farmyards or the bottom of the sea, via magic-carpet rides or a journey through outer space. They incorporate vocal exercises, mime and movement, nursery rhymes and fairy tales, character development, costumes, songs and music, puppetry, art and text work. Also included is advice on preparing sessions, and even a template lesson plan.

The book offers material that will engage any child, from the most reticent to the supremely confident. It is an ideal way to explore and encourage skills of creativity, self-expression, tolerance, mutual respect, problem-solving and communication, in a safe, non-threatening environment.

Drama Games for Rehearsals offers dozens of ideas and exercises to energise and inspire a bold, creative rehearsal process for any play, of any period or genre.

Aimed at directors of all levels, it covers every aspect of rehearsal, including:

Warm-up exercises to prepare the body, voice and mind, and to create a strong ensemble

Ideas for approaching the text, tackling the ‘Story of the Play’

A wealth of games for unlocking the ‘World of the Play’, including developing characters, finding a physical style, understanding genre and investigating themes

Suggestions for exploring sound and music, whether for use in the production or simply to encourage a sense of fun in rehearsals

This essential ‘go-to’ book will provide you with a host of original and illuminating games, perfect for the play you’re rehearsing, be it Shakespeare or Greek tragedy, a Restoration comedy, physical theatre, Modern Naturalism – or even a brand new play.