Monday, August 5, 2013

Play With Hitch Hikers

In Drama Ministry we typically follow a routine: prayer, play, practice, then prayer! Prayer and practice may seem like obvious sessions included in a Christian drama ministry, but many people do not see play as important.  Albert Einstein said that “play is the highest form of research.” When we play in theater, we research ourselves and the infinite possibilities of our minds. 

Games help fortify acting skills for stage performers because the games increase performance and creative skills. Most theatre games have no winners or losers they simply present a chance for thespians to strengthen creativity. The participants work individually or with others to accomplish the goal of the game, and if the goal is not accomplished at the first try, the participants have still learned something from the experience. One of our leaders, Jesse Adams, often directs us in playing "Hitch Hiker" which we played this week.

In Hitch Hiker 4-6 chairs to build the interior of a car or van. One player starts driving the car, and another player becomes a hitch hiker, hiking a ride. The hitch hiker character has a particular character tick or particular emotion, which everyone in the car take on. Other hitch hikers join in, each with their own characteristics or emotions, taken over by the driver and the passengers in the car as the hiker joins. When the car is full, one of the players leaves the car to make room for the new guest. When the passenger leaves, he or she justifies leaving the car.

This game combines improvisation with careful observation, and so makes a great rehearsal tool for serious performers because an actor you need to be able to see and imitate easily. Fred Rogers said play is serious learning and though he was referring specifically to children adults should take time to play as well. Until next time, be sure to visit the Lakewood Players Facebook page to keep updated about ministry events to come.

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