Team Building Exercises Using Theater Games

I have been conducting Team building exercises using theater games for decades now and I have seen how effective they can be in building creative and powerful team players. I’ve modified theater games and adjusted the process to draw out essential elements that create an efficient, resourceful, organized and proficient team

I chose to share these five team building exercises that use theater games as its basis because of its versatility. You can use them in family gatherings, reunions, office parties and the like. You may also include these team building exercises on self-improvement workshops, marketing workshops, problem-solving workshops and even time management workshops.

Let’s get ready to rumble!

Modified Give Me a Shape Team Building Exercise

Number of participants: 20 - 40
Materials: rolled papers with an inanimate object written on them e.g. bulldozer, classic painting, a set of false teeth, a pair of stiletto shoes etc. inside a container for drawing lots
Content Points: working attitude while under pressure, working style, observation skills and creative skills
Mechanics:

  • Divide participants into 4 teams
  • Teams 1 and 2 compete against each other while Teams 3 & 4 tries to guess the object being portrayed. They switch roles on the second round
  • The competing teams are assigned a working space visible to groups 3 & 4
  • The competing teams are informed that their goal is simply to form the object in 30 seconds and freeze in position by the end of the time
  • The game begins with a representative from Teams 1 & 2 drawing lots on what object they will form. They are not to reveal the object to Groups 3 & 4
  • On cue the representatives run back to their team and reveals the object they must form and proceed to carry out the task
  • The counting begins at the moment of running
  • Point system is applied
  • Teams 3 & 4 are only given 30 seconds to try to guess the object.
  • The team who correctly identifies the object is awarded 5 bonus points. The same team will then choose the team who clearly portrayed the object which allowed them to guess correctly
  • The team who wins gets 10 points
  • If the object is not correctly identified all teams will be deducted 1 point each
  • The process is repeated until 5 objects have been formed by Teams 1 & 2
  • The teams switch roles on the second half of the game with Teams 3 & 4 competing against each other and Teams 1 & 2 guess the object
  • The Team with the garnering the highest point wins the game
  • Feedback session follows.
  • Content points of the exercise is drawn out from the feedback

The Emotional Sculpture Team Building Exercise

Number of participants: 10 - 40
Materials: list of famous sculptures or monuments, 5 sets of rating cards that says average, above average and superior
Content Points: functioning outside the box, exploring endless possibilities, objective viewing, valuing respective strengths of each team member
Mechanics:

  • Divide the participants into 5 teams at most
  • The teams perform one after another
  • The teams forming the audience holds 1 set of rating cards each while the facilitator holds the last set of rating cards
  • Criteria for rating are based on 4 points; Articulation, Unpredictability, Believability, Audience Impact
  • With the performing team standing near the performing area the facilitator calls out one famous sculpture or monument that the team must portray
  • The performing team is given only 30 seconds to get into position and freeze as the facilitator then calls out the name of one team member
  • This member must then audibly and clearly deliver a line or two that speaks out his feelings and justifies his body position in the sculpture or monument
  • This goes on until all members are able to express their emotions in words
  • The facilitator says cut after the last member has spoken
  • The performing team is asked to sit down as the other teams decide on what rating they will give the performing team
  • The rating teams briefly explain their view of the performance before they show their rating
  • The game continues on until all 5 teams have done their part
  • Feedback session follows.
  • Content points of the exercise is drawn out from the feedback


Storytelling with Creative Sounds Team Building Exercise

Number of participants: 10 - 40
Materials: any object found in the workshop area that can create a sound and 4 storylines in different sheets of paper
Content Points: adding value to available materials and manpower and using them effectively, moving in the same rhythm toward reaching a goal, perceptiveness
Mechanics:

  • Divide participants into 4 teams
  • Each team picks one folded sheet of the storyline from the facilitator
  • The teams are given only 15 minutes to rehearse their storyline
  • The storyline will be interpreted only through sounds
  • Gibberish or nonsensical words may be used to depict conversation if necessary
  • Sample storyline: A tribe in the jungle having a war ritual. Suddenly a surprise attack from a different tribe occurs that leaves many dead. The mourning ritual follows ending with a cry for revenge
  • After 15 minutes all teams gather around as the facilitator chooses the team that will perform first.
  • The performing team forms a circle from where they are seated while the other teams face away and close their eyes to listen to the story sounds
  • After the team is done with their story the other teams will try to figure out the story. The performing team is not allowed to show any reaction that will give away any signal while the guessing continues
  • The whole story maybe revealed after the guessing portion is done.
  • The exercise then moves on in the same manner until all teams have performed
  • The facilitator chooses the best team who displayed the best manner of mobilizing materials and manpower and effectively carrying out the task
  • Feedback session follows.
  • Content points of the exercise is drawn out from the feedback

Cheer Dance Competition Team Building Exercise

Number of participants: 10 - 40
Materials: whatever material is available in the workshop area that can be used in the performance
Content Points: planning, organizing, managing a quality performance
Mechanics:

  • Divide participants into 4 teams
  • Each team assigns roles to their respective team mates to come up with a 3 minute cheer dance routine featuring their chosen team name and their chosen slogan
  • The cheer must convey the message of why they chose the name and the relevance of the slogan they chose
  • The teams choose their own work space area around the vicinity of the workshop venue and are given only 45 minutes to prepare
  • At the end of 45 minutes all teams must report back to the room and draw lots as to the sequence of performance
  • The facilitator serves as judge together with a guest judge. The guest judge may be an executive of the company. This will add flavor to the whole experience.
  • Rating Criteria:
  1. Execution -50%
  2. Cheer Content -20%
  3. Choreography -20%
  4. Audience Impact -10%
  • Performance will be done one after the other and the proclamation of winner will be proclaimed after the judge gives his observation on how the respective teams performed
  • During his talk the assistant facilitator tallies the result and then hand it over to the judges for proclamation
  • Feedback session follows
  • Content points of the exercise is drawn out from the feedback


The Full Production Team Building Exercise

Number of participants: 10 - 40
Materials: CD player, guitar, keyboards, materials available in the workshop venue and 2 copies of a script
Content Points: the essence of a quality performance team
Mechanics

  • Divide participants into 2 teams
  • Each team picks one folded script from the facilitator
  • The teams are given only 1 hour to come up with a full production of the scene complete with sound effects, improvised costumes and improvised props.
  • The script will contain the following:
  • The same dialogue for two people but with different settings and theme
  • The Dialogue

A: Hello there

B: Hello,

A: How are you?

B: I’m fine and you

A: Very well, thank you.

B: Have you been here for sometime?

A: Yes. There’s something I’d like to tell you

B: What is it?

A: I think you know.

B: Huh? Ah…

  • One team will do the horror and suspense theme interpreting the scene as one taking place in an old dilapidated art gallery with horrific artworks on display. The dialogue is between a psychotic killer (A) and an alcoholic party girl (B) whom the killer lured into meeting him at his gallery after they met at a bar the other day. The last line of the dialogue must depict the killing scene.
  • The other team will do the tragic love story theme interpreting the scene as one taking place at a plush art gallery with sensual yet tragic artworks on display. The dialogue is between a boneless artist (A) who left his true love to marry a rich art collector to fulfill his lifelong dream of having a gallery of his own and a martyr type woman (B) who has taken the courage to visit his gallery to say her final goodbye even if she was very much pregnant with his baby. The last line of the dialogue must show their intense love for one another with a break down and final separation.
  • The team members must be assigned specific roles onstage and off stage with some members portraying gallery artworks
  • The teams will be assigned an area in the workshop venue which they will transform into their respective galleries.
  • The teams must use only available materials that can be found in the workshop venue
  • The facilitator serves as judge together with guest judges. The guest judges may be executives of the company.
  • Rating Criteria:
  1. Sets & Props -10
  2. Make-up & Costumes -10
  3. Music & Lighting -10
  4. Acting -20
  5. Directing -20
  6. Overall Impact -30

  • Performance will be done one after the other and the proclamation of winner will be proclaimed after the judges give their observation on how the respective teams performed
  • During his talk the assistant facilitator tallies the result and then hand it over to the judges for proclamation
  • Feedback session follows
  • Content points of the exercise is drawn out from the feedback

These team building exercises using theater games add a new dimension to team development. It provides the participant a venue to explore their artistic skills while enhancing their out of the box thinking capability. It also allows participants the opportunity to better appreciate the performing arts.

Team building exercises using theater games may just be what you need to come up with a quality performance team.

Daisy Ba-ad

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Comments 16 comments

ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Hello dayzeebee! I remember these team building exercises you have conducted. I am always amazed at how you are able to come up with such creative games and to modify it to suit the group. I would highly recommend your team building workshops to schools, corporate groups, companies and groups who need to learn to work as a team. Your generosity and willingness to share what you know shows what kind of a trainer you are at heart. I am honored to be working with you. :)


Nancy's Niche profile image

Nancy's Niche 7 years ago from USA

This example of team building demonstrates that you are a remarkable and successful teacher. We need teachers like you in our public school system at all grade levels…Blessings!


dayzeebee profile image

dayzeebee 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Hello Michelle, well, I must say you are one great student any teacher, mentor,life coach would love to have. Your enthusiasm to learn more about life and experience new things allow you to grow quicker and conquer obstacles faster. I am honored to be your mentor, friend and student too as I have learned much from you. I will always be grateful for the wonderful lessons you have taught me. God bless you in all your undertakings. Hugs:)


dayzeebee profile image

dayzeebee 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Hi Nancy, oh I do appreciate your vote of confidence. I do love training people of all ages. Nothing beats the passion I feel seeing students come out of their cocoons and fly with radiant colors. I wish to be able to empower more people through all our motivational talks and workshops. Thank you for your encouraging comment. Blessings always:)


Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 7 years ago from MA, USA

Oh Boy! Games, Games, the Games people play. I think I'd be a scarity cat at these, hahaha. I'd love to watch though, LOL.


Susan Ng profile image

Susan Ng 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Gulp! :O Uh... when is our team building workshop again? I just remembered I have an appointment with my, uhm... cats' doctor on that day. Hahaha! :P I think I'd like to sit next to Dottie and watch from the sidelines, too. Hehe. :P


dayzeebee profile image

dayzeebee 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Hi Dottie, yes games and more games. Watching is fine too. It helps bring out the happy cells and keep us healthy.LOL. But nothing beats the adrenalin rush when you're out there taking part! That would be a sight to behold. Blessings:)


dayzeebee profile image

dayzeebee 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Hi Susan, hahahahaha and this from a person who efficiently conducts games and fearlessly choreograph dances for the kids hahahahahahah. I guess being on the other side of the classroom gives out a different reaction huh? Don't worry teacher Susan just bring out your kiddie hat and you'll enjoy it like any other kid discovering new things in the world of games. Blessings:)


steffsings profile image

steffsings 7 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

WOW, just what I needed for my band & small groups/cell groups. I hope you will continue to post updates to this topic, extremely informative useful information three thumbs up (borrowing one thumb from a friend because two just wasn't enough).


dayzeebee profile image

dayzeebee 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Hi Steffsings, LOL i like the thumb borrowing thing. Glad to be of help. I will try my best to add other activities that can benefit many. Enjoy life and my best to your band and cell groups. Blessings:)


wmheadmaster 6 years ago

You are an epitome of a real thespian-teacher! Kudos! Multiply yourself in millions! God bless, dearest!


dayzeebee profile image

dayzeebee 6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Hello wmheadmaster, I am humbled by such kind words. Thank you and may all of life's blessings be upon you.:)


Noniel Donan 4 years ago

Hello Miss,

love reading the exercises. Hope I can attend again your session as I considered you "my greatest mentor" in the field of theater. Sail On.... Please post schedule if you have workshops..thanks


dayzeebee profile image

dayzeebee 4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Hi Noniel, Glad you found this hub to be useful. Hahaha I am humbled by your kind "consideration". I hope to work with you again in the coming days. Unfortunately, I do not have a regular workshop schedule. Most of the workshops I conduct nowadays are with corporate groups and productions. But keep posted on announcements on wall at facebook. If public workshops are offered I usually post them there. Blessings:)


michaelhoomson 4 years ago

hello there gary it took me ages to find it this is there contact

and some info ,give them a call ,tell them m hiltams put you on


dayzeebee profile image

dayzeebee 4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Hmm michaelhoomson if you are recommending this hub to a friend, thank you so much. I am honored. Blessings:)

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