Drama students improve their acting skills with improv exercises

Posted: December 3, 2014 in Drama, Electives
(Photo by Makenzie Myers)

(Photo by Makenzie Myers)

By Zoey Lopez
Cougar News Blog

     Drama students have been improving their acting skills with some drama improv at Cactus Canyon. They have been using props, acting on the spot, going up in front of the class, and acting out scenes and monologues. Paige Reesor, the drama teacher, uses games from the TV show “Whose Line is it Anyways” and turns them into acting exercises to help students get better.
     “Scenes from a hat” is an exercise Ms. Reesor uses. It’s where the class writes down different scenarios on a piece of paper, and Ms. Reesor puts them in a hat. She draws one piece of paper and chooses a student to act it out. It is one of the class’ favorites because they are able to contribute all of their ideas.
     “I do enjoy acting in front of the class because it helps me get better,” says Angel Meeks.
     When the students first get in class, each day Ms. Reesor calls out an emotion and everyone must do it right on the spot. For example, if Ms. Reesor yelled out the word “sad” everyone in the class would have to act sad. She also does props which is a little bit harder to do. The point of the exercise is to take the prop and do anything creative with it. “If a student is good enough,” the class will be able to guess what he or she is acting.
     Most students get nervous and scared to get up in front of the class and show their true selves, but others go and take risks. They think its OK to be goofy and Ms. Reesor encourages her students to be loud and energetic. The scripts don’t let them act like themselves because they are just reading a part that’s given to them. When the students are doing improv they have to get their mind going and think outside the box to get their classmates to laugh at them.
     “I learn how to act, but most of all I learn how to be myself,” says Kara O’connor.
     Most kids chose drama for the fun but others chose it to be more outgoing. There are millions of exercises they do.
     “I try to demonstrate as a teacher…what it means to be energetic and loud,” said Ms. Reesor. “I let them know its OK to be goofy in my class.”

  1. kyra says:

    wow that’s great i hope you guys have fun in drama class i’m in 5th grade so im going to do drama class when i’m older. i also have a question for you guys how is middle school is it fun or is it hard 🙂

    • Michele D. says:

      In Middle school the work obviously is harder but I am in eighth grade and last year it was easier but eighth grade is more that expected. It may be hard but its very fun being able to communicate with twice as many people in one grade compared to one grade in elementary. Overall its a fun and hardworking experience.

    • Kara oconnor says:

      It’s very fun! When you start you’ll be nervous. But when your like a week or two in you’ll be open. When I first started drama i wouldn’t talk now i get in trouble cause I talk to much! Like I said above I get to express myself and I’m glad she put that in there. You’ll LOVE drama!

  2. samuel says:

    My sister jade [10] loves acting

  3. Madyson says:

    So you helping student improve on drama? Well that’s nice to do! I’m sure there enjoying drama. Al tho I’ve never tried it cause I’m in 5th Grade it seams really fun. I’m also very creative and etc. My sis does in her class sometimes is they have to guess the drawing she/he draws. Otherwise its AWESOME!

    • Michele D. says:

      For you are into the arts, when you are at the end of sixth grade and you get a paper to sign up for your electives you should sign up for Drama, Art, Journalism 1, Yearbook, and maybe even Student council. You can only pick two and the last three are all year things the first two are one semester things.

  4. Riley says:

    Kyra, this is Riley, i’m an eighth grade student at CCJH, to answer your question middle school is not hard and is fun yes. You’ll love being in middle school, i’m sure of it.

  5. Gayle Dickie says:

    Find a monologue you do not know from a play you are vaguely familiar with and perform it to the best of your ability. Be familiar enough with the play and the scene to know what the situation is but do not study the monologue, play or scene. You can practice your ability to perform a piece of material you are not familiar with. This will be an asset to you for last minute auditions or other situations where you may have to perform a monologue you do not know.

    Gayle Dickie

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