top of page

Devised Drama













(Created for the Arts & Education Network
by Georgina Harris and Justin Cliffe from Tin Shed Theatre Company
and Francesca Pickard Drama Practitioner and Director. copyright 2015.

  • Body Pose Pass: Everyone stands in a circle. Person A makes an all body pose. The bigger the better. Person B imitates the pose as closely as possible to the original. Once they do that, they turn to Person C and do their own pose. C imitates the pose as closely as possible to the original. Coach students to move quickly from pose to pose. Don’t think about what you’re going to do, just make an offer. Don’t think about how you’re going to imitate the pose, accept the offer and for for it. Once everyone has gone, repeat the exercise, adding in a sound with the pose.

  • Expert Translation: A talk show scene which features a famous expert on a topic. The expert only speaks gibberish and their translator has to do all the explaining.

  • Change: Two actors start a scene. A third player stands off to the side. The third player calls out “change” at random times. When “change” is called out, the person who just spoke has to come up with a new line. The scene then must carry on fluidly based on this new line until “change” is called out again.



  • Split the group into equal teams of no more than 6 per group

  • Set out 2 chairs roughly 6 metres apart, these represent the two islands

  • Give each member of the team a piece of newspaper

  • Outline the scenario for them: The floor is now lava and they need to evacuate the island they are living on. In their teams they must get to the other island by only standing on the newspaper. The first team to arrive at the other island with all their paper intact wins. If the paper rips during the game they lose it. If a team member falls in the lava they lose them

  • Extra rounds can be added to increase the challenge eg. make another journey but remain linked together in some way; take away 3 sheets of paper from each group; tell them they have left a team mate behind and have to rescue them

  • It’s important to encourage team work and communication. The ‘lava and island’ set up can also be changed to a different scenario or ask them to come up with a new disaster

Sharing Experiences:


Split into pairs.

  • Ask each person in the pair to share a two-minute story, for example, their earliest memory; their favourite holiday, a pet; something they regret, their proudest moment, a time they injured themselves

  • Ask the pair to select one piece and whoever’s story it is, tells the story, while the other acts it out

  • Ask those who want to, to share their stories with the group

  • Ask the pairs to form groups of 4 and select one of the two stories. Now expand the drama by narrating the story with more performers

  • Build on the drama by adding extra characters, sharing inner thoughts, relocating the scene to a new location, adding dialogue and playing with form.


What’s In Your Bag?

  • Bring in an object that you have selected, for example a mug. Nothing too elaborate.

  • Sit the students in a circle and ask them to consider the object and what stories it could be connected to. What is it? Where did it come from? Who owned it?

  • Ask the students to create a story about the object. The story could be told as a group narrative, with each student adding to the tale line by line or students could invent their own stories individually.

  • Discuss the story/stories and split the students into groups

  • Ask them to come up with a short scene about the object.

  • Challenge them not to use the object in their piece but to use it as inspiration rather than a literal and physical prop.

Music Stimulus

Ask the group to lie on the floor in a comfortable position with their eyes closed

Play the piece of music

Ensure that the students listen to the entire song without interruption and focus on the lyrics, tone, form and mood

Once the music has finished ask the class to come back together and initiate a discussion of how the music made them feel; what was it trying to say; whether any sections stood out; who was singing and what were they singing about

Hand out the lyrics on a piece of paper and play the song again but this time ask the students to circle words or phrases that stand out to them. It could be one word it could be ten

Ask them to find a space in the room and either using the words they have identified or the mood and tone of the piece they must choose to write:

—a letter to someone —a speech for an event —a short monologue

Inform the group that their responses do not have to tell the story of the song, simply be inspired by it.

Once they have finished writing, ask the group to stand in a space and tell them that you will move around the room and tap them on the shoulder to begin reading out loud. They can choose where in the piece they start and you will tap them to finish

Move around the room and select people to read, sharing examples of each person’s work as you move around the room

Year 9 Drama Self Devised Drama Piece

This piece of work should be completed over a few periods in groups. The task is:

  1. Form into groups of 3 – 5 (no more, no less)

  2. Select a theme from one of the following:

    • Racism

    • Australian Identity

    • A new beginning

    • Bullying

    • Winning

    • Conflict

  3. In your groups, discuss how you might best deal with this theme as a piece of Drama on the stage

  4. Workshop your performance to ensure you cover the following elements:

    • Introduction of:

      • Theme

      • Character

      • Time and place

      • Situation

    • The development of the story

    • The conclusion to the story which:

      • Has a natural conclusion

      • Resolves (or doesn’t) the theme

  5. Perform your scene to the class. You may wish to include costuming and some properties if required. You will need to discuss these requirements with the teacher prior to going ahead with.

  6. Complete a reflective statement in your journals regarding all steps listed above.

  • Cohesiveness of Group during development of the piece.

  • The quality of the performance piece from a scripting viewpoint.

  • Use of expressive skills to show character

  • Act can be seen and heard. Proper sight lines and projection.

Warm up:


Criteria for Assessment

Devised Drama_edited.jpg
bottom of page