We had 11 people in our class this last Wednesday. It wasn't that long ago when I would have considered that a BIG class. Compared to most of our classes for the last year, however, it seemed pretty small. We took advantage of the opportunity to do exercises and games in smaller groups. For the night, we focused on character work. "Character Intro", "Greetings", "Info Booth", "Class Photo to Scene", "Panel of Experts", and (of course) "Animal Xform" were the exercises and games that had everyone stretching character creation. Throw in "One Word Story", an "Irish Drinking Song", "Three Line Drill", and some "Freeze Tag" and we had a pretty busy night.
Only a couple of pictures from the class, I had to do a little tweaking to get them presentable.
I like "Animal Xform" because you can explore new charateristics for portraying a character. Here Todd (parrot), Mike (octopus), Patricia (possum), and Marika (donkey) are transforming from their assigned animals to humans influenced by the characteristics they found while acting out their "totem". I found the characters to be very believable, interesting, and often a stretch for the performers. They moved away from their usual character portrayals.
"Panel of Experts" allows each player to create a character appropriate for their assigned topic. In this scene, Eric is the moderator for a panel discussing hair. Mike player Luis, a French hair stylist working in New York. Jim played Stephen, Luis' long suffering assistant with wildly different philosophies on hair. And Justin created Jeff, a natural hair zealot who considers cutting hair to be morally offensive. He said my favorite line of the night, "Justice for Hair!"