Tongue twisters warm up the voice…Yoga can stretch the body…But what about our character’s feelings?

I use “Pass the Emotions” to get my students primed for their rehearsals in our Shakespeare productions at Child’s Play NY.  In these plays, the stakes are so high that I’m constantly encouraging students to go deeper and make things matter more!  

After a round of “pass the emotion” the pump is primed for kids to access with their huge feelings.  Our rehearsals are then crackling with intensity and these young actors are really listening and responding to each other.  

In the circle, kids are connecting with each other and building off their collective energy.  Encourage them to use gibberish when giving voice to these feelings. Through nonsensical sounds they can get more viscerally involved and have permission not to “get it right”.  By asking them to stretch themselves emotionally, you are giving them access to go beyond what they normally present on a daily basis.  

Pass the Emotion is also a great classroom tool, whether or not you are rehearsing a high-stakes play!

Use this:

  • As a way to focus energy since this requires great listening skills and some impulse control.
  • Before you want to have a discussion about something meaningful (like the presidential election or ) and feelings are running high.
  • When the class needs a “brain-break” and a high-energy release – connecting sounds and emotion is a great visceral way to let go!

Chime in below to tell me how you used “Pass the Emotion” in your classroom.  For more ideas on injecting theater into your curriculum, subscribe to the Child’s Play in Action You Tube channel and connect with me