With workshops beginning to return to “in person” after over a year of virtual work, it seems a suitable moment for my recommendations for workshop facilitating books for this year’s Autumn Reading.
101 Drama Games & Activities by David Farmer is exactly that. Contained within the book are sections on warm up, ice-breakers, improvisation, group dynamics, and rehearsals. Theatre Director, trainer and writer Farmer has over 30 years of experience and his books have a range of activities for school drama lessons, workshops or rehearsals for all age groups. Farmer also runs CDP drama courses particularly suitable for those teaching drama in educational settings.
Originally published in 1998, Making a Leap Theatre of Empowerment by Sara Clifford and Anna Herrmann is a handbook for anyone wanting to run issue-based workshops exploring personal and social issues. Aimed at working with young people, the ideas here would work equally well with older groups. The book draws on a range of theatre disciplines, including theatre in education, community theatre and conflict resolution, using practices from Leap Confronting Conflict’s workshops. Learn more about Leap Confronting Conflict here.
Theatre Games A New Approach to Drama Training by the late Clive Barker was originally written as a “theatre games system” of training actors. Over the years, it has become a classic not just for actor training, but for those running drama workshops. Written by Barker after his involvement in Centre 42 and Joan Littlewood’s Theatre Workshop, it combines the approach to the games, how to play them and the potential skills developed from them, in addition to Barker’s philosophy. Published in 1977, this is another book that has stood the test of time.
Special mention to Chris Johnston’s Drama Games for Those Who Like to Say No and Drama Games for the Classroom: both of which others have recommended to me on several occasions.
Finally, if you are looking for creative ideas for a workshop, The Weekly Challenge by 64 Million Artists always comes up with inspiring challenges, and a great way to reignite your own personal creativity.