Welcome to the Drama Workshop resource forum at Rotation.org.  Don't forget the related "drama" resources: Puppets, and the Lego & Storytable workshop resources. For drama ideas and lessons for specific Bible stories visit the Lesson Forums.

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SHADOW DRAMA, SHADOW PLAYS - HOW TO, RESOURCES

The following is a compilation of posts by members Deborah Diehl, SheilaB, Jaymie Derden, Amy Crane, Luanne Payne . Your suggestions are welcome!

drama3shadowcross2



WHY USE SHADOW PLAYS:

  • Acting behind a screen feels exotic to all ages and gives them a degree of anonymity that allows them to be less self-conscious.
  • It's good for younger kids who can't handle much dialogue and for kids who are shy about speaking parts.
  • Narrators can stand to the side while shadow actors move or pose certain lines of scripture/action.
  • Minimal amount of costuming needed.
  • Minimal set up.
  • They're fun to watch too.

SCREENS:

  • White Sheet - for a full body shadow play Stretch a white sheet or white cloth between posts, walls, double doorway, over stage curtain rod, something that will have the sheet reasonably taut and secure.
  • Plastic Shower Curtain: stretched on a frame and attached with big black office binder clips .

 
LIGHTING:

  • Shine a bright light on the sheet. (The light goes behind the white sheet and behind the actors so that their shadows are cast on the sheet.) The children act the play behind the sheet giving the audience on the other side the shadow image.
  • Position church's overhead projector behind it for the light.

 drama5
SCRIPTS


It is usually done with narration, sometimes straight from scripture, or sometimes with an embellished drama script found here at rotation.org or elsewhere online. You can also create your own by looking up the story in THE VOICE version of scripture which breaks down stories like a script. You can see a good example of The Voice's translation/format for Lazarus' story here.

  • Children's bible story books are often a good place to start too. Read the story, then they re-inact it. 
  • First read them the story, discuss.  Then re-read the story and have the children take turns (may do it in groups if you have a large group) they act it out as you read.  You can add to the story drama by adding exaggerated movements to your dialog example:  The Good Samartian - The priest RAISED HIS ARMS in surprise.  Then he LOOKED SLOWLY TO THE RIGHT AND SLOWLY TO THE LEFT to make sure no one was watching.


OPTIONS:

  • Freeze Scenes
    It may also be done with "stills." In other words, the children get in position and hold that position while the narration occurs, like a photograph. Then for the next scene, they get into a new position and hold that position.
  • Puppets
    Shadow plays may also be done with puppets. For puppets the white sheet is just large enough to cover the front on the puppet area and once again is taut and secure and the light definitely shines from the back. Keep in mind when you are using puppets for the shadows, you may want to use a puppet that gives definition to the shadow.

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