Time for Mime

MYP1 students recently completed their first “real” Drama unit: Mime.  Contrary to popular belief (and even the picture on this blog!), mime is not always about white make-up, striped shirts, or imaginary boxes; it’s about how to tell a story without words.  Students spent several weeks learning about isolation exercises, manipulating imaginary objects, and non-verbal communication.  For their final performance, students were given the following instructions:

 Task: In groups, prepare a mime presentation of 3-5 minutes, which shows the key elements of mime and relationships between characters in either:

  • a doctor’s waiting room 
  • a library
  • a picnic area
  • a passenger airplane
  • a locker room
  • a school dance or dance class

Your character’s age, personality, and use of an imaginary prop must be shown with a combination of the following: 

  • isolations
  • gestures
  • body posture/body language
  • eye contact
  • facial expression

Don’t forget:

  • Stagecraft: Visibility and Sightlines (Can the audience see you?)
  • Stagecraft: Clear beginning and end (Take a bow and make it clear that the performance is over.)
  • Stagecraft: Use of performance space (Try to use Center Stage as much as possible)
  • Mime involves no voice, sound effects, or props. (You are allowed to use chairs or tables, but only as chairs or tables.)
  • Imaginary objects should be shown as having shape, size, and weight.
  • Maintain the illusion of the space and imaginary objects you create.
  • Simple, realistic storyline (Ensure your story is clear for the audience.) NO plane crashes, aliens, or ninjas!
  • Show your character’s emotions (happy, sad, angry, etc.) and states of being (mental & physical conditions like tired, nervous, etc.).

How did they do?  As their teacher, I was pleased. I’d love to give you some examples, but many of them don’t want to be on the internet. If you know an MYP1 student, ask them to show you!

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