Drama Menu At a Distance: 80 Socially Distanced or Online Theatre Games by Glyn Trefor-Jones
Friday, December 18, 2020
A useful refresher of well-known games, now socially distanced or online, published by Nick Hern Books.
Teaching drama during lockdown was really hard. Thankfully, Glyn Trefor-Jones has written Drama Menu at a Distance with a focus on how to continue with practical drama, but with social distancing at the heart.
I wish I'd had this book in March when we were all at home, fretfully trying to re-write schemes of work and come up with fresh and original ways to teach down the lens of a webcam, but what's useful now that we're back at school (at the time of going to press) is that most of the book focuses on in-person teaching while adapting to the new rules, rather than solely online activities.
Alongside these practical socially distanced games, throughout the book you will also see a computer symbol, which indicates which particular exercises can be adapted into a virtual/digital workshop as well. So, if schools close again or year groups are sent home, you can use these exercises to continue your teaching with students at home.
Thankfully, this is not a book with 80 monologues in it. The aim of this book is to ‘increase students’ performance abilities as well as respecting the rules of social distancing’. What's even more important, and stressed in the book, is how to do that and still maintain a sense of creativity and fun, which is why games are aimed at maintaining teamwork and collaboration and aren't all solo activities.
For those of you familiar with Trefor-Jones’ previous book, it has the same structure in that it is split up into a selection of 80 games, categorised like a menu, with appetisers, mains and desserts for you to choose from. The games and exercises ‘offer fun, creative, learning experiences without the need to get up close and personal’. There are also star symbols above game numbers which indicate a downloadable resource pack, which includes scripts, worksheets or printouts, which is also great if you have to send work home or want downloadable resources at your fingertips.
What I will say is that lots of the games will be familiar to you and some are fairly obvious. I don't think anyone needs an explanation of how to play ‘wink murder’ for example, so I'm not sure you'd really use all 80 games, but it's always good to have a new text refreshing the games that you do play, and you can just dip into it and find the ones you think would work for your students and school setting.