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Drama Game: Stage Directions


Oct 22, 2013 Drama Games 5 Comments

Type:  Theatre Basics

Purpose:  To understand the directional terms for staging


1.  Briefly discuss with the students stage history and layout: Hundreds of years ago, stages were raked, which means the back of the stage was higher than the front.  Since the audiences’ seats were usually on a flat level, the stage was raked so that everyone could see the actors more easily.

2.  Draw a stage on the board.

3.  With the previous information in mind…have students guess what each area of the stage was called (i.e. Upstage, Downstage, Center Stage, Stage Right, and Stage Left).

4.  Explain that the directions are always from the ACTOR’S point of view.

5.  Label each area as the students name them correctly.

6.  Ask a volunteer to come to the front of the classroom.

7.  Have the volunteer face the other students (call them the audience).

8.  Now, ask the student to take one step to Stage Left. If correct, ask student to step back to Center Stage and repeat this process with all of the directions.  Consider asking more volunteers, making the directions come quicker and quicker.

9.  Invite the whole class to the “stage”.  Give them the same exercise.

10.  Consider making it more interesting by adding an emotion or activity to the process. (i.e. Saunter downstage left as if your goldfish just died. Skip upstage as if you just received straight A’s. etc.)

Below is a chart we include as part of the “Introduction to Musical Theatre” that comes with every Production Kit to our musicals.  Stage Directions

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Drama Activities for Kids Age 3-7

12 Lesson Plans with over 70 activities that will help you teach drama to preschool age children. Plus, a special “little ones” edition of Beat by Beat’s most popular musical We Are Monsters!


  • Cherie
    Mar 8, 2015 at 3:37 pm Reply

    I always play with my kids the Stage Direction Game. Kinda like Simon Says. They start out in the middle and they can only move when I say “STAGE Right, etc,” and they run to that side. If I just say “Right or Left or Up or Down,” they cannot move. If they move they are out. It gets the wiggles out and they learn along the way.
    If you want to make it a little more tough, I will say “Stage Right or Stage Left, etc,” and point in an opposite direction. They really have to focus to what I say and not what I am doing.
    Another variation is they also get out if they are the last person to arrive at the said side of the stage.

  • Robin Martin
    Jan 14, 2018 at 8:35 pm Reply

    Hey great resource. Just thought of a variation similar to Cherie’s comment of Simon saysand similar to Captain on Deck with the “stern, bow, starboard, salute the captain” calls. Only you take the opportunity to learn drama terms – hoist the backdrop, clap the lighting box, take a bow etc

  • Rachael Wilkinson
    May 25, 2018 at 9:55 am Reply

    I like to play “4 corners” using the 9 areas of the stage. My kids love this game, and the process of moving through the different areas of the stage has been really helpful for my kinesthetic learners.

  • Shelly
    Oct 5, 2018 at 2:02 pm Reply

    We play this as Thespis Says.

  • Grace Nicholas
    Nov 12, 2018 at 4:35 pm Reply

    What a cold idea. Some scenarios my students and I have found tried and true are:
    -shopping in a retail clothing store (perhaps the customer is needy and the clerk is overwhelmed until of course, they switch).
    -getting a tour of a country (we chose France) from a snooty native tour guide, the American tourist being over-excited about every little detail.
    -being in a band together. band arguments, the stress of touring and working out the schedule with tour manager, ect.

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