Obstacles – a physical drama warm-up game


Obstacles encourages students to create – and move through – imaginary spaces, gently warming up both the creative mind and the body for working on a bare stage/studio.

Gather the group on one side of the room and ask for a volunteer. The volunteer then has to lead the group across the room – going around, over, under or through all of the obstacles that they imagine in the way – the obstacles can be big or small, challenging or just a nuisance. The group has to follow the leader as accurately as possible – not just in how they move but where.

When the group has reached the far side of the room, a new volunteer should lead them back – with a new set of obstacles to navigate. If attention seems to be swaying, stop at each end and ask someone (not the volunteer) to describe the obstacles they’re just navigated.

For more advanced groups, ask the volunteer to incorporate motivation and emotion into the journey.

Length: 5-10 minutes, depending on the number of “rounds”

Group size: any, though to maintain accuracy in movement, it’s better to break larger groups into smaller ones

Have you used this game with your class?

  • Did they like it?
  • Did you find it useful?
  • Did you change anything?

We'd love to hear what you think!