Saturday, January 26, 2013

Try a Tableau!

If you're looking for a more interactive kind of opportunity, but you don't have much in the way of drama geeks at your church, here's an exercise to try.  We saw it modeled at the Florida-Bahamas Synod Assembly this year, and it looked like it would work with a variety of groups, except for the very shy.

Instead of a skit or a puppet show, try a tableau.  Here's how it worked with our group.

We read the texts for the day.  We studied the parable of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son (the Prodigal Son).  Then the groups doing tableaus went off to discuss. 

Just the conversation leading up to the tableau leads to interesting insights, arguments, and conversations.  Which part of the parable leads to a good scene?  It's a scene that will be a still scene, after all.

And then, the tableau:  the participants stood in a frozen moment in the story.  I recall the father of the Prodigal Son embracing the returning son, while the faithful son scowls in the background.

It's a great exercise because it requires no movement (or not much, depending on how you want to do it), no memorization, no speaking in front of a group of people.  You might find that people are more willing to try experimenting with drama if they don't have to speak.  You don't have to have costumes or props.

Or you could have costumes and props.  It's a remarkably expandable exercise.

I love these exercises that could work with groups that have all ages and abilities.  I love these exercises that could work in all sorts of settings:  Confirmation class, Vacation Bible School, Sunday school--even a worship service for adventurous congregations.

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