Bringing Fairy Tales to Life through Drama

Fairy and folk tales are useful in drama sessions for children and adults as they provide a common point of reference and contain universal characters and themes. They offer an opportunity to develop new work using a familiar structure. The stories can be used as a launch pad in various ways to lead into rehearsed performances, improvisations, a series of tableaux or oral storytelling. Groups may want to stick closely to the story or simply use it as a starting point. The following activities all involve fairy tales.

Just a Minute

Age: 10 to adult
Players: Small Groups
Time: 20 minutes
Skills: Improvisation, Devising

Give each group ten minutes to prepare a one-minute performance of a fairy tale. Rehearsal isn’t important. Focus on making sure the group all know the story, cast the characters and away you go! The fun is in trying to fit everything in to a minute – be strict and use a timer.

Mix and Match

Age: 9 to adult
Players: Small Groups
Time: 20 – 30 minutes
Skills: Improvisation, Devising

Introduce characters from one fairy story into another and you will immediately add layers of complexity which can lead to entertaining new versions. The groups can begin by writing some of their ideas down and then develop them into a group storytelling or a rehearsed improvisation.

by David Farmer