Character Sculpture Garden

This is a physical exercise to help students visually understand character attributes, and make stronger physical choices.

step 1

Separate students into groups (halves or quarters) and spread out evenly around the room. Assume a neutral position, arms at
sides, shoulders straight, faces relaxed, staring forward.

Provide a simple character: an old man, a rich king, a ballerina, an evil witch, Santa Claus, etc., something recognizable and physically strong. Give students three seconds to assume the position of this character in a frozen statue.

step 2

Instruct one group to “un-freeze” and take a walk around the sculpture garden to inspect the masterpieces. Ask them to pay attention to what the frozen statues are doing physically to achieve the pose. Walk all the way around the statue, viewing it in 360 degrees.

step 3

Students in the observing group return to their positions. Everyone goes back to neutral. A new character is introduced, one that is physically very different from the first. Give students three seconds to take on this new persona and freeze.

step 4

Have a new group inspect the masterpieces. Remind students to stay frozen and to use their faces as well as their arms, legs, torso, etc. Every aspect of their body should be physically engaged.

step 5

After doing several characters, have the students embody a character that resonated with them on the count of three. When
everyone is frozen, release half the group to inspect the other half, and then vice-versa. Afterward, discuss which characters were the
most successful/clear.

Art Making