Webpage Supplement to Appendix B:

Warm-Ups, Theatre Games, Psychodramatic Techniques, Experiential Exercises


Here are books, articles in journals, chapters in books, and at the end, websites that offer further resources! Anderson, Bob. (1975). Stretching. (Rev. Ed, July 2000). Bolinas CA: Shelter Publications Warm up techniques.

Basom, Jonas. (2005). The Drama Game File–A CD-ROM for Arts and Literacy, Pre-K through 12th Grade. (Free tour, sample pages, ordering: www.DramaEd.net

Includes school system theatre arts standards, printable posters, integration ideas, etc.

Barker, Clive.(1978). Theatre games: a new approach to drama training. ? Methuen (publishers).

Belt, Lynda, & Stockley, Rebecca. (1991). Acting through Improv: improvisation through TheatreSports: a curriculum to improve acting skills. Puyallup, WA: Thespis Productions. Very good collection of performance games.

Bergman, John & Hewish, Saul. (2003). Challenging experience: an experiential approach to the treatment of serious offenders. Oklahoma City: Wood n’ Barnes.

Bernardi, Philip. (?) Improvisation starters: a collection of 900 games. Studio City: Players Press.

Blatner, A. (2000). A compendium of psychodramatic terms and techniques (pp. 235-257), in Foundations of psychodrama: history, theory & practice (4th ed.). New York: Springer.

Blatner, A. & Blatner, A. (1991). Imaginative interviews: A psychodramatic warm-up for developing role-playing skills. Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Psychodrama & Sociometry, 44(3), 115-120. (Also on website: http://www.blatner.com/adam/pdntbk/talksho.htm   )

Blatner, Adam. (1996). References on warming up, pp. 60-63. Acting-in: Practical applications of psychodramatic methods. New York: Springer.

Boal, Augusto. (2002). Games for actors and non-actors (2nd ed.) London: Routledge. (Translated by Adrian Jackson.) (1st ed., 1992). DeKoven says, “A genuinely inspiring handbook packed with games, exercises, methods and techniques from the world-famous author of Theatre of the Oppressed.”

Bond, T. (1986). Games for social and life skills. Cheltenham, England: Stanley Thornes.

Brandes, Donna, & Phillips, Howard. (1989). Gamesters' handbook (Book 1): 140 games for teachers and group leaders. (2nd ed.) London: Hutchison.

Brandes, D. (1982). Gamesters' handbook 2. London: Hutchinson.

Brandes, D. & Norris, John. (1998). The gamester’s handbook 3. Cheltenham, UK: Stanley Thornes.

Caesar H., Florence B., Carroll R.D., et al. (1983). Communicate! A workbook for interpersonal development, (3rd ed.). Dubuque, IA: Kendall-Hunt.

Campbell, Jean. (1993). Creative art in groupwork. Bicester, UK: Winslow Press. (Many experiential exercises.)

Cassady, Marsh. (1993). Acting games: improvisations and exercises. Colorado Springs: Meriwether.A textbook of theatre games and improvisations.

Condon, Linda. (2010). The warm-up ring: Keys for energizing your group (3rd ed.). Clearwater, FL: Author.

Cook, Alistair et al. (2004). Discovering the moment 3.0: Canadian improv games. Vancouver, BC, Canada: National Arts Centre.

Dayton, T. (1990). Drama games: Techniques for self-development. Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications, Inc.

DeKoven, Bernie. (2006). Children's and grown-up games as warm-up exercises. On website noted in Chapter 32 of the book. Dynes, R. (1990). Creative games in groupwork. Bicester, England: Winslow.

Emunah, R. (1994). Acting for real: Drama therapy, process, technique, and performance. New York: Brunner/Mazel.

Gesell, Izzy. (1997). Playing along: 37 group learning activities borrowed from improvisational theater. City?Whole Person Associates (1-800-247-6789)  

Terrific for improv troupes who teach corporate workshops. [Berrong]

Graham, Ginny (1993). First stage: A drama handbook. Plymouth, UK: Northcote House. Improv games, build character, bolton, wagner, playmak.

Gwinn, Peter and Charna Halpern. (2003). Group improvisation: the manual of ensemble improv games. Colorado Springs, CO: Meriwether Publishing, 2003.

Hickson, Andy. (1995). Creative action methods in groupwork. Bicester, UK: Speechmark. Www.speechmark.net Has other books on warm-up techniques.draws from drama therapy, psychodrama, theatre games, ritual

Hoetker, James. (1975). Theatre games: One way into drama. Urbana, IL: National Council for Teachers of English. (small book)

Hollander, Carl. The Warm-up Box. (Revised and Expanded): A file box with warm-ups on 3x5" cards.  http://www.hollanderinstitute.com/warmupbox.html

Izzo, Gary. (1998). Acting interactive theatre: a handbook. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. This book offers 150 workshop exercises, a valuable source for building a troupe.


Jennings, S. (1986). Creative drama in group work. London: Winslow Press.

Johansen, Mila. (1994). 101 Theatre Games. Studio City, CA: Classics With a Twist/Players Press. 154pg, pb, 8.5 x 11". $24. Playerspress@att.net

Johnston, Chris. (1998) House of games: Making theatre from everyday life. New York: Routledge.

Johnstone, Keith. Impro! Improvisation and the Theatre. London: Faber & Faber, 1979.

Jones, Justine, & Kelley, Mary Ann. (2006). Improv ideas: A book of games and lists. Colorado Springs: Meriwether.. This book is a plentiful resource, especially for drama teachers in secondary schools, community colleges, and recreation programs. Over 80 games described in a fair amount of detail with lists of examples.

Jones, Justine; & Kelley, Mary Ann (2007). Drama Games and Improvs. Colorado Springs: Meriwether. Although this book is billed as a semester-long curriculum for teaching drama through improv, it’s really much more—useful for anyone interested in games and activities that involve acting. It has ideas that could be useful for group leaders in therapy, recreation, acting training, improv, spontaneity training, and even classroom teachers not teaching arts related courses.

Keller, Betty. (1988). Improvisations in Creative Drama: A program of workshops and dramatic sketches for students. Colorado Springs: Meriwether

Kranz, P. (1991). A demonstration of warm-up techniques with young children. Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Psychodrama & Sociometry, 43(4), 162-166.

Kroehnert, Gary. (2001): 102 Extra Training Games. Sydney, Australia: McGraw Hill.

Lewis, Howard R. and Streitfeld, Harold. (1972). Growth games: how to tune in yourself, your family, your friends. New York: Bantam.

Lindheim, Jeannie (2010). Trusting the moment: Unlocking your creativity and imagination: a handbook for individual and group work. Hardwick, MA: Satya House.

Lobman, C. & Lundquist, M. (2007). Unscripted learning: using improv activities across the K-8 curriculum. New York: Teachers College Press, Columbia University

Malamud, D. I. & Machover, S. (1965). Toward self-understanding: group techniques in self-confrontation. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.

Malekoff, Andrew; Salmon, Robert; & Steinberg, D. M. (Eds). 2006. Making a Joyful Noise: The art and science and soul of groups. (Also in Social Work with Groups, 29 (2-3).


Moreno, Z. T. (1959). A survey of psychodramatic techniques. ACTA Psychotherapeutica, 7, 197-206.

Moreno, Zerka T. (1965). Psychodramatic rules, techniques, and adjunctive methods. Group Psychotherapy, 18, 73-86. (Also in Moreno & Moreno, Psychodrama, Vol. III, p. 233, 1969)

Morris, Kenneth T., & Cinnamon, Kenneth M. (1974). A handbook of verbal group exercises. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.

also? San Diego: Applied Skills Press.

Morris, Kenneth T., & Cinnamon, Kenneth M. (1975). A handbook of non-verbal group exercises. San Diego: Applied Skills Press.(Or Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.  (Check?)

Nevraumont, Edward J. & Hanson, Nicholas P. (2001). The ultimate improv book: a complete guide to comedy improvisation. 280 pg. A good review of many improv games. Meriwether?

Novelly, Maria C. (?). Theatre games for young performers. 160 pg.

Otto, H. A. (1970). Group methods to actualize human potential: A handbook. Beverly Hills: Holistic Press.

Peterson, Lenka & O'Connor, Dan. (2006). Kids take the stage: helping young people discover the creative outlet of the theater. New York: Back Stage Books / Watson-Guptill Publications. Many exercises, creative drama, fair amount of improv, though aimed in the long run at scripted plays.

Pfeiffer, J. W., & Jones, J. E. (1969-75). A handbook of structured experiences for human relations training (Vols. 1-5 and reference guide.). La Jolla, CA: University Associates.

Pfeiffer, J. W., & Jones, J. E. (1972-1975). Annual handbooks for group facilitators. La Jolla, CA: University Associates.

Pfeiffer, J. W. (1989). The encyclopedia of group activities. San Diego: University Associates.

Polsky, Milton. (1997). Let's improvise: becoming creative, expressive and spontaneous through drama. (2nd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Polsky, Milton, Schindel, Dorothy Napp; & Tabone, Carmine. (2006). Drama activities for K-6 Students. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Poulter, Christine. (1991). Playing the game. Studio City, CA: Players Press.

Quell, Brin. (1981). Get those people moving: a handbook on using creative dramatics in a variety of settings. Albany, NY: Albany City Arts Office.  

Robbins, Marcia (Karp). (1973). Psychodramatic children's warm-ups for adults. Group Psychotherapy & Psychodrama, 26(1-2), 67-71.

Rohnke, Karl. (1984). Silver bullets: a guide to initiative problems, adventure games, stunts and trust activities. Hamilton, MA: Project Adventure.  Www.outdoornetwork.com

Rohnke, Karl & Butler, S. (1995). Quicksilver: Adventure.  Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt.

Rohnke, Karl. (2004). Fun ‘n Games. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt.

Russell, J. (1975). Personal growth through structured group exercises. In R. M. Suinn & R. G. Weigel (Eds.), The innovative psychological therapies: Critical and creative contributions (pp. 126-135). New York: Harper & Row.

Saretsky, Ted. (1977). Active techniques in group psychotherapy. New York: Jason Aronson.

Scannell, Edward & Newstrom, John W. New York: McGraw-Hill. (A series of books, titled, variously: Games Trainers Play, 1980; More G T P 1983; Still more GTP, 1991; Even More GTP , The Complete Games Trainers Play: Experiential Learning Exercises 1994; and The Big Book of Team-Buildling Games. 1998. Plus many websites that have “Games Trainers Play.”

Schafer, Max. (2003). Viola Spolin’s Theater games for the classroom CD-ROM. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.  www.nupress.northwestern.edu All ages, 130 games, examples, lesson planning.

Schotz, Amiel. (1998). Theatre games and beyond: A creative approach for performers. Colorado Springs: Meriwether.

Schutz, Will. (1967). Joy: expanding human awareness. New York: Grove.  

This and the next one were key books in the mid-period of the “human potential movement,” and mention a number of techniques.

Schutz, Will. (1971). Here comes everybody: bodymind and encounter culture. New York: Harrow / Harper & Row.

Shapiro, J. L. (1978). Methods of group psychotherapy and encounter: A tradition of innovation. Itasca, IL: F. E. Peacock.

Sherman, Robert & Fredman, Norman. (1986). Handbook of structured techniques in marriage and family therapy. New York: Brunner/Mazel.

Shoop, Linda & Wright, Deborah. (1999). Classroom warm-ups: Activities that improve the climate for learning and discussion.  San Jose, CA: Resource Publications.

Smead , Rosemarie. (1994). Skills for Living. Group counseling activities for elementary students. Champaign, IL: Research press. Another volume in 2000.

Smead , Rosemarie. (2002). Skills for Living. Group counseling activities for young adolescents.. Champaign, IL: Research press.

Spolin, Viola: This pioneer has written a number of classic books about theatre games!

also see above item under Schafer for the CD-ROM of Spolin games

-- (1999). Improvisations for the theater: a handbook of teaching and directing techniques. (3rd ed.) 412 pg. (1st ed.1963, 2nd ed. 1985). Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press. Edited by Paul Sills, her son, and includes new exercises. DeKoven notes: An excellent introduction to the use of theater games with children, and for me the foundation of my exploration of the Theater of Games. Her "Seven Aspects of Spontaneity" in the theoretical part of the book is a most insightful introduction to play and creativity, and worth the price of the book alone.

   – (1985). Theater games for rehearsal: a director's handbook of improvisation for the teacher. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press. Paperback reprint 1995. 117 pg.

Useful handbook of games and activities that can be easily adapted for use with groups of varying skill levels

–  (1986). Theater games for the classroom: a teacher's handbook. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press 233 pg.

–  (1989). Theatre game file. (200 color-coded cards). Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.

Stevens, J. A. (1971). Awareness: Exploring, experimenting,  experiencing. Lafayette, CA: Real People Press.

Streitfeld, H. S., and Lewis, H. R. (1971). Growth games. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich.

Tamblyn, Doni, & Weiss Sharyn. (2000). The big book of humorous training games. New York: McGraw-Hill. (More oriented toward business and organizational development. Also, this publisher has published a number of other games in a “big book of business games” series.)

Thayer, L. (Ed.). (1976, 1981). Fifty strategies for experiential learning. (Books I, II). San Diego: University Associates.

Timmins, Lois. (1972). Understanding through communication: structured experiments in self-exploration. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.Mainly verbal techniques

Van der Laan, Pamela. (2011) Therapist playbook. Minneapolis: Two Harbors Press

Warren, Bernie & Dunne, Tim. (1996). Drama games: drama and group activities for leaders working with people of all ages and abilities. Studio City, CA: Players Press.

Weiner, H. A., & Sacks, J. M. (1969). Warm-up and sum-up. Group Psychotherapy, 22(1-2), 85-102. A number of psychodramatic techniques.

Weathers, L., Bedell, J. R., Marlowe, H., Gordon, R. E., Adams, J., Reed, V., Palmer, J., & Gordon, K. K. (1981). Using psychotherapeutic games to train patients' skills. In R. E. Gordon & K. K. Gordon, Systems of treatment for the mentally ill (pp. 109-124). New York: Grune and Stratton.

White, Liz. (2002). The action manual: Techniques for enlivening group process and individual counselling. Toronto, Canada: Author. Many psychodramatic methods.

Wright, Andrew; Betteridge, David; & Buckby, Michael. (1984). Games for language learning. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Zimmerman, Suzi. (2004). More theatre games for young performers. Colorado Springs: Meriwether.

Zweben, J. E., & Hammann, K. (1970). Prescribed games: A theoretical perspective on the use of group techniques. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research & Practice, 7(1), 22-27.

Useful Websites about Warm-Ups, Theatre Games, Experiential Exercises

  • www.creativedrama.com
  • www.fuzzyco.com
  • www.byu.edu/tma/arts-ed
  • www.svsu.edu/theatre/summercamps/theatregames.htm
  • www.improv.ca/   Official website for the Canadian Improv Games
  • http://www.unexpectedproductions.org/living_playbook.htm compiled by Randy Dixon
  • British Columbia Ministry of Education Drama Games:  http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/irp/drama810/apg.htm