Encourages vocal modulation and emotional attack in performance.
Have the players form groups of four or five and instruct each group to prepare a scene that includes four very distinct vocal dynamics:
These can occur in any order but insist that the storyline/subject matter reflects the high-energy/risk nature of the sounds.
Encourage the players to fully commit to the laughter, crying, screaming and silence, and ask that they remain focused and emotionally connected at all times in order to make the piece engaging and believable.
Allocate ten to fifteen minutes for rehearsals (or more/less depending on your time constraints), give a title for the piece (i.e. ‘Caught in the Act’) and away you go.
As they rehearse, encourage the players to ‘let go’ as much as possible so that there is a very clear contrast between all four vocal qualities – this contrast will give colour to the piece and help to maintain the interest and attention of the audience.
A simple premise that has been shown to produce extremely energised and committed acting work.