Never be stuck for a drama, theatre or improv game again!
Updated: Dec 11, 2020
Find out why I created Drama Trunk Drama and Improv Cards and how they transformed my drama lessons (and why I wouldn't teach drama without them!)
Drama teachers may be considered 'creative' but as a drama teacher I often found myself having days where I just couldn’t come up with ideas for a drama activity or scene; or come up with creative and suitable prompts for improv, theatre and drama games on the spot.
I also found that:
Not having enough prompts prepared was not ideal for teaching different classes (and skill levels).
The quality of my drama prompts affected the quality of student performances, writing and student engagement.
The quality of my drama prompts affected not only the particular drama activity but also the wider drama curriculum.
Nothing can make the class energy or a scene sizzle so quickly as a wrong drama / improv prompt.
I started creating sets of drama / improv cards to use with my favourite games and to assist students in scene creation and creative writing. I was able to use (and remember!) prompts that had worked well with students in the past and also test out new prompts and new games.
The results were amazing. Not only did I solve my 'creativity' problems:
Students loved choosing random cards and really went along with the prompts to create amazing scenes and characters. The enthusiasm for the prompts was higher (I noticed this particularly with teens).
Students were engaged more quickly and more fully.
Students became more exploratory in their character and storytelling choices and started creating work outside of their comfort zone - challenging themselves more.
I was able to cater more easily for different age ranges and abilities.
Students' performance, scene creation, writing and improv skills improved dramatically.
Students weren't getting caught up with deciding things like what to make a scene about or what character they would play - they used the prompts and started making amazing scenes and pushing their own boundaries and their drama skills improved dramatically across the board.
The effect of quality drama prompts had a positive knock-on effect across all elements of the drama curriculum.
The prompts provided challenges for more advanced students (who enjoyed working additional elements into their scenes and improv) and a safety net for beginners and less advanced students.
The enhanced creativity had a positive effect on all of the students’ drama work – they were writing better (even without the prompts) and were trying out more advanced performance and characterisation techniques.
I was able to teach more advanced drama techniques.
The prompts are fun! Students really enjoy them (classes were filled with laughter).
So engaged by the drama cards and activities, I even started having students going off to create their own in their own time (and of their own will) and they would arrive to class with new drama cards for the whole class to try.
Some students told me that they never used to like drama very much but now they were loving it.
Students started coming up with more of their own fantastic ideas.
Students’ improv skills improved – with something to start with, they were more free to focus on performance and started coming up with really interesting and clever stories, characters and performances.
The students were really engaged with others in their class – because the selections were random, they were very interested in what other students / groups had as a prompt and what they had created from it. Students started reflecting on their own work and others work more.
My life as a drama teacher was much easier and I could focus more on helping students hone their drama skills.
The only issue I had was that some classes wanted to do nothing else!
Classic Drama Cards
It started with the classic drama card set, which I created to use with some of my favourite drama / theatre / improv games and to provide prompts for scene building and writing activities. I even created some new drama games / activities to go with some of the sets (explained in each resource).
My classes started begging me to pull out my "Drama Trunk" and their improv, original scene creation, characterisation and performance skills advanced quickly. So I had to create more and more cards (as some classes started going through them so quickly). Some sets are so large now (such as moods and locations) because I kept having to make new cards (because my classes were begging for more).
More Drama Cards and Games
The Drama Trunk cards were so effective that I went beyond the classics and I created new drama cards to use with more drama / theatre / improv games and as prompts for students to create scenes and characters.
Focus on Improv
My teen students particularly were in need of further improv challenges. So I went further to create improv specific cards (but they can be used for scene prompts as well).
I highly recommend drama cards for every drama teacher!
If you don’t use drama cards, I highly recommend that you do - not only will they enhance your student’s performance, writing and improv skills and help you with good prompts - but they are also fantastic for warm ups or at the end of class, when you need an on-the-spot engaging activity that students love. They really help to lift the energy - I cannot tell you how much students have loved these.
The drama / improv cards you will find at Drama Trunk are the result of years of drama card making and use with various age groups.
Try them out for an endless amount of drama teaching fun. This useful arsenal of go-to drama cards will be your best friend in the classroom and are a MUST HAVE for any drama teacher or anyone else who wants to bring some drama or character fun into their class! You will never be stuck for a drama prompt again and your students will love choosing drama cards to inspire quality drama learning. I refer back to these cards so much, even in lesson planning when I need an idea for an activity - they really are super useful!
Use the prompt cards for:
Drama / Theatre Games
Improv Games and Ideas
Last Minute Activities
Warm Ups / Drama Starters
Scene Inspiration / Starters
Auditions / Rehearsals
You can find the following well formatted drama / improv card and game sets at Drama Trunk ready to print and go here or listed individually below:
Classic Drama Cards and Games
These card sets are available individually or in the 'Classic Drama Card Bundle' or the 'Mega Drama Card Bundle'. Each set comes with instructions for drama activities and improv theatre games but can be used in so many more ways!
Character Cards Enhance creativity, storytelling and character development with these versatile cards (with 259 characters). Use them for Character Scenes, Monologues, Bus Stop and more!
Quirky Characters Enhance creativity, improvisations and storytelling with these 139 fun and quirky character cards. Use them for Party Quirks, Blind Date, Job Interview and more! Find out how to play Party Quirks HERE!
Dramatic Deaths Enhance creativity and storytelling with these fun class faves. Use the 191 Death by Drama Cards for Death by Scenes, Death in a Minute, Silent Death and more! Check out the scene creation activity 'Dramatic Deaths' HERE!
Character Switches Switch it up, develop character scenes and improvisation skills with these 71 Character Switch cards. Use them for Character Switch, the Argument Game and more!
Character Mannerisms This set of 99 character mannerisms was created for character development work, to challenge improvisations or you can use the cards for creative writing.
Mimes Enhance physicality, storytelling and pantomime skills with these versatile 71 mimes cards. Use them for Drama Charades, Why are you Late?, Routine 4 Ways and more! Find out how to play 'Why are you Late?' HERE!
Locations Enhance scenes, monologues, characters and storytelling with these handy 239 location cards. Add a location to any scene or use them for Character Scenes, New Location, Location Shift, Lost, Forbidden Words and more!
Vocal Styles Enhance character development and challenge improvisation with these 99 vocal styles cards. Use them with just about any improv game or for vocal warm ups.
Times This set of 63 time periods drama cards can be used for Time Scenes, Time Monologues, Time Improvisations, Time Machine and more!
Moods Enhance scenes and characters or add a challenge to improv games with this set of 179 moody cards. Use them for Character Scenes, Change of Mood, Discovering Character, Mood Corners and more!
Scene Titles Have an on-the-spot scene title ready to go with these 59 scene titles cards. Use them for Crazy Interview, Write This, Gibberish Movie, Open Scenes and more! Find out how to play 'Gibberish Stories' HERE!
Character Movement This set of 59 movement cards comes with suggestions for character development work. The cards include Laban Efforts + other movement styles which can be added to characters.
Opening Lines Get scenes and storytelling off to a great start with this collection of open ended short scene starters. Use them for Opening Line Scenes, One Word at a Time Story, Monologues and more! Find out how to play 'One Word at a Time Story' HERE!
Characteristics This set of characteristics prompt cards can be used for Change of Heart, Monologues, Freeze Frames, Characteristic Effect and more.
More Drama Cards and Games
Ailments Use these 'ailments' prompts for Emergency Room, Mime Activity, Ailment Scenes and more. Really good for large group improv or smaller scene creation activities.
Cliches Use these cliche prompts for Opening Line Scenes, Cliche Scenes or more. A wonderful way to get scenes off to a great start!
Famous Characters Social studies meets drama! Use these 139 Famous Character Cards for Duologues, Monologues. Celebrity Head, Drama Cannons and more!
Forbidden Word Scenes Challenge language use in improvisation work with these forbidden word scene cards. A fantastic (more advanced) improv game!
Great Escapes This fun set of 95 Great Escapes are great for comedy scene creation. Use these cards for Great Escapes, Slapstick Escapes, Charades and more!
Help Scenes Use these scene starter prompts for Help Scenes, Mime, Improvised Scenes, Freeze Frames and more! These are good for quick prompt activities.
Character Hobbies Create fantastic original comedy and characters with these 63 Character Hobbies cards. Use them for The Convention, Hobbies Anonymous, the Interview, Blogger and more!
Random Lines This set of 107 random lines are for the fantastic advanced improv game 'the Line Game' (if you're not playing it, you should) but they can also be used as opening scene lines.
Odd Inventions These are some of my favourite drama activities based on real life odd inventions. Use these cards for Odd Advertisements, Minute Topics, Inventor Interviews and more!
Olympic Events Create great scenes with this set of 79 Olympic Event drama cards that you can use over and over again! Use them for Olympic Scenes, Monologues, Movement, Duo-logues and more!
Prop Scenes Add simple props to create great scenes or use these cards for theatre games - Prop Transformation Game, Prop Circle. Each card comes with scenario ideas for a simple prop!
Proverbs Create great stories using proverbs. This set of proverbs cards can be used for Proverb Scenes, Write This, Monologues and more!
Shakespeare Quotes This set of 98 Shakespeare Quotes have been selected for their scene prompt potential. Use them for Shakespeare Quote Scenes, Improvised Scenes, Monologues or more!
Character Tactics Use these for advanced character and script understanding. This set of 88 Character Tactics cards can be used for simple objectives scenes, Character Tactics Improvisation, Script Work and more!
Scene Scenarios 47 scene scenarios ready to go. Perfect for any day activities or improv.
World Destinations This set of world destinations can be used for Holiday Scenes, Advertisements, Slide Show, Picture Postcards, Location Freeze and more!
Improv Cards and Games
These card sets are suitable for teens (High School) where you want more of an improv focus and are available individually or in the 'Improv Card Bundle'. Use the provided improv cards for spontaneous improvisation games where a prompt is needed or otherwise task players to come up with scenes or monologues based on these cards. Each set comes with suggested improv game ideas.
Improv Scene Starters Use these improv scene starters for any drama game where a simple improvisation scenario or idea is needed. These 'Improv Scene Starters' are suitable for scenes where 1 person starts or where there are 2 or more players. Great for kids to create skits.
Animalistics Characterisation drama lesson activities with animal family improv cards. These cards have been created for use with various improv games and exercises but can be used with so many more. The characterisation lesson activities have been designed to explore elements of character, using animals as a starting prompt.
Social Situations These improv / theatre games are based on situation based improv prompts 'social situations'. Use the cards to inspire fun ideas for spontaneous improv / theater games with a strong starter. Teenagers can also write monologues or scenes based on the cards.
Scene Themes Use these 'Scene Themes' cards for spontaneous improv games where a prompt is needed in your lesson or otherwise task players to come up with scenes or monologues based on the cards. These cards are a good addition to other card sets.
Freeze Frames These freeze frame cards have been created to help develop improvisation and drama skills with a focus on freeze frames (tableaux). This set of improv cards includes freeze frame scenarios with additional directives to extend the initial freeze frames into a performance. You may also like the drama activity Drama Freezes!
Drama Shoes Looking for beginner improv activities for kids? These fun DRAMA SHOES activities comes with a set of 66 Drama Cards to cut out and use. Multiple activities are included to practice mime, movement, character development, role play and story writing but the improv cards can be used in so many more ways (why not add shoes to any improvisation scene)! Suitable for all ages!!
World Holidays Fun world holidays improv teaching resource based on funny real-world unofficial holidays. These are really fun for group scene creation.
Job Mishaps Improv games and cards based on job mishaps. Job Mishaps situation based improv cards have been created for use with various on the spot improv games or incorporate the activities into your drama lesson plans. The prompt cards have fun scenarios where 'things have gone wrong on the job' for students to create great scenes.
Relationship Killers This set of cards includes relationship killers which act as a scenario and conflict. These are really good prompts for pair (duo) activities.
Animated Objects This set of 68 Animated Objects improv cards comes with suggested improv games and drama activities perfect for your drama lessons which focus on creative language use in a performance.
Heroes and Villains This is a melodrama lesson plan with drama script + hero, villain, sidekick and victim character cards which can be used in the drama lesson or for other improvisation games and activities. This is an introduction to melodrama lesson (double lesson) but also a fun drama lesson for advanced students.
Wacky Events These improv games and cards are based on real life wacky events. They are funny prompts for kids to create skits, for spontaneous improvisation and more!
Secrets Use the cards for spontaneous improvisation / theatre games where a prompt is needed or otherwise teenagers can use the secrets card prompts to inspire a monologue or group scene. This set of cards includes ‘Secrets’ which act as a scene starter or subtext for the scene.
Things That Go Wrong Funny improvisation cards with 'things that go wrong' scenarios. These are funny prompt cards for spontaneous acting improvisation or for small group scene creation.
Argument Starters This set of Argument Starter prompt cards comes with the suggested improv games and a set of improv cards to cut out and use. They are perfect scene starters and good for groups or partner activities.
Special Events These situational improv cards can be used for spontaneous improvisation games or for scene creation and include funny ‘special events’ which act as a scene setting.
Within each set you will find prompts suitable for various levels (beginner to advanced) and I suggest having a quick flick through before the class and taking out more advanced or beginner prompts (depending on the class). Personally, I leave it to chance (although I do take some out if a card has randomly come up a few times).
Free Drama Games PDF's
You may also like my FREE Drama Games PDF's which you can download HERE!
Happy drama teaching!