An Energizing Theatre Warm-up

"You who move and stretch!". Hill Street Studios

This theatre game is an energizing warm-up for use in Theatre Class or with any group that could use a shift in energy!

Theatre Skills

Taking Cues, Cooperation, Cooperative Movement, Ensemble Playing, Remaining Frozen and Silent


Reproduce a copy of the list of cues provided below.

Directions/Modeling the Process

Ask all participants to stand in an open area and then teach them the following lines:

Leader: Yoo-hoo!

Group: Yoo-hoo who?

Leader: You who…

Explain that you as the leader will cue them with words that suggest movements or characters and movements, like this:

Leader: You who sneak like thieves.

Then the whole group rhythmically repeats the last word in a whisper six times as they move as indicated and then say “Freeze” and freeze in place:

Group: “Thieves, thieves, thieves, thieves, thieves, thieves, freeze!”

The leader then cues the next movement:

Leader: Yoo-hoo!

Group: Yoo-hoo who?

Leader: You who jump with ropes.

Group: Ropes, ropes, ropes, ropes, ropes, ropes, freeze!


Do a few practice rounds until the participants get the call-and-response lines down and move in rhythm, freezing at the appropriate place:

Leader: Yoo-hoo!
Group: Yoo-hoo who?
Leader: You who move like robots.
Group: Robots, robots, robots, robots, robots, robots, freeze!
Leader: Yoo-hoo!
Group: Yoo-hoo who?
Leader: You who style hair.
Group: Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, freeze!

Teaching Tips

It is best if this warm-up can maintain a rhythm in both speech and movements so that it moves quickly. This is why the “whisper” and “freeze” aspects of the activity are important. The whispering of the final word in the cue will help to control the noise level. The “freeze” at the end of each movement section will stop the previous action and prepare participants to listen for a new cue.

Having a copy of the list of cues is important so that the leader does not have to think up movement ideas on the spot. Of course, this list can be increased with new ideas, but here is a set of cues to start with:

List of Cues

You who…

…bloom like flowers.

…crawl like babies.

…sway like palm trees.

…splash like waves.

…soar like birds.

…move like boxers.

…dance ballet.

…swirl like tornadoes.

…walk on tightropes.

…move like toddlers.

…swim through water.

…move like a sharks.

…play basketball.

…float like clouds.

…practice yoga.

…move like monkeys.

…dance the hula.

…figure skate.

…perform surgery.

…ski down mountains.

…run in races.

…bake a cake.

…conduct an orchestra.

…walk like brides.

…sing in operas.

…move like royalty.

…wait on tables.

…do gymnastics.

…lift weights.

…clean houses.

…row boats.

…ride horses.

…paint nails.

…ride skateboards.

…wear high heels.

…drive race cars.

…ride a bike.

…play hop scotch.

…paint a house.

…walk in mud.

…reach and stretch.

…rush to class.

…taste new food.

…water ski.

…take selfies.

…dance at parties.

…lead the cheers.

…throw the ball.

…sing too loud.

…take big steps.

…gaze at stars.

Using the Warm-Up in Connection with Curriculum

Once the participants understand the format of this theatre game, you can adjust it to apply to an area of study. For example, if you are reading Macbeth, your cues could be:

You who…


…long for power.

…plan and plot.

…murder kings.

…see a ghost.

…rub out spots.

Add new cues and save them for future uses of this warm-up. And if you like "Yoohoo," you might also like Circle Tableau Game.

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Your Citation
Flynn, Rosalind. "An Energizing Theatre Warm-up." ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, Flynn, Rosalind. (2020, August 26). An Energizing Theatre Warm-up. Retrieved from Flynn, Rosalind. "An Energizing Theatre Warm-up." ThoughtCo. (accessed January 21, 2021).