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Acting and Dramatic Games Menagerie

( Acting and Dramatic, Command and Response, Educational )

This game may be one of the funniest possible for a house party. The players sit around the room or in a circle. One player who has ready wit is chosen to be ringmaster or there may be different showmen or ringmasters for each group of animals. The ringmaster takes his place in the center and will be more effective if furnished with a whip. He shows off in turn different troops of animals pointing out from two to eight players for each troop according to the number who are taking part. These must come forth into the center of the ring and go through their paces as indicated by the showman. He may thus display the growling and clawing bear the hopping and croaking frog the leaping kangaroo the roaring and ramping lion the humped camel the stubborn and braying donkey the screaming and wing-flapping eagle the hooking and mooing cow the neighing and galloping horse etc.

For instance the ringmaster may say “Ladies and gentlemen I will now exhibit to you a marvelous troup of snorting hippopotami. Such graceful carriage has never before been seen in these ponderous animals. They have learned to gambol in our Northern clime with even greater grace than they showed in their native jungles. They show almost human intelligence. Sit up there ” (cracking his whip) “Snort to the right Snort to the left ” etc.

When all of the animals in the menagerie have been displayed they may all join in a circus parade each retaining his distinctive character.

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