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The New Victory Blog is a place to learn more about New York's theater for families and the shows we produce. Find out what we do and what we're passionate about—exploring the arts as a family.
May 3, 2018

Family Activity: Pss Pss


Get silly, develop a comedy routine and find your signature clown look in this Family Activity for Pss Pss! For each show in the season, we post a new Family Activity. You can find all of our past posts here on our blog and at Pinterest.com/NewVictory.

Face It
The creators and performers of Pss Pss, Simone and Camilla, use facial expressions and grand gestures to help tell their story. To create their show, they drew inspiration from silent film comedians. In this activity, master the art of silent comedy.

Materials: Mirror

Step One: Watch the video below to see some silent film comedians. Pay close attention to how expressive their faces are!
 


Step Two: Now, it's your turn! Stand side-by-side with a friend or family member in front of a mirror. Warm up by making some silly faces. Can you:

  • Stick your tongue out?
  • Open your mouth really wide?
  • Open only one eye at a time?
  • Scrunch up your nose?

Step Three: Now it's time to really express yourself! Test out the following expressions in the mirror! Can you look:
  • Happy?
  • Sad?
  • Surprised?
  • Scared?
  • Excited?
  • Confused?

Step Three

Pas de Deux
In Pss Pss, Simone and Camilla tell a story without a single word being spoken. In this activity, play with different ways to express your thoughts and feelings to a partner without using a single word.

Materials: A random household item that can fit in your hand (maybe a ball!), card template

Step One: Sit or stand, facing your partner. Start a practice round with what you already know—your face! Decide who is partner A and who is partner B. With only their face, partner A will convey the emotions listed below in any order they'd like for 30 seconds. Partner B must try their best to keep up and mirror partner A's face. Once the 30 seconds is up, switch roles!
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Scared
Step Two: Pick up a random object in your home. Make sure it's something you can pass back and forth, for a game similar to hot potato! Some items that could work are a potato, a small ball, a rolled up sock, balled up paper or your favorite toy that fits perfectly in the palm of your hand!

First practice: simply pass the item to your partner and have your partner instantly pass it back. 

Once you get a rhythm, try passing the item based on the following prompts. Don't forget to react with your face.
  • The item is as light as a feather. Pass it!
  • The item is 1000 lbs. Pass it!
  • The item is really smelly. Pass it!
  • Can you think of other things this item could be? Pass it!
Step Three: Print and cut out the card template. Pick who is going to be partner A and who is going to be partner B. 

Card Template

Partner A picks a card and keeps it a secret, then holds the item as if it took on the identity of the object on the card they chose. 

For example, if they pick up an apple card, they would think about it's weight and how they would hold it in real life. Maybe they could take a few fake bites of it! Partner B must try to guess the identity of the object based on how partner A handles it.

BONUS: Create your very own cards with this blank template!

take it to the stage
Clowns are known for their signature looks—for Charlie Chaplin, it was a bowler hat and a thick mustache, and for Marcel Marceau, it was black triangles painted under his eyes. Check out some iconic looks below, and get ready to create a costume for your own clown persona!

Step One: Look at these classic clowns and silent film comedians in their costumes. 

Marcel Marceau
Marcel Marceau
 
Buster Keaton
Buster Keaton
 
Laurel and Hardy
Laurel and Hardy
 
Louise Brooks
Louise Brooks
 
Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin

Step Two: It's time for you to get ready for the stage! Go and find some silly clothes to put on. TIP: It doesn't have to be silly from head to toe. Sometimes a regular outfit paired with a funny hat or silly shoes is even funnier than a wacky outfit!

BONUS: Put on whatever stage makeup that inspires you!

Step Three: You're ready for action! In costume, present your clown routine to family and friends. Invite them for a performance of Pas de Deux, or ask them to quiz you with expression cards. You will amaze them with your new skills and knowledge! Record your performance and share it on social with the hashtag #familyplay
 
 
Seedfolks Thumb Slapstick at its sweetest, this timeless performance celebrates the clumsy connection we make when we meet our match. Get your tickets to Pss Pss today!
 
Posted by Beth Henderson
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