Erica Marx

Balancing Plate

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The whole group imagines it is walking around on a plate balancing on a single fulcrum. Each person is partnered with another and must keep the plate balanced.



working together
balancing the scene
spacework - getting a feel of a shared experience


Purpose: This is a type of “mirroring” exercise, with a whole new twist. Best for slightly older students, younger kids may have difficulty grasping the concept.


1. Have the class line up in a straight line across the stage. Make sure it’s an even number (if not, ask the extra student to be the “judge” throughout the game).

2. Ask the players to number off. The two players at either end are “1s”, the players next to them are “2s”, etc.

3. Make sure everyone knows who their number partner is by having them “wave” to their partner.

4. Place an object in between the middle two students (a chair, a bottle, etc.)

5. Explain to the students that they are standing on a giant plate that is being balanced on center fulcrum (or axis), represented by the object.

6. Each player and his/her partner may move anywhere in the room, independent of the other players, but must always mirror each other’s movements.

7. Additionally, both partners must stay the same distance away from the fulcrum or else the “plate” will unbalance and crash. So, if player #1 moves in close to the fulcrum, his/her partner must move in equally close. If player #2 moves to one corner, far from the fulcrum, his/her partner must move the same distance into the opposite corner.

8. Begin the game by calling a number plus a leader, such as “Number 1s, go! Josh, you’re the leader!” Josh’s partner (the other #1) must then follow Josh’s lead.

9. Gradually call other numbers until everyone is playing at once.

NOTE: Consider using this activity as a way to introduce to the class the idea of “filling out” a stage picture or creating a balanced tableaux.


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