[semester equivalent = 3.33 credits]



Doug Larson



This course shows teachers how to use drama techniques to make everyday classroom lessons come to life.  Drama Games give teachers a new educational tool for any subject by using improvisational theatre concepts as an active form of learning.   Improvisational theatre gives students a fun and interactive way to learn English, reading, literature, history, communications, speech and much more.   These activities can be used with all ages of students and in any classroom setting.  
Drama Games:
  • Encourage creativity and the use of imagination
  • Foster cooperation and teamwork
  • Instill confidence and a strong self-image
  • Provide focus and concentration
  • Improve listening skills
  • Encourage acceptance of each student's uniqueness
  • Allow fun and humor to permeate the classroom
This course is appropriate for teachers of all subjects, grades K-12.  


LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon completion of this course, participants will have:

  1. Identified drama games that are age appropriate for their classroom.
  2. Described how they will use drama games in their classroom.
  3. Selected drama games to go with classroom lessons.
  4. Created lesson plans that use drama games.
  5. Tested drama games in their classroom.
  6. Evaluated which drama games work best in their classroom.

Completion of all specified assignments is required for issuance of hours or credit.  The Heritage Institute does not award partial credit. 


Completing the basic assignments (Section A. Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns participant’s their choice of CEUs (Continuing Education Units), or Washington State Clock Hours or Oregon PDUs. The Heritage Institute offers CEUs and is an approved provider of Washington State Clock Hours and Oregon PDUs.



Continuing Education Quarter credits are awarded by Antioch University Seattle (AUS). AUS requires 75% or better for credit at the 400 level and 85% or better to issue credit at the 500 level. These criteria refer both to the amount and quality of work submitted.

  1. Completion of Information Acquisition assignments 30%
  2. Completion of Learning Application assignments 40%
  3. Completion of Integration Paper assignment 30%


CREDIT/NO CREDIT (No Letter Grades or Numeric Equivalents on Transcripts)
Antioch University Seattle (AUS) Continuing Education Quarter credit is offered on a Credit/No Credit basis; neither letter grades nor numeric equivalents are on a transcript. 400 level credit is equal to a "C" or better, 500 level credit is equal to a "B" or better. This information is on the back of the transcript.

AUS Continuing Education quarter credits may or may not be accepted into degree programs. Prior to registering determine with your district personnel, department head or state education office the acceptability of these credits for your purpose.



The course text is 175 Theatre Games (Warm-up Exercises for Actors) by Nancy Hurley.

  • 175 Theatre Games: Warm-up exercises for Actors
    ISBN# 1566081645
    by Nancy Hurley
    Brand: Meriwether Pub

    Buy from Amazon


About $11 for the required course text,used on


Doug Larson, M.S., received his teaching degree from Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington and taught third grade and middle school in Dubois, Idaho. He was also the drama director for both the elementary and high school creating original productions for the school as well as directing well known shows such as the Wizard of Oz. He also taught 2nd graders English in South America for a year and used drama and puppets as a way to teach conversational English.

Doug is also a published playwrite. In 1988, his first play "Nicolas Brooks" had instant success by winning the Youth Division at the Spokane Civic Theatre Forum Festival. He then formed his own theatre group in 1989 called Tailors of the Imagination.

In 1990, his play "A Man and His Plant" was produced at the Spokane Civic Theatre Forum Festival in the adult division. The play went on to win third place in a national contest and then was published by the Dramatic Publishing Company as a part of an anthology "Short Stuff for Mature Actors." When relocating to New Mexico, he taught drama at New Mexico State University and taught theatre game workshops to local schools. He started a theatre group called the Poco Loco Players, which won state level awards for acting.

Doug also started the successful website called which has provided free plays to schools and community groups around the world. His 2002 victory as a writer was being included in the Love Creek Production's play festival in New York City.

His monologue "Pearls of Wisdom" is the true story of the struggles young women face growing up in rural Idaho. Another success was a 2004 mid-west tour of his play "The Redneck" (renamed Operation Redneck) by the professional theatre group Retroact Productions. During this time, became very popular receiving thousands of visitors a day.

The plays on (now have been performed on every continent including Antarctica. He also got involved in developing film projects as a writer and producer. In 2008, he started a new series about War Veterans. The series has been featured by Apple iTunes and YouTube. The most successful episode has been "Saving Lives in World War II" which won an Emmy Award in 2009 for best Advanced Media Historical Documentary (Rocky Mountain Region).

In 2010, he won a Telly Award for his full length documentary about a wildlife park in Arizona. And in 2011, he won a second Emmy Award for his short documentary about an organization called Paws and Stripes that helps veterans with PTSD by using service dogs.

Learn more about Doug at:

Here is a video made by my wife and I for a 48 hour film project where we had to write a short movie based on film prompts (character named Kelly, prop [measuring tape], and line of dialog: “You only live once”). See the wacky results -






Bany-Winters, Lisa, On Stage: Theater Games and Activities for Kids, Chicago Review Press, 1st edition, 1997, paperback, 171 pages, ISBN-13: 978-1556523243.  Book review on “A compendium of theater games that is sure to delight young thespians. While the material is not new and many of the games are classics ("Mirrors," "Change Three Things," and "Freeze"), Bany-Winters has a clear and concise way of explaining both the activity and its purpose, making her work a useful source for ensemble-building games for student-run drama groups and rehearsal techniques for adult teachers/directors. Often renamed for greater child appeal, the activities range from vocal warm ups to improvisational scene work, and many include helpful suggestions for variations on familiar games.
Exercises in puppetry, mask making, costuming, makeup, and set design, as well as several short scripts, round out the presentation. Explanations of theatrical terms are smoothly incorporated into the text. Tips for young actors and short anecdotes about theatrical figures or plays are featured throughout. Simple black-and-white graphics add touches of humor. One drawback is the list of "Suggested Plays and Stories for Kids," which includes some titles that are beyond both the abilities and interests of preteens. Nevertheless, this will be a terrific addition to drama collections.”

Hurley, Nancy, 175 Theater Games, Meriwether Publishing, 2009, paperback, 119 pages, ISBN-13: 978-1566081641 From publisher: “The games and exercises in this book are designed to be used as warm-ups at the beginning of a theatre class. They have been used successfully with middle school students and they can easily be adapted for use with younger children, older teens and adults in various settings. The games are divided into thirteen sections: Easy Reference; Clowning; Co-operation & Teamwork; Focus & Concentration; Getting Ready; Improvisation; Listening; Name Games; Observation; Pantomime; Stretching & Relaxation; Stage Movement; Voice. The games have been adapted from many books, workshop and standard group activities. This is a comprehensive collection of tested games and exercises. A must book for every theatre library.”

McKnight, Katherine and Scruggs, Mary, The Second City Guide to Improv in the Classroom, Jossey-Bass, 1st edition, 2008, ISBN-13: 978-0787996505.  From publisher: “Most people know The Second City as an innovative school for improvisation that has turned out leading talents such as Alan Arkin, Bill Murray, Stephen Colbert, and Tina Fey. This groundbreaking company has also trained thousands of educators and students through its Improvisation for Creative Pedagogy program, which uses improv exercises to teach a wide variety of content areas and boost skills that are crucial for student learning: listening, teamwork, communication, idea-generation, vocabulary, and more. The scores of ready-to-use exercises offered here can be used to teach a wide variety of subjects including language arts, math, science, and social studies as well as to build classroom community and develop cooperative learning skills. All of the lessons are linked to current national standards for the United States and Canada, and have been proven particularly effective with kinesthetic learners and students with attention difficulties.

Rooyackers, Paul and Bowman, Cecelia, 101 Drama Games for Children,  Hunter House, 1st edition, 1997, 160 pages, ISBN-13: 978-0897932110.  From publisher: “Drama games are not staged plays but a dynamic form in which children explore their minds and the world around them. They can use their play-acting in sensory games, pantomimes, story games with puppets, in creating masks and costumes, and much more. Drama games allow children to get more in touch with themselves and what they want to be, and are a delightful way to discover the freedom, creativity, and expression of acting- and living.”

Spolin, Viola, Theater Games for the Classroom: A Teacher's Handbook, ISBN-13: 978-0810140042

From the publisher: “This book offers the most comprehensive theater instruction for all types of students, from small children to young adults. It includes over 130 theater games, plus exercises and instructional strategies. This handbook is full of games that can be used in the classroom. Not only is it educational and can it spark interest in learning, but it is fun for the students...and even the teacher!”