Mark out a large designated space, with chairs or marks on the floor. Participants begin walking in the space, without speaking or making physical contact. When the group has reached a comfortable rhythm and pace, anyone can stop in their place, shout out “falling,” and begin to slowly fall backwards with a straight, stiff body. Once “falling” has been shouted, it is the verbal cue for the other participants to quickly go to the falling person to gently catch them. When the group catches the person (generally there will be many hands on them), they gently place them upright and begin walking through the space once more. Anyone can now shout “falling” and the group will go to their side.
- What did we do in this activity?
- How did we ensure everyone’s safety?
- What skills did we use in this activity?
- How did it feel to fall, be caught, and catch?
“There are never too many catchers.”
“Remember to stay in the given bounds, and move at a consistent pace.”
“The group is responsible for everyone’s safety.”
“It should be silent except for the voice saying ‘falling.’”
For beginning or younger participants, change the call to “crumbling.” Instead of falling straight back, participants bend their knees and slowly crumble to the floor, keeping hold of their own body weight. The group then helps bring them upright. Once the person is caught, the group gently lets them all the way down to the ground. Then the person who fell or crumbled gets up and the game continues.
To change the power dynamics of this activity, assign each participant a number. When the teacher calls out a number, that person begins to crumble or fall.
Rohd, Michael. Theatre for Community, Conflict & Dialogue: The Hope Is Vital Training Manual. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 1998. Print.