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Living pictures are very amusing if well carried out, and even with little preparation may be made very pretty or very comical, whichever may be desired. It is perhaps better to attempt comical ones if you have not much time in which to arrange them, as the costumes are generally easier to manage, and if you are obliged to use garments not quite in keeping with the characters, it does not matter much; indeed, it will probably only make the audience laugh a little more.
The great thing in living pictures is to remain perfectly still during the performance. You should select several well known scenes either from history or fiction, and then arrange the actors to represent the scenes as nearly as possible.
Simple home living pictures are a great source of fun, and many a wet afternoon will pass like magic while arranging scenes and making dresses to wear. Newspaper masks, newspaper cocked hats, old shawls, dressing gowns, and sticks are quite sufficient for home charades.
Suppose, for instance, you think of Cinderella for one tableau. One girl could be standing decked out with colored tissue paper over her frock, and with paper flowers in her hair, to represent one of the proud sisters, while Cinderella in a torn frock is arranging the other proud sister's train, which may consist of an old shawl. Bouquets of paper flowers should be in the sister's hands.
Little Red Riding Hood is another favorite subject for a living picture. The wolf may be represented by a boy on his hands and knees, with a fur rug thrown over him. Red Riding Hood only requires a scarlet shawl, arranged as a hood and cloak, over her ordinary frock and pinafore, and she should carry a bunch of flowers and a basket.
All living pictures look better if you can have a frame for them. It is not very difficult to make one, especially if you have four large cardboard dress boxes.
Having carefully cut out the bottoms of the boxes, place the frames as here shown:
Cut out the center framework, leaving a large square, so:
You must then fasten the four pieces together by gluing cardboard on each side of the joints, and you will have a very good frame, which you can cover with colored paper or ornament with muslin.
This frame will last a very long time if carefully treated. It should stand upright by itself; but if it is a little unsteady, it is better to hold it upright from the sides. Of course, this will only make a very small frame, but you can increase the size by using more boxes.
If you have no time to make a frame, arrange your figures close to a door, outside the room in which the audience is seated.
When quite ready, some one must open the door, when the doorway will make a kind of frame to the living picture.
It is always well to have a curtain if you can; a sheet makes an excellent one. Two children standing upon chairs hold it up on each side, and at a given signal drop it upon the floor, so that, instead of the curtain rising, it drops. When it has been dropped, the two little people should take the sheet corners in their hands again, so that they have only to jump upon the chairs when it is time to hide the picture.
Of course, these instructions are only for living pictures on a very small scale; much grander arrangements will be needed if the performance is to take place before any but a home audience.
As I told you before, comic living pictures are the easiest to perform on account of the dresses being easier to make, but there are other living pictures which are easier still, and which will cause a great deal of fun and merriment. They are really catches, and are so simple that even very little children can manage them.
You can arrange a program, and make half a dozen copies to hand round to the audience.
The first living picture on the list is The Fall of Greece and sounds very grand, indeed; but when the curtain rises (or rather, if it is the sheet curtain, drops), the audience see a lighted candle set rather crookedly in a candlestick and fanned from the background so as to cause the grease to fall.
Here are some other similar comic tableaux which you can easily place before an audience:
Meet of the Hounds., A pile of dog biscuits.
View of the Black Sea., A large capital C blackened with ink.
The Charge of the Light Brigade., Half a dozen boxes of matches labeled: 10 cents the lot.
These are only a few of the many comic living pictures you can perform; but, no doubt, you will be able to think of others for yourselves.
About Kids Games:
All over the world kids love to play activities and games. By playing games and activities they learn to motor skills along, social skills along with developing special skills in the games themselves, however with these games chlidren do not see them not as learning experience but rather a whole lot of fun. Here at lanterntree.com you can find guides and instructions to many ‘old fashioned’ or traditional games which are being played less and less due to increased sophistication and availability in electronic games. Although a lot of these games where originally written with kids in mind they be easily adapted and incorporated as activities for Parties, Youth Groups and Social Groups. Lanterntree is the place to find find ideas for games for both children and adults for events such as birthdays, party, social events, groups, fund raising events, Christmas day, showers or any other occasion you can think of.