Shadow Charades

This week we are putting a twist on an old school game with Shadow Charades.

PREP TIME– 5-10 Minutes

ITEMS NEEDEDWhite Sheet, Lamp with No Shade (or Floodlight) & Pins/Tacks (clamps or tape also work)

GAME TIME– 10-20 Minutes



I’m sure most of you know the basic rules of charades, which is simply acting out clues w/o words any verbal communication.

Shadow Charades is exactly what it sounds like, creating shadow characters through your actions behind the curtain. Let me explain the set up:

Find a room where you can hang a white sheet up over a door (we’ll give alternative methods in a moment). Pin or tape it up so it’s secure and make sure it reaches the ground. Next, turn on a lamp on the side of the performer, leaving the lights off (or dimmed) on the side of the guessers. A quick trial run will help make sure the light is creating a shadow that can be seen by the guessers.

Once you’re done, separate your teams and select your first performers. Check out our Shadow Charade Clues, but feel free to incorporate your own clues as well.

Alternate Set Up Option:

Many of you may have stages that you can work with. In that case, grab a long wooden dowel (6′-8′ will do) and some microphone stands. Rest the dowel inside the mic stands and raise them up to at least 6′ high. Attach the sheet to the dowel and place the light about 10′ behind the sheet. Have your performer act out the clue.

This allows you to play the game up front, rather than having to shift your audiences attention another direction.


1. While you don’t want to make all the clues softballs, make sure to give them some that they will be able to guess.

2. Add unique clues that the group will understand, preferably humorous ones.

3. If you really want to get elaborate, pair teams up to perform and use clues that will require two people.

4. Set the game up beforehand, so you’re not making people wait.

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