In Part One, I wrote about the reasons why improvisation is a beneficial lesson supplement in the classroom as it helps students overcome barriers. For instance, a child who feels timid and typically does not volunteer to participate or speak
I am currently working long-term as an English Language Learner teacher for first grade. I find myself constantly repeating my mantra, “It’s okay to be wrong!” These first-graders are so eager to learn, and with that drive comes the eagerness
In Part 1, I wrote about a lesson that I taught a class of second graders. The lesson was on the passage of time. Children usually learn how to tell time in first grade, which is an obstacle in itself.
I recently was faced with the challenge of teaching a classroom of second graders how to measure time. They were at a level in their learning where they were expected to know how to tell time by reading a clock,
Finding a common ground when you’re working with kids not familiar with the world of theatre can be challenging. You can belt out “Defying Gravity” at them all you want but they probably won’t understand. Though I don’t know why
When I started teaching acting classes, I knew I’d need to be able to start each class with some basic knowledge. The hard part about that is that I have some students who come back to take the same acting
This week with Acting Bug classes, I got some new students, introduced some new themes, and wrote a scene for the kids to learn about blocking! With a focus on stage directions, silliness, and stopping them from facing their butts
Behold, The Drama Machine. This is an interactive application that demonstrates the variables that we always deal with in production. It randomly combines factors: Script, Director’s Concept, Venue, Budget, and Time. It churns out the circumstances for a hypothetical production
Pocket Lines: Pulled it Right Out of Their… Pocket The first lines acting game requires a great deal of preparation from the teacher beforehand. As the teacher, you must compile a variety of numerous different brief lines that might be
If you’re an actor who is new to the stage, and you get cast in a show, you may start rehearsals feeling very unprepared. Often when this happens, an actor will show up for rehearsal and as the day progresses
In teaching theatre history on the university level to undergraduates, we’re often challenged by feeling the need to relay a mountain of facts that students tend to fairly boring, overwhelming, and inconsequential. Along with the historical information are our primary
There are three different schools of thought regarding how one gets undergrads ready for the real world of theatre. One school of thought is focused on making sure that candidates spend four years specializing in a specific area such as
Sometimes actors reach a point in their endeavors when they may feel as if they wasted four years in college studying their dream for nothing. “I should have done what my dad told me and studied science,” actors may think
There are various ways to teach directing to students. (That is, if directing is really something that you can actually “teach.”) Directing tends to be filled with challenges, as the stage director has to understand a script in its entirety,
Students in high school and even in college are often confused as to what a career in the theatre really means? Although it is hard to believe, many still think that to have a professional theatre career you must go
Acting is not an easy job and just about any actor, no matter what their level of training and accomplishment may be, has insecurities that can undermine their success. One of the things that a director can do is instill
Over the years, I’ve found that many student actors at the high school and college levels have a very difficult time with their self-image, especially in terms of their physicality. Exactly what they are troubled by depends upon the individual.
Character Walks Since Commedia Dell’ Arte is a physical theatrical art form, it is essential and fun to have students experiment with various ways of moving their bodies. Have the students walk around the classroom as a character of their
In Part One of this four-part series, we defined formalist script analysis and discussed the importance of utilizing this interpretative too in preparing for production. It is an essential tool for directors and other artists, such as designers and actors,
Formalist script analysis for production is an important skill for directors, designers, and actors to master. Although each approaches analysis a little differently, there are foundation elements that everyone in the theatre shares when it comes to analyzing a script
If you’re a student actor who is serious about being a professional, there are a few things of which you must be aware to succeed. Actually, there are more than a few, but this blog will offer you 5 basic,
Benefits for Students Commedia dell’ Arte is an older theatre style, but it allows students the opportunity to be innovative. Commedia dell’ Arte teaches kids physical discipline, spontaneous use of their imagination, and the ability to think on their feet.
Know Your Limits Actors should use material at which they excel. If you are auditioning at nine or ten in the morning, be sure you can hit your money notes. If not, choose a different song for that morning. Auditions
Learning Through the Experience Auditioning for musical theatre can be more stressful and exhausting than preparing for a job interview. In college, I took several audition and musical theatre classes where they did their best to help prepare students for
It’s essential that actors understand subtext, including what it is, how it works and how to identify and analyze it. Here is an exercise designed to do just that. You may download the exercise here: Acting subtext exercise. What is Subtext?
Focus: When saying “I love you” has a devastating effect. In this exercise, playwrights create a scene with two characters in which one tells the other that they love them. The statement of love should in some way have a
Focus: Subtext and Conflict Subtext, the meaning that is inside or under the text (a line of dialogue) is an important tool for playwrights as it enriches a play on many levels, making for more complex characters, more twists and
Paper Masks This particular lesson plan can be used in various classroom settings. Some teachers may opt to use it in an elementary Social Studies class when teaching a unit on Ancient Greece as actors in Greek Theatre wore masks.
Viewpoints is active and works on various levels. What Are Viewpoints? As a teacher in the classroom, I always become excited for the next time I teach an acting lesson, when a group of students tell me that they joined
When using this exercise be sure to reference this blog post. Tempo How slowly or quickly something occurs, which can be physical, vocal, or internal. I ask a brave student to volunteer for this one, and in a whisper ask
In utilizing this exercise be sure to read this post. Shape This is literally how you shape your body, as well as the shapes you create onstage using the environment around you and other bodies. At this point, I will
Why Side Coaching? Side coaching is the process of giving directions to actors while they are playing a scene. Acting students love side coaching, becomes it forces them to think on their toes. They have to instantly take on whatever
I found inspiration for the following Reader’s Theatre activity at www.readwritethink.org. Visit this site to discover ways in which you can expand the following activity, for links, and even more Reader’s Theatre ideas to use in the classroom! Reading Rock
What It Is Reader’s Theatre is a fun approach for developing reading confidence in children. It engages kids to engage in oral reading by reading characters in scripts that has been developed from a short story or novel. It is
Often in the theatre as designers we’re given challenges to create a scenic element that at first glance may appear to be too expensive, time consuming or unwieldy. In the summer of 2012, I designed Dirty Rotten Scoundrels for Papermill
In the first part of this two part series, we discussed some of the benefits of playwriting in the classroom, how teachers can get basic playwriting training and how to use playwriting exercises when teaching. Plays by their very nature
I am positive that every scenic designer in the U.S. reading this blog understands the drill: Carefully read the script. Discuss it with the director. Do your research. Take time to conceptualize. Repeat. The process involves engaging in these steps
This second grouping of theatre history Mini-Assignment covers the period staring at the English Restoration and goes through to the present and the future. These exercises from Sharon Paquette are creative, insightful and fun. View or download the exercises here: Theatre History
Theatre history can be a daunting subject to teach due to the fact that it is expansive, often loaded with facts and many of the classic plays can be difficult to comprehend when read. Here are 8 Mini-Assignments for a
This exercise offers students an innovative way to respond to a production they have seen by creating a haiku. It helps them focus on production specifics and create an intelligent reaction. This is appropriate for college and high school students.