Whether you teach voice lessons, acting classes, or musical ensembles… you’ve seen it. The blank stare as your student is performing. They go on complete auto-pilot and are clearly not thinking about the words they’re singing or saying. There are
In my blog series, Spreading the Acting Bug, I’ve talked about my experiences working as a theatre teacher for young ones, marketing theatre classes in a non-profit atmosphere, and helping teachers find the right monologue books for actively auditioning kids.
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
In past Broadway Educators blogs, I’ve written about teaching students with behavior problems. While it’s never fun to have to “lay down the law” to your theatre students, especially when it’s an extra-curricular circumstance, it is fun to offer up
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
Last week, I shared the news of my new class for kids on Saturday mornings called The Acting Bug! The hardest part about the class is that the students don’t have any acting experience so I have to find a
I spent the last five months teaching little kids about music. I had six 45-minute time slots with 24 children in each class and it was one of the most difficult challenges I’ve ever had to deal with. It was
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
This Collage Creative exercise is geared towards college students but it is also appropriate for those in high school. This is an innovative way to elicit responses to a theatre production. It allows students to create focused responses in a creative
Here are about a dozen theatre activities for various ages. They are easy to do, fun and focus on creativity, collaboration, improvozation and self expression. Great for theatre classes, camps and workshops. Download the PDF of these activities here Copy
Many solid acting exercises are simply an extension of or associated with everyday life. That’s certainly the case with the Three Entrances activity in this blog which was inspired by Uta Hagen’s Three Entrances acting exercise. Here’s a considered
In what is the last of 10 exercises on design aesthetics, professor Rostampour allows for a wide range of experimentation. Students “will experiment with deconstructing a natural phenomenon, an insect.” They then utilize the insect’s form and reconstruct it,
There’s a lot of room for creativity in what is the ninth of 10 design aesthetics exercises from lighting and set design professor Fereshteh Rostampour . Students create a three-dimensional storyboard based on the theme “Progression.” Design process, use of material,
In what is the eighth of 10 exercises focusing on design aesthetics from Associate Professor Rostampour, students design a character mask based on one of the following- Kabuki, ancient Greek, African, Commedia dell´Arte, or virtual game character/anime. They must also
This exercise asks students to create a triptych that tells a story with a beginning, middle, and end. The three panels, which are developed as collages, must utilize the principles and elements of design. This is the sixth of 10
In the fifth of 10 design aesthetics exercises from Auburn associate professor Fereshteh Rostampour, students are given the creative task of translating a 3 to 5 minute piece of music into a visual display. This is a wonderful mid-range exercise
This design aesthetics exercise focusing on composition requires that students convey a focal point, asymmetrical balance, and movement. Students write a short story or develop a theme and then illustrate their central idea through collage. The point is to create
This exercise, which is the third of 10 focusing on design aesthetics, demands that students create their own color wheel and tones. Tones are developed by using varying amounts of black and white. This is an exacting exercise from designer
In this innovative exercise from theatre designer Fereshteh Rostampour, students are given 9 adjectives and they must draw lines to illustrate the emotion each evokes. Creativity, execution and presentation are all important in what is the second of 10 design
is is the first of 10 exercises from Auburn professor Fereshteh Rostampour focusing on design aesthetics. The exercise involves some basic research, the use of a specific artistic technique and incorporation of fine motor skills as students recreate painting using
It’s not uncommon for writers to observe people in everyday life and get ideas for characters and even entire plays. This playwriting exercise offers 30 pictures of 30 different people. The assignment is to create a play creating and using
This is a simple playwriting exercise designed to get students writing dialogue and creating conflict on stage. As it is with all exercises, there are rules for this one. Sometimes students will protest the fact that there are rules for
This is a great group exercise for advanced high school students or college students. The exercise refers to each group creating a set. The elements used are whatever happens to be handy such as rehearsal blocks, chairs, benches, some hand
The Objects in Space exercise is not about creating a playing space for actors. It is about learning to create an interesting, dynamic space that captures and holds the viewer’s attention. Directing students are divided into groups of four or