Visual-Based Ice-Breakers

We use a lot of ice-breaker activities in theatre classrooms. These often included revealing information about one’s self or emoting in some way. You can surprise your students with either of the following two activities that do not require any

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Online Lighting Design Project

This is an open-education resource, like everything else on this site. It is a step-by-step lighting design project packaged as a PowerPoint file. The PowerPoint file can be downloaded here:  https://scenicandlighting.com/downloads/Light_Plot_Assignment.pptx Your students are instructed to edit the PowerPoint slides.

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Dancing Feet and Other Bad Habits

Dancing Feet and Other Bad Habits

Whether they’re tap dancing, doing a move across the floor, or able to do a million pirouettes in a row, dancing feet are a beautiful thing. As long as they’re doing the right choreography and the student understands their weight

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Teaching Students to “Look It Up”9

Teaching Students to “Look It Up”

How much do you remember of your high school vocabulary lessons? You would write down your word lists, find the parts of speech, the definitions, and put each word into a sentence. This educational tool would help young students to

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Projections on Stage Part IV: Choices about Media

This article follows Part III in this series, Projections on Stage Part III: Choices about Screens Projections on stage can be more than just a big square image behind the actors. They can be broken up, spread around, and appear

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Projections on Stage Part I: How do I make them brighter?

The Butter Gun I’m not saying I do, but I am not saying that I do not.   In my home, on my breakfast table, I may,  or I may not have a gun that shoots butter.   If I did have

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Browser-Based Light Labs

Demonstrating theatrical lighting in an educational environment takes a lot of setup.  I have some standard lectures where I take my entire class down to one of our theatres and spend the class powering different instruments on and off while

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The Next-Generation Lightlab for Dance and Proscenium

In 2002, I created a set of browser-based light labs. These demonstrated the principals of lighting design, as well as creating an accessible place where people can experiment with light. There are some pros and cons to a browser-based lab.

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Accessing Broadway: Learning experiences that bring life and light to the world of theatre.

Broadway Educators is hosted and maintained by All Tickets, Inc., which specializes in group experiences and educational theatre experiences in New York City. One of the services offered by All Tickets, Inc. is access to a huge range of workshops

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The Drama Machine

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

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Creative Drama For The Classroom: Line Games

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

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What is a Career in the Professional Theatre?

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

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Directing Actors: Creating Contagious Confidence in Performers

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

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Teachers Can Help Student Actors Create a Positive Self-Image

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.

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Teaching Commedia dell’ Arte, Part II

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

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Script Analysis Basics for Students: Understanding the Play and Plot, Part Two

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,

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Script Analysis Basics for Students: Understanding the Play, Part One

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

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What Every Student Actor Needs to Know About Being Professional

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,

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Teaching Commedia Dell’ Arte, Part I

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.

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Playwriting: The Power of Love

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

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Acting: Mask Work Lesson Plan For Kids

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.

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Viewpoints of Time

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

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Viewpoints of Space

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

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Creative Drama for the Classroom: Side Coaching Actors

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

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Reader’s Theatre in the Classroom: Part 2, Reading Rock Stars

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

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Reader’s Theatre in the Classroom: Part I, The Basics

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

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Teaching Lessons in Scenic Design: Art from Nothing

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

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Theatre History II Mini-Assignments

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

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Haiku Creative Assignment

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.

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Collage Creative Assignment

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

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Creative Drama for the Classroom: Life & Three Entrances Activity

  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

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Blank Calendar

Nothing glamorous about this; it’s just a one-page Word Doc calendar. You can print it, photocopy it, and fill it out to suit the current month. Download Blank Calendar Exercise Contributed by Matt Kizer Matt Kizer is the webmaster for

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Design: Experimental Design

  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,

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Design: Progression, a 3D Storyboard

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,

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Design: Mask Design & Creation

Design: Mask Design & Creation

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

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Design: Visual Narrative

Design: Visual Narrative

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

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Design: Music Composition

Design: Music Composition

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

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