Do you students watch a lot of TV? Of course they do. Why not turn their TV knowledge into a theatre-related activity?
Take a popular TV show that takes place primarily in a single interior location. A sitcom would work best. Using your memory of the show as well as any clips you can find on YouTube and the like, sketch out the floorplan for the location.
This activity gives an appreciation for the kind of thought and consideration that goes into set design.
Things to think about:
- Are there any design flaws in the set?
- Does it make sense?
- Is there a fourth wall that you never see? An area that you never see on the show? If so, what do you suppose is there?
- Does the size and scale of the space make sense for the characters’ social standing?
- Are there any changes you would make? Why/why not?
As a second activity, have a look at these fantastic examples from deviantART user nikneuk. Choose one of the sets on the site and convert it into a theatre set. How do you rearrange things so that the audience can see what’s happening? What wall would you choose to remove? How do you spread out the set so that it can all be seen at once?
Let me know if you end up doing this activity. I’d love to know how it goes.