Production Teaching Drama

Putting on a Class Production Part 4: Problem Solving

Class Production - Problem Solving
Written by Kerry Hishon

This is the fourth part of a five-part class production series. Check out Part 1: What to Produce?, Part 2: Who Does What?, and Part 3: Casting.

By this point your students are in the thick of the rehearsal process for your class production, as onstage and offstage roles have been assigned. But at some point, problems will likely arise. With class productions, two common problem areas involve students working together effectively, and students having to take on leadership roles.

In a collaborative effort like a class production, students may be in leadership roles for the first time and not really know what they are doing. They may feel uncomfortable giving instructions or constructive criticism to their peers, or let other group members steamroll over them. For example, students may dislike a costume presented by the student costume head, or disagree with a direction given to them by the student director. Because they are working with their peers, students who are uncomfortable or inexperienced in their leadership roles may feel that they have to acquiesce to their peers to avoid conflict.

On the other end of the spectrum, some students may think that leading means barking orders or bossing people around. Both can lead to students not working together effectively, which then derails students’ confidence, and slowly but surely, the class production can fall apart. 

Before things spiral out of control, check out the articles below, which offer useful tips, tricks, and exercises to help students develop their leadership skills and practice working together effectively. This will help them solve problems that will inevitably arise. At the bottom, you’ll find an additional exercise called “Warm-Up Quirks” that you can use with your students to practice both leadership and problem solving skills. Helping students develop their problem solving skills will only benefit your class production process!

Working Together Effectively
Leadership
  • Here are some exercises for student directors to help practice solving problems. (The exercise is aimed at student directors but is useful for all students looking to grow their leadership skills.) 
  • This blog post contains exercises and reflections to help students grow and develop their leadership skills. 
  • These tips will help you keep your rehearsals running efficiently and effectively. Here is more advice on this topic from drama teachers. 
Click here for “Warm-Up Quirks,” a free problem solving exercise for your students.

Kerry Hishon is a director, actor, writer and stage combatant from London, Ontario, Canada. She blogs at www.kerryhishon.com.

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About the author

Kerry Hishon

Kerry Hishon is a director, actor, writer and stage combatant from London, Ontario, Canada. View her blog at www.kerryhishon.com.