After a production closes, reflecting on your process and thinking about the future are the natural next steps. They’re definitely an important part of the process, for you as a teacher and for your students.
Reflections are intended as an opportunity to look back on your own personal thoughts about a particular topic – in this case, how students felt about their theatrical process. But this information could then be reshaped into something that would be very useful for incoming drama students – a way for the next wave of students to learn from their peers and for your current drama students to lead by example by sharing their lessons learned and shaping their learning experiences into useful advice.
Here is an exercise your current students can use to reflect upon their experiences and new knowledge – and then to turn that information into a useful document for future drama students, such as a “drama transition manual” or a “what to expect during your production” brochure.
1. Students will complete individual Reflections about their experiences and their feelings about their current production, based on this post. Be sure to include all students, whether their roles were onstage or offstage.
2. As a group, decide the following:
- What format would you like to use for your document? Ideas might include a brochure for incoming drama students, a “drama class survival guide,” a transition manual, a production handbook, a top ten list, a video, a PowerPoint presentation, or an e-document that could be uploaded to a teacher website.
- Which Reflection questions would be best suited to being adapted into advice? What is the most important information that you’d pass along? If you could share only one piece of advice or information, what would that be?
- Will your document be text-based information only, or will you use visual content such as photos or videos? Or both? What are the advantages and disadvantages of your choice?
- You may wish to have some students in charge of completing the advice portion, while others head up the design and/or production side of the document. Depending on the size of your cast and crew, you may also wish to separate your documents into “onstage” and “offstage” versions.
3. Compare Reflection questions to see if there are any common or repeated answers. Those should definitely be included in your document.
4. Using the Giveaway document, students will re-format their selected Reflection questions into advice for future students. Students should try to write as if they were giving advice to a friend or a younger sibling.
5. Collect the written portions and assemble them into your selected document format. This could involve creating a written document, or having students present their thoughts/advice on video, or a combination of both. You may wish to include production photos as well.Click here for a free Reflection document specifically formatted to help students shape their Reflections into advice.
Kerry Hishon is a director, actor, writer and stage combatant from London, Ontario, Canada. She blogs at www.kerryhishon.com.