Distance Learning: Technical Theatre

The exercises listed below can be adapted to distance and online learning opportunities. Students work individually (rather than with partners or in groups).

Group work and discussions can be completed using video conferencing programs (such as Google Hangouts, Skype, or Zoom).

Written work can be submitted electronically via email or uploading to Google Drive or similar.

Performances can be done live via video conferencing programs, or filmed on a smartphone or digital camera and uploaded to a service such as YouTube or Vimeo (privacy settings can be adjusted to accommodate your school’s internet safety policies).

Check out our round-ups of exercises for Vocal and Physical Performance, Monologue and Individual Performance and Playwriting & Written Drama and Analysis Exercises as well.

Technical Theatre Exercises

These technical theatre exercises sometimes require a bit of adaptation or creativity to complete, but most can be done at home and submitted in a variety of ways, including via submitting a PowerPoint presentation, submitting digital photographs of physical creations (such as costumes or props), or presented via video conferencing. Many group exercises can be completed individually, with allowing more time for students to complete the tasks outside of class time. Since you are doing learning by distance, in many cases, your students will be doing their projects for a fictional or hypothetical production.

1. Costuming Your Show for $50 or Less

2. Create a Costume Vision Board
Focus on the “Digital” vision board suggestion, using Pinterest or Photoshop. Alternatively, students can create physical boards and photograph them, or present via video conferencing.

3. Creating Atmosphere Using Music

4. Found Objects
You can adapt this exercise by having students present monologues and use objects and clothing/costumes from their own homes

5. Getting Other Departments Involved in Your Production (Producing)
Focus on the “ask” letter

6. How to Create a Budget When You’ve Never Done It Before (Producing)

7. How to Create a Master Props List

8. How to Create a Program for Your Production (Producing)

9. How to Prepare a Stage Manager’s Prompt Book

10. Lighting and Sound = Ambiance

11. Rehearsing In Layers (Directing / Stage Management)
Students will practice creating a rehearsal schedule for a hypothetical show

12. Respect the Tech! A Technical Performance Challenge
Students will create individual performances using items from around their homes

13. Shakespeare Set In Another Time (Design)
Focus on DESIGN activity

14. Taking on the Producer’s Role: Elevator Pitch

15. Telling the Story Through Clothing: Choosing a Colour Palette for Your Show

16. The Running List: What It Is and Why You Need It (Props / Backstage)

17. Using One Item to Show Character (Costumes)
Focus on THEORETICAL activity

18. 5 Props Challenges and How to Overcome Them
Focus on prop problem-solving challenge (giveaway)

19. 10 Ways to Publicize Your Show (Publicity / Producing)
Create a hypothetical show and challenge students to figure out how to get the word out.

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