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PD Courses

Basic Lighting for Drama Teachers

by Claire Broome

Join drama teacher Claire Broome and explore the basics of lighting, including lighting systems and instruments, lighting plots, how to record a lighting cue, and alternative sources of lighting. You’ll learn some practical, hands-on ways of using lighting in your classroom or theatre, whether you have a lighting system or not.

This course is packed with hands-on examples, activities for your students, and videos to develop your students’ understanding. Find out why lighting is such an important character in a production.

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21st Century Skills Through Devising

by Allison Williams

Allison Williams leads the course: 21st Century Skills Through Devising. This course covers what devising is, why to do it, how to do it, and how your students can master the 21st Century Skills of collaborations and cooperation, critical thinking, creative thinking through devising.

High school is a great place to try devising with your students. But it’s not something you want to throw at your students without any preparation. Framework is important and this course takes you through a number of exercises you can take into the classroom tomorrow to help build a place of physical safety, a place where students work at making a lot of choices instead of waiting for the perfect choice, and a place where students feel comfortable making creative choices. The material also reviews the process of putting together a show from the idea/research stage to editing, to giving feedback.

Your students have what it takes to create their own material, collaborate with each other, and have a unique theatrical experience!

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Tech for Non-Techies: Teaching Technical Theatre in Your Drama Classroom

by Josh Hatt

In this course, instructor Joshua Hatt shows you how to unpack your drama standards, articulate what you want your students to know and be able to do. The material explores how to incorporate lights, sound, makeup, staging, and costuming into your drama class at any grade level regardless of your school resources or unit structure. Bells and whistles? Awesome! Barely a classroom? We’ve still got you covered.

This 9 lesson series works from the basics and standards, though lighting, sound, costuming, staging, and makeup design, and culminates with a final project including rubrics, resources, and handouts.

A wise theatre technician once said: “the theatre mirrors life but technical theatre teachers us how to live.” Try to keep that statement in mind as you work through this course and see if we can make you a believer in all things technical theatre.

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Lesson Plans

Truth and Lies: A Pre-study lesson for The Crucible

by Lindsay Price

Students will discuss and dramatize the theme “truth and lies.” This lesson plan can be used as a pre-study exercise before a unit on The Crucible by Arthur Miller. You could also use it as a general lesson on the verbal and physical characteristics of the act of a believable lie. A great theatrical exploration!

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The Difference Between Want & Need

by Lindsay Price

One approach to character development is to identify the difference between what characters want vs. what they need. Sometimes students get the two mixed up. Which is more important? Do plays always identify characters as having both? In this lesson plan, students identify the difference between want and need, then apply that knowledge with scenes/monologues.

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Stage Management Calls Game

by Karen Loftus

It’s important for students to be aware of both onstage and offstage theatre roles. But applying stage management tasks to a classroom setting is not always easy to do. The Stage Management Calls Game gives students a practical way to hear and react to the various things a stage manager may say during a rehearsal or technical rehearsal.

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Playwriting: Analyzing and Applying a Form

by Lindsay Price

Use this as part of a playwriting unit or a devising unit. The goal of the lesson is to show students different ways to explore a theme through writing. Not every scene has to be linear, and not every scene has to follow a traditional format.
Students will read existing scenes that apply a specific form for a scene. They will analyze those scenes and then apply their knowledge by writing their own scene.

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Props Challenges and How to Overcome Them

by Kerry Hishon

Props add so much to a production, but they can also be challenging to work with. From dealing with a huge list of props, to having trouble using props during rehearsal, to problems with broken, missing, or consumable props, students need to work together to problem solve when a props issue occurs. This is great practice for students working on productions, because props problems will inevitably crop up.

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How to Practice Cold Reading

by Kerry Hishon

The objective of this lesson is to introduce the concept of cold reading to your students, and provide them with an opportunity to
practice and perform cold readings within the classroom.

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Playing with Punctuation

A short guide for playwriting punctuation.

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The Secret Scene Partner

Teach students how to create a secret scene partner when they perform a monologue.

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Playwriting: Developing A Point of View

One of the best things a playwright can do is develop a point of view. This is a self reflection exercise and scene writing exercise all rolled into one.

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How To Prepare a Theatrical Resume

Tips and tricks for preparing a Theatrical Resume - as well as a sample for students to start from.

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One Question and a Rubric: 21st Century Skills

Have students demonstrate their 21st century skills knowledge with these worksheets.

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BIPOC Casting Directors and Producers

This list compiles names of casting directors and producers of colors who are doing the work to make change. BIPOC students do not have to go into the room and try to be anything or prove themselves to white producers. They should be able to see themselves behind the table. As we work on equity and inclusion think about who is behind the table. Discuss what can be done to create change. How can we create equitable and representative spaces for BIPOC students not just on the stage but behind the table as well? This list makes it known that BIPOC students can be producers and can be casting directors. There is room for us all at the table.

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