Collection of "Production" Resources :: Drama Teacher Academy
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Beyond the Basics: Rehearsal Strategies to Grow Your Actors

by Julie Hartley

The focus of the teacher-director should be not only on the quality of the show, but on the value of the experience offered to student actors. This course takes you on this journey through practical rehearsal strategies that apply an ensemble approach.

This course starts with those all important first rehearsals, explores warm ups, and looks at character development. We examine specific types of plays, like classical texts and comedy, and conclude with strategies to solve common rehearsal problems.

Go beyond the basics!

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Big Picture Blocking: Staging Your Play Outside-In

by Todd Espeland

Working in educational theatre I know how easy it is to get bogged down in actor coaching and away from the bigger picture storytelling when directing a show. I saw a need for a method of text analysis and physical staging tools that help the director stay focused on the bigger picture of telling the story of the play.

This class is in two parts: The first consists of the text analysis tools P.A.S.T.O and Major Dramatic Question. From these tools you will brainstorm keywords to define your vision of the story.

In the second part of the class you will focus on taking the information generated in the text analysis and crafting the ideas into vibrant physical pictures through an exercise called Starburst.

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Concept-Based Design for the Theatre Teacher

by Matt Webster

Concept-Based Design is a method of design that allows the director and production team to create a unified world based on the ideas, perceptions and images extracted from an in-depth analysis of the play. Matt Webster designed this course for theatre teachers in a typical school setting with limited budgets, space and materials to use towards the design of their shows. Many theatre teachers feel most unsure about their design and tech skills and Matt wanted to help those teachers look at design differently, and make designing a show a little less scary and a little more fun!

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From Audition to Curtain Call: Directing Youth Theatre

by Steven Stack

Directing youth theatre can be one of the most thrilling, rewarding, and exhausting jobs there is – because it’s not just about staging a play. It’s about creating an environment that fosters hard work, dedication, trust, and the willingness to take chances, to “play without fear.”

As a writer/teacher/director of youth theatre for over 15 years, I have developed tools and strategies that enable my students and me to focus on the process of creating theatre while fostering an environment that leads to creative freedom and a cohesive groups that doesn't act as individual “stars,” but as a community of one.

In this course, I will share with you these tips and strategies, along with the ways to implement them in your theatre environment.

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Maximizing Your Ensemble: Shoestring 101

by Michael Calderone

This seven-part series is designed to transform that gaggle of actors cluttering your backstage from cumbersome extras into nothing less than the very center of your production.

Instructor Michael Calderone leads this course, through games and exercises geared to maximize your ensemble for your next production. These lessons are based on the ensemble technique that he's been using for the last 30 years, called the shoestring method.

The ensemble has a responsibility to work as one, and no role is more important than another. Without each actor playing their part, the other actors cannot tell the story to the best of their abilities. So join Michael in learning more about this exciting, practical and dramatic method.

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The Dilemma Project

by Claire Broome

Moral dilemmas are not only faced by characters in gripping plays, but are also faced by our students. The project outlined in this course will help students develop their critical thinking skills through the use of one of the dilemma questions to shape a student written production.

If you had the choice to press a button and earn $25,000,000... but a species (not of your choosing) would become extinct, what would you do? More importantly, what would your character do?

Join drama teacher and playwright Claire Broome through this course which includes role-playing, Stanislavski’s Magic If, character creation, playwriting and staging.

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The Production Classroom

by Karen Loftus

In The Production Classroom, instructor Karen Loftus will show you how to explore ways that you can produce shows during your regular class time. The course gives you a series of exercises and reflections that help you determine everything, from the type of show you may want to do, to the way you can divide up your class and responsibilities, to specific assignments that will keep your students engaged and focused.

The Production Classroom is the ultimate in project-based learning. Students learn to work collaboratively while setting goals and working towards a successful finished project. The course includes exercises and strategies to use with students to help assure their success in the production. Multiple examples and anecdotes help you to envision what the production classroom could look like in your room, performance space or theatre.

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Production Classroom Units

by Karen Loftus

Production Classroom Units Overview, Part One - Pre-Production, Part Two - Rehearsal and Performance, Part Two - Documents, and Part Three - Reflection and Assessment

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Stagecraft Without a Theatre

by Karen Loftus, Holly Beardsley, Kerry Hishon, and Josh Hatt

Overview, Introduction to Theatre Production, Elements of Design, Scenic Design, Scenic Construction, Scenic Painting, Props, Lighting, Sound, Costume Design, Costume Construction, Make-Up Design, What is a Stage Manager? (Extra Lesson), and Culminating Project

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Elements of Costume Design *Hyperdoc

by Anna Porter

In this unit, students will explore and collaboratively take on the role of costume designers. Students will explore the elements of design, director’s concept, and the considerations for costume design. They will then apply this knowledge in a culminating project.

This unit has been designed to integrate technology into the curriculum. Students will utilize technology throughout via HyperDocs, internet research, and Google tools such as Google Drive, Google Forms, Google Slides, and Google Docs. A digital Learning Tools Introduction resource is provided for additional help in using the different tools and applications.

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Introduction to Set Design *Hyperdoc

by Lea Marshall

The purpose of this unit is to give students an introduction to independent learning as well as an overview of Set Design. Students will apply their knowledge throughout, and the unit culminates in a group activity.

This unit is delivered in hyperdoc format. What does that mean? A hyperdoc is an interactive tool that encourages digital learning. In this case, students are given a document on a subject, and there they can read articles, watch videos, do some independent research, and apply what they’ve learned. Because they’re working on their own, students are in charge of their own pacing.

Before you start the unit, ensure you read the Teacher Guide first. It will give you clear instructions on how to distribute the hyperdoc format and make it easy for you and your students.

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Mock Audition

by Lindsay Price

In this Mock Audition Unit, students will start by discussing the audition process. They will make connections between their personal views and the process. Students will then apply the steps of auditioning from putting together a resume, to choosing a piece based on provided information, to audition etiquette, to the actual audition itself. A final reflection and rubric are provided for use at the end of this unit.

A short play is included that can be used as the source material. You can also choose your own play for this process.

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Stage Management

by Karen Loftus

A unit on stage management is a great way to link technical theatre, acting, and even directing. We spend so much of our class time on performance-related projects and, when we do address technical theatre, we often do so by talking about design.

Why not introduce your students to a skill set that not only benefits your productions by ensuring a strong backstage crew and smooth production process, but also benefits the students individually? Through exploring stage management, students learn skills such as analytical thinking, organization, teamwork, and problem solving.

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Theatre Etiquette

by Kerry Hishon

When teaching students who are brand new to theatre, it’s important to discuss and apply the expectations of the drama classroom and the theatrical world. How do you implement and instill theatre etiquette in your classroom and your rehearsals – before a show and backstage? A cohesive theatrical community starts with the rules and codes of behaviour both onstage and off.

Topics covered within the unit include: What is Etiquette, Real World vs Theatre World Etiquette, Audience Etiquette, Audition Etiquette, Pre-Show and Performance Etiquette. The unit ends with a culminating activity which included a rubric and reflection.

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Rehearsal Toolkit Teaching Students to Direct Toolkit The Organized Production Toolkit

Resource Categories

Individual Resources

BIPOC Streaming Shows

In these times, it’s important to know if the BIPOC play you want to do can be livestreamed, recorded, or performed virtually. We’ve put together a list of plays and playwrights with all that information.

As with all classroom material, it is incumbent on the instructor to familiarize themselves with the material before introducing it to their classes. Read the plays first to make sure they fit within any district guidelines with regard to language and subject matter.

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Bringing Black and Latinx Plays & Playwrights into the Drama Classroom

Every year we see top ten lists containing the most popular plays performed by students and studied in the drama classroom. Shakespeare makes the list every year. So does Arthur Miller. Some say that Our Town is performed every day of the year.

What is decidedly lacking from these lists are Black and Latinx plays and playwrights. These playwrights are writing and have been writing plays for years tackling the same themes as those on these top ten lists. The Theatrefolk Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Panel has assembled suggestions to include on your list for production and classroom study.

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Do's and Don'ts for Producing BIPOC Plays

Use this list as a discussion starter for your students, or as a point of reference for your next production.

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Public Domain BIPOC Plays

This resource is a of plays in the Public Domain by BIPOC writers, including links as to where you can find the texts. Any translations included are also in the Public Domain. Not all texts are available in an English translation but we have included them in their original language. We have included cautions, but as always, please make sure you read/review the scripts before sharing with your students.

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Public Domain BIPOC Short Stories

This resource is a list of poems and short stories in the Public Domain by BIPOC writers including links as to where you can find the texts. Any translations included are also in the Public Domain. Not all texts are available in an English translation but we have included them in their original language. Please make sure you read/review the texts before sharing with your students.

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Scene Self-Staging

Scene Self-Staging: Teaching Students to Block Theatrically & Independently provides an in-depth step-by-step process to help students master their scenes - from choosing a scene to script analysis to presentation.

All material is geared toward independent, student-driven staging - and you can be as involved or as hands-off as you wish. Assessment suggestions are provided for each step, or you can just use the Performance Rubric. Help your students stage their scenes to the best of their ability – and do it all without you!

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The Production Publicity Toolkit

In the school market, you rarely have a marketing budget. But you have a lot of resources for publicity. You have social media, your students, community outreach, and more. The Production Publicity Toolkit can help you create the awareness and attention your production deserves.

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Awesome Auditions

Hosted by Matt Webster, Lindsay Price, Claire Broome, Karen Loftus

How did your latest round of auditions go? Smooth sailing or full of choppy seas? This PLC will dive into best practices with the audition process whether it be for your spring musical or your next classroom production. Bring your best tips to share in the chat room.

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Late Rehearsal Techniques

Hosted by Matt Webster, Lindsay Price, Jeremy Bishop, Lea Marshall

Your show opens in a week, but your kids aren’t ready, or worse still, they were ready a week ago! How do you keep them focused and fresh? How do you push them over the finish line? How does this seem to happen every year?? Join us for a conversation about ways to manage your rehearsals late into the rehearsal process so that everything comes together just right in the end.

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Low Budget Solutions

Hosted by Matt Webster, Lindsay Price, Claire Broome, Jane McEneaney

You have a script, you have a space, you have some actors. What you don’t have is money! Can you still do a show? Will it be any good? Is there a way to get Broadway effects on a Main street budget? Join us to talk about low budget solutions to typical theatre problems and pinch those pennies ‘til they sing!

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Production Pitfalls

Hosted by Matt Webster, Jeremy Bishop, and Heather Brandon

Production Pitfalls. We all know about how much fun the ups are, but how do we deal with the downs when we’re producing a play? What production pitfalls do YOU need help with? What was your biggest production-related frustration this year?

The discussion is led by Matt Webster, one of our awesome DTA instructors. Joining us are two DTA members: Jeremy Bishop and Heather Brandon.

Recorded June 25, 2015

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Rehearsal Ruts

Hosted by Matt Webster, Lindsay Price, Karen Loftus, Jessica Fagerstrom

We are heading deep into rehearsal season and you can already feel the monotony starting to build: Rehearse, Review, Repeat. Rehearse, Review, Repeat. You are falling into a Rehearsal Rut. Never fear! We have just the conversation to shake up your routine and give your rehearsals a much needed shot in the arm. Get on board and get out of that rut!

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Rock your next Rehearsal

Hosted by Matt Webster & Jeremy Bishop

Your rehearsal questions and challenges addressed!

Hosted by DTA instructors Matt Webster and Lindsay Price, and special guest - DTA member and teacher Jeremy Bishop.

Recorded on October 20, 2015 at 8pm.

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Staging and Stage Pictures

Hosted by Matt Webster, Lindsay Price, Karen Loftus, Shelby Steege

The spring production season is upon us and shows are starting the rehearsal process. The cornerstone of any good production is good blocking, because good blocking makes good stage pictures. But are you using blocking to its maximum effect? Join us for a conversation about blocking and staging that is sure to spark your imagination.

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To Cancel or Not to Cancel

Hosted by Lindsay Price, Matt Webster, Jeremy Bishop, Jessica Fagerstrom

Your show opens in a week and it is a train wreck! Actors aren’t off book, the set is just a pile of lumber, and you haven’t sold a single advanced ticket. Cancelling the show is the only option. Or is it…? Cancelling a show is one of the hardest decisions any drama teacher has to make, and it should never be taken lightly.

Join us as we hash out the pros and cons of cancelling a show (or not!).

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