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!

Course Summary

Standards Addressed

12 Modules
1 hours, 18 minutes
4 Credit Hours

devising playwriting

Course Outline

Module 1: Introduction 8:44
FREE PREVIEW
Module 2: Key Elements of Successful Devising 6:18
FREE PREVIEW
Module 3: Physical Safety 6:42
Module 4: Creative Comfort 5:53
Module 5: Group Dynamics and Collaboration 7:36
Module 6: Finding a Topic 7:26
Module 7: Research 7:33
Module 8: Developing Material 7:59
Module 9: Feedback 6:00
Module 10: Edit and Refine into a Finished Show 5:44
Module 11: Devising Chorus Work 5:08
Module 12: Wrap-Up 2:59

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Standards Addressed

Common Core


National Core Arts Standards


TH:Cn11.1: Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding - Grade HS Proficient

TH:Cn11.1.HSI.a - Explore how cultural, global, and historic belief systems affect creative choices in a drama/theatre work.

TH:Cn11.2: Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding - Grade HS Advanced

TH:Cn11.2.HSIII.a - Justify the creative choices made in a devised or scripted drama/theatre work, based on a critical interpretation of specific data from theatre research.

TH:Cn11.2: Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding - Grade HS Accomplished

TH:Cn11.2.HSII.a - Formulate creative choices for a devised or scripted drama/theatre work based on theatre research about the selected topic.

TH:Cn11.2: Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding - Grade HS Proficient

TH:Cn11.2.HSI.b - Use basic theatre research methods to better understand the social and cultural background of a drama/theatre work.

TH:Cn11.1: Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding - Grade 8

TH:Cn11.1.8.a - Use different forms of drama/theatre work to examine contemporary social, cultural, or global issues.

TH:Cn11.1: Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding - Grade 7

TH:Cn11.1.7.a - Incorporate music, dance, art, and/or media to strengthen the meaning and conflict in a drama/theatre work with a particular cultural, global, or historic context.

TH:Cn11.1: Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding - Grade 6

TH:Cn11.1.6.a - Identify universal themes or common social issues and express them through a drama/theatre work.

TH:Cn10.1: Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art - Grade HS Accomplished

TH:Cn10.1.HSII.a - Choose and interpret a drama/theatre work to reflect or question personal beliefs.

TH:Cn10.1: Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art - Grade HS Proficient

TH:Cn10.1.HSI.a - Investigate how cultural perspectives, community ideas and personal beliefs impact a drama/theatre work.

TH:Cn10.1: Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art - Grade 8

TH:Cn10.1.8.a - Examine a community issue through multiple perspectives in a drama/theatre work.

TH:Cn10.1: Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art - Grade 7

TH:Cn10.1.7.a - Incorporate multiple perspectives and diverse community ideas in a drama/theatre work.

TH:Cr3.1: Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation - Grade HS Accomplished

TH:Cr3.1.HSII.a - Use the rehearsal process to analyze the dramatic concept and technical design elements of a devised or scripted drama/theatre work.

TH:Cr3.1: Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation - Grade HS Proficient

TH:Cr3.1.HSI.a - Practice and revise a devised or scripted drama/theatre work using theatrical staging conventions.

TH:Cr3.1: Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation - Grade 8

TH:Cr3.1.8.a - Use repetition and analysis in order to revise devised or scripted drama/theatre work.

TH:Cr3.1: Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation - Grade 7

TH:Cr3.1.7.a - Demonstrate focus and concentration in the rehearsal process to analyze and refine choices in a devised or scripted drama/theatre work.

TH:Cr3.1: Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation - Grade 6

TH:Cr3.1.6.a - Articulate and examine choices to refine a devised or scripted drama/theatre work.

TH:Pr4.1: Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation - Grade 6

TH:Pr4.1.6.a - Identify the essential events in a story or script that make up the dramatic structure in a drama/theatre work.

TH:Pr5.1: Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation - Grade HS Proficient

TH:Pr5.1.HSI.a - Practice various acting techniques to expand skills in a rehearsal or drama/theatre performance.

TH:Pr6.1: Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work - Grade HS Accomplished

TH:Pr6.1.HSII.a - Present a drama/theatre work using creative processes that shape the production for a specific audience.

TH:Pr6.1: Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work - Grade HS Proficient

TH:Pr6.1.HSI.a - Perform a scripted drama/theatre work for a specific audience.

TH:Pr6.1: Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work - Grade 8

TH:Pr6.1.8.a - Perform a rehearsed drama/theatre work for an audience.

TH:Pr6.1: Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work - Grade 7

TH:Pr6.1.7.a - Participate in rehearsals for a drama/theatre work that will be shared with an audience.

TH:Pr5.1: Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation - Grade HS Accomplished

TH:Pr5.1.HSII.a - Refine a range of acting skills to build a believable and sustainable drama/theatre performance.

TH:Pr5.1: Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation - Grade 8

TH:Pr5.1.8.a - Use a variety of acting techniques to increase skills in a rehearsal or drama/theatre performance.

TH:Pr4.1: Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation - Grade HS Proficient

TH:Pr4.1.HSI.a - Examine how character relationships assist in telling the story of a drama/theatre work.

California VAPA Standards (2001)


California VAPA Standards (2019)


Prof.TH:Cn11.1 Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.

Prof.TH.Cn11.1.a - Explore how cultural, global, and historic belief systems affect creative choices in a drama/theatre work.

Adv.TH:Cn11.2 Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.

Adv.TH:Cn11.2.a - Justify the creative choices made in a devised or scripted drama/theatre work, based on a critical interpretation of specific data from research.

Acc.TH:Cn11.2 Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.

Acc.TH:Cn11.2.a - Formulate creative choices for a devised or scripted drama/theatre work based on research about the selected topic.

Prof.TH:Cn11.2 Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.

Prof.TH:Cn11.2.b - Use basic research methods to better understand the social and cultural background of a drama/theatre work.

8.TH:Cn11.1 Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.

8.TH.Cn11.1.a - Use different forms, styles, genres of drama/theatre work to examine contemporary social, cultural, or global issues.

6.TH:Cn11.1 Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.

6.TH.Cn11.1.a - Identify universal themes or common social issues and express them through a drama/theatre work.

Acc.TH:Cn10 Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art.

Acc.TH:Cn10 - Choose and interpret a drama/theatre work to reflect or question personal beliefs.

Prof.TH:Cn10 Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art.

Prof.TH:Cn10 - Investigate how cultural contexts, community ideas, and personal beliefs impact a drama/theatre work.

8.TH:Cn10 Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art.

8.TH:Cn10 - Examine a community issue through multiple perspectives in a drama/theatre work.

7.TH:Cn10 Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art.

7.TH:Cn10 - Incorporate multiple perspectives and diverse community ideas in a drama/theatre work.

Prof.TH:Pr5 Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation.

Prof.TH:Pr5.a - Practice various acting techniques to expand skills in a rehearsal or drama/theatre performance.

Prof.TH:Pr6 Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.

Prof.TH:Pr6 - Perform a rehearsed, scripted short drama/theatre work for a specific audience.

8.TH:Pr6 Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.

8.TH:Pr6 - Perform a rehearsed, scripted scene from a drama/theatre work for an audience.

7.TH:Pr6 Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.

67TH:Pr6 - Create through improvisation a drama/theatre work that will be shared with an audience.

Acc.TH:Pr5 Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation.

Acc.TH:Pr5.a - Refine a range of acting skills to build a believable and sustainable drama/theatre performance.

8.TH:Pr5 Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation.

8.TH:Pr5.a - Use a variety of acting techniques to increase skills in a rehearsal or drama/theatre performance.

Prof.TH:Pr4 Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation.

Prof.TH:Pr4.a - Examine how character relationships assist in telling the story of a drama/theatre work.

Florida Sunshine State Standards


Georgia Performance Standards 2017 - Theatre Arts


North Carolina Essential Standards


Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Theatre Arts


HS 117.318 LIV - Critical evaluation and response

C.5.B - defend theatre as an art form and value self as a creative being.

HS 117.317 LIII - Critical evaluation and response

C.5.B - recognize theatre as an art form and evaluate self as a creative being.

Alberta, Canada


Technical Theatre/Design 10-20-30 - Costume

1 - demonstrate understanding of the purpose of costume

Theatre Studies Drama 30 (Early or Middle or Late drama)

4 - recognize dramatic structure of a play

Technical Theatre/Design 10-20-30 - Lighting

1 - demonstrate understanding of the purpose of stage lighting

Technical Theatre/Design 10-20-30 - Management - Stage

1 - demonstrate understanding of the purpose and duties of the stage manager

Technical Theatre/Design 10-20-30 - Management - Properties

1 - demonstrate understanding of the purpose of stage properties

Technical Theatre/Design 10-20-30 - Management - Sound

1 - demonstrate understanding of the purpose of stage sound

British Columbia - 2018 (latest)


GRADE 10 - DRAMA - Communicate and document

Compose, interpret, and expand ideas using symbolism and imagery

GRADE 11 - DRAMA - Connect and expand

Demonstrate awareness of self, others, and audience

GRADE 12 - DRAMA - Connect and expand

Demonstrate respect for self, others, and audience

British Columbia, Canada


Drama 9

choose appropriate ways to express thoughts, feelings, and beliefs

demonstrate the unique ability of drama to unify a diverse group

demonstrate trust in others through class activities and individual and ensemble performances

restate the thoughts, feelings, and beliefs of others

accept responsibility for decisions and solutions

make reasoned choices within the boundaries of the dramatic situation

use a variety of strategies to make choices in problem solving

use set criteria to assess and evaluate the work of self and others

apply movement and gesture to clarify and enhance vocal interpretation

make movement choices that create a specific effect

use vocal and physical techniques to create role and character

demonstrate a commitment to suspending disbelief

demonstrate an awareness of a dramatic work as a metaphor

identify effective dramatic forms for representing particular ideas and experiences

use objects as symbols of abstract concepts in a drama

manipulate drama and theatre elements to affect the drama

relate setting to action

show facility in using a variety of forms to develop a drama

collaborate in the direction of a dramatic activity

demonstrate familiarity with stage vocabulary and apply theatrical conventions to dramatic forms

demonstrate respect for the nature of their audience

demonstrate responsibility to the group and self in rehearsal and performance

enhance dramatic work with available technical elements

select and adapt material appropriate to a concept

select and use design elements to achieve a desire effect

demonstrate an understanding that theatre is created in response to the needs of the community

identify and explain the influence of the media on their own work in drama

Drama 10

compare their own thoughts, feelings, and beliefs with those of others

demonstrate the unique ability of drama to unify a diverse group

demonstrate trust in self and others through class activities and individual and ensemble performances

use subtlety and nuance in expressive communication

defend choices made in problem solving

define and use criteria to assess and evaluate the work of self and others

make reasoned choices with the boundaries of the dramatic situation

negotiate and compromise to solve group problems

choose appropriate vocal techniques to communicate a particular meaning

apply vocal and physical techniques to create role and character

concentrate on role while sustaining and developing situations

select appropriate dramatic forms for representing particular ideas and experiences

suspend disbelief to create drama

use a dramatic work as a metaphor

use objects as symbols of abstract concepts in a drama

organize and control drama and theatre elements to enhance the drams

use observation, focus, and listening skills to create and sustain intriguing characters with integrity

adapt works to a specific audience

apply stage vocabulary and theatrical conventions to dramatic forms

demonstrate a commitment to the team approach in rehearsal and performance

explain the unique responsibilities of the director

use knowledge of diverse cultures and historical periods in developing work

demonstrate a recognition that theatre and the arts can enhance all aspects of their lives

explain how other art forms are used to affect the dramatic moment

select appropriate dramatic forms, skills, attitudes, and knowledge as a means of learning in other subjects

Ontario, Canada


Grade 11 - Creating and Presenting - Presentation Techniques & Technologies

A.3.2 - use a range of techniques and acting approaches to refine performance during rehearsal

Grade 11 - Creating and Presenting - The Creative Process

A.1.3 - create and interpret a range of characters using a variety of acting approaches

Grade 12 - Reflecting, Responding and Analyzing - The Critical Analysis Process

B.1.1 - use the critical analysis process to reflect on and justify or revise decisions in creating drama works