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

National Core Arts Standards


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work - Grade 8

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Common Core


California VAPA Standards (2019)


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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: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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Florida Sunshine State Standards


Georgia Performance Standards 2017 - Theatre Arts


North Carolina Essential Standards


Tennessee Theatre Curriculum Standards

Tennessee Theatre standards (2018) standards were built using the framework of the NCAS which is built on four key domains: Creating, Performing/Presenting/Producing, Connecting, and Responding. Within each of these domains are foundations and standards to support the development of curriculum, programs, and learning.
(source: Tennessee Department of Education, Tennessee Academic Standards for Fine Arts, Summer 2018)

Please refer to National Core Arts Standards to determine the standard that best suits your needs.

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Theatre Arts


HS 117.317 LIII - Critical evaluation and response

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

HS 117.318 LIV - Critical evaluation and response

C.5.B - defend theatre as an art form and value 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)


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

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