DTA | Beyond the Basics: Rehearsal Strategies to Grow Your Actors
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Beyond the Basics: Rehearsal Strategies to Grow Your Actors

Created 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!

16 Modules
3 hours, 3 minutes
5 Credit Hours

Course Outline

Module 0: Introduction 10:34 FREE PREVIEW
An overview of the course, including an outline of each module.
Module 1A: First Rehearsals 11:56 FREE PREVIEW
This module explores the special demands of the first few rehearsals.
Module 1B: First Rehearsals 7:26
This module expands on further ways a cast can explore the themes of the play in the first few rehearsals.
Module 2A: Physical Warm-Ups 8:39
This module looks at warm-up and focus activities for your cast, starting with physical warm-ups.
Module 2B: Vocal Warm-Ups 12:03
This module provides resources on vocal warm-ups for your cast that feed directly into the needs of the scene you're about to rehearse.
Module 3: Rehearsal Techniques 20:03
This module looks at ways to maximize the educational value of the rehearsal process, and explores a collaborative approach.
Module 4A: Character Development 11:47
This module looks at how to empower students by providing them with the necessary skills to develop a character.
Module 4B: Improvisation 8:58
This module explores the role of improv in character development; investing all cast members in the building of characters.
Module 5A: Classical Texts 8:53
This module looks at how to use classical texts and explores practical ways to make them accessible to students.
Module 5B: Classical Texts 14:17
This module deals directing with the question of language in classical texts, and activities to overcome challenges in rehearsal.
Module 6A: Comedy 11:10
This module covers comedies and how to mount a production.
Module 6B: Comedy 14:40
This module continues the exploration of comedy and working with a cast to examine the comedy in your script.
Module 7A: Practical Solutions 10:26
This module covers challenges and problems that often arise during the rehearsal process.
Module 7B: Practical Solutions 13:53
This module covers how to face challenges in rehearsal, and how to invest an entire cast in collective problem solving.
Module 8A: Final Stages of Rehearsal 11:42
This module focuses on the critical final stages of rehearsal from tech, dress, to opening night.
Module 8B: The Director's Role 7:07
This module focuses on the director's role in the final stages of rehearsal, and includes a wealth of practical activities involving the entire cast.

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Standards Addressed

National Core Arts Standards

Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation - Grade 7

TH:Pr4.1.7.a - Consider various staging choices to enhance the story in a drama/theatre work.

Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation - Grade 8

TH:Pr4.1.8.b - Use various character objectives and tactics in a drama/theatre work to overcome an obstacle.

Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation - Grade HS Accomplished

TH:Pr4.1.HSII.a - Discover how unique choices shape believable and sustainable drama/ theatre work.

Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation - Grade 6

TH:Pr5.1.6.a - Recognize how acting exercises and techniques can be applied to 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.

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.

Organize and develop artistic ideas and work - Grade HS Accomplished

TH:Cr2.1.HSII.b - Cooperate as a creative team to make interpretive choices for 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 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.

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.

Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation - Grade HS Advanced

TH:Cr3.1.HSIII.a - Refine, transform, and re-imagine a devised or scripted drama/theatre work using the rehearsal process to invent or re-imagine style, genre, form, and conventions.

California VAPA Standards (2019)

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

7.TH:Pr4.a - Consider various staging choices to enhance the story in a drama/theatre work.

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

8.TH:Pr4.b - Use various character objectives and tactics in a drama/theatre work to overcome an obstacle.

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

Acc.TH:Pr4.a - Discover how unique choices shape believable and sustainable drama/ theatre work.

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

6.TH:Pr5.a - Recognize how acting exercises and techniques can be applied to 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.

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.

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.

Florida Sunshine State Standards

Georgia Performance Standards - Theatre Arts

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

MS 117.212 LII - Foundations: Inquiry and Understanding

B.1.E - demonstrate knowledge of theatrical vocabulary and terminology.

MS 117.213 LIII - Foundations: Inquiry and Understanding

B.1.E - apply knowledge of theatrical vocabulary and terminology.

HS 117.316 LII - Foundations: Inquiry and Understanding

C.1.G - develop and practice memorization skills.

HS 117.318 LIV - Foundations: Inquiry and Understanding

C.1.G - develop and model memorization skills.

Alberta, Canada

British Columbia (2018)

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