DTA | Maximizing Your Ensemble: Shoestring 101
Drama Teacher Academy Logo

Maximizing Your Ensemble: Shoestring 101

Created 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.

8 Modules
2 hours, 53 minutes
4 Credit Hours

Course Outline

Lesson 1: Introduction 24:03 FREE PREVIEW
Lesson 1 introduces the course and the three As: actor, audience, and area.
Lesson 2: Scenic Elements 20:52 FREE PREVIEW
This lesson explores ways in which your ensemble can literally become part of the scenery rather than merely cluttering the background; using them as literal representations of physical scenery.
Lesson 3: Crowd Scenes 16:25
This lesson focused on crowd scenes and environments, and discusses a wide range of applications in a variety of productions.
Lesson 4A: Environments 29:05
Lesson 4A contains two exercises that focus on balancing the space – lateral space, meaning middle space only, and a three-dimensional space of air, floor, middle and lateral spaces.
Lesson 4B: Living Scenery 17:19
Lesson 4B focuses on turning your ensemble into a living backdrop.
Lesson 5: Abstraction 17:45
Lesson 05 completes the acronym LACE with the letter A by backtracking and creating visual abstractions.
Lesson 6: Percussion 25:49
This lesson covers the importance, responsibilities, and possibilities of a percussionist on stage.
Lesson 7: Bonus Games 22:25
This final lesson includes bonus games and exercises to strengthen your ever-growing ensemble.

Standards Addressed

National Core Arts Standards

Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work - Grade 6

TH:Cr1.1.6.a - Identify possible solutions to staging challenges in a drama/theatre work.

Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation - Grade 6

TH:Pr4.1.6.b - Experiment with various physical choices to communicate character in a drama/theatre work.

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.

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.

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.

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

TH:Cr3.1.HSI.b - Explore physical, vocal and physiological choices to develop a performance that is believable, authentic, and relevant to a drama/theatre work.

California VAPA Standards (2019)

6.TH:Cr1 Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work

6.TH:Cr1.a - Identify possible solutions to staging challenges in a drama/theatre work.

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

6.TH:Pr4.b - Experiment with various physical choices to communicate character in a drama/theatre work.

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.

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.

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

MS 117.212 LII - Foundations: Inquiry and Understanding

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

MS 117.213 LIII - Creative Expression: performance

B.2.A - demonstrate safe use of the voice and body.

HS 117.315 LI - Foundations: Inquiry and Understanding

C.1.B - develop and practice theatre preparation and warm-up techniques.

Alberta, Canada

British Columbia (2018)

GRADE 9 - DRAMA - Communicating and documenting

Compose, interpret, and expand ideas using symbolism, imagery, and elements

GRADE 10 - DRAMA - Reason and reflect

Apply feedback to develop and refine ideas

GRADE 10 - DRAMA - Communicate and document

Compose, interpret, and expand ideas using symbolism and imagery

GRADE 11 - DRAMA - Reason and reflect

Demonstrate awareness of self, others, and audience

GRADE 12 - DRAMA - Communicate and document

Experience and express emotions through dramatic conventions

GRADE 12 - DRAMA - Connect and expand

Demonstrate respect for self, others, and audience

We are an approved continuing education provider in the following states, and provide PD certificates to be used in districts around the world. Click here for more details.

Approved PD Provider, State of Arkansas
Approved Provider of PDPs for Massachusetts
Approved Provider of Montana OPI Units, Montana Office of Public Instruction
Approved PD Provider, State of Pennsylvania
Approved CPE Provider, Texas Education Agency
Provider of Professional Development Credits, State of Wyoming
© Copyright 2015-2021 DramaTeacherAcademy.com