DTA | Strong Ensemble = Strong Play
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Strong Ensemble = Strong Play

Created by Craig Mason

This mini-course will give you a toolkit to bring your shows to the next level by having an engaged, active, ensemble.

The ensemble is a critical part of a large cast show. But you can't leave them to fend for themselves. They need structure. They need exercises and activities.

In Strong Ensemble = Strong Play, you'll be given ensemble-building exercises. You'll also discover specific activities that will help your ensemble become three-dimensional characters who have something to do and something to play in every moment they are on stage.

We'll look at case studies that take the exercises learned in the course and apply them to specific shows.

5 Modules
1 hours, 8 minutes
2 Credit Hours

Course Outline

Module 0: Introduction 8:05 FREE PREVIEW
What is an ensemble? What are the ways a strong ensemble creates the world of the play?
Module 1: Ensemble Building Exercises 17:14 FREE PREVIEW
There is this whole series of games out there that aren’t focused on one person winning. They’re designed such that everyone who plays has to work together. In this module you’ll learn five specific games in detail: The Machine, The Manhole Cover, Spaghetti, Rock Paper Cheerleader, and Pass the Stone.
Module 2: Character Building 17:18
Character profiles, character exercises, and rehearsal exercises. Exercises for anyone in your cast but especially your ensemble.
Module 3: Relationships 8:36
We have relationships with everyone we encounter, everything we see. Part of bringing the ensemble to life, making them three-dimensional characters, will be helped by defining those relationships.
Module 4: Case Studies 17:21
Take the toolkit outlined in Modules 1, 2, and 3 (that’s ensemble building activities, character profiles, and relationships) and apply them to specific shows.

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Standards Addressed

National Core Arts Standards

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

TH:Pr4.1.8.a - Explore different pacing to better communicate the story 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.

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.

Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work - Grade 6

TH:Pr6.1.6.a - Adapt a drama/theatre work and present it informally for an audience.

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.

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.

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.

California VAPA Standards (2019)

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

8.TH:Pr4.a - Explore different pacing to better communicate the story 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.

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.

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

6.TH:Pr6 - Adapt a piece of literature and present it 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.

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.

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.

Alberta, Canada

Theatre Studies Level II - Intermediate (Theatre History)

6 - show awareness of selected periods and playwrights

British Columbia (2018)

GRADE 8 - ARTS - Communicating and documenting

Take creative risks to express feelings, ideas, and experiences

GRADE 9 - DRAMA - Reasoning and reflecting

Receive, offer, and apply constructive feedback

GRADE 10 - DRAMA - Connect and expand

Demonstrate respect for self, others, and the audience

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

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