Created by Steven Stack
Why should you take a class on empathy? And why is theatre the perfect vehicle for empathy?
Empathy, the more sought-after and inclusive cousin of sympathy, is the experiencing of someone else’s experience in the world. What it would be like if you were wearing their clothes, their life?
Teaching students to understand the clothes that they’re putting on, the characters and their lives teaches students not how to act but how to be. It allows the students to feel what someone else feels and experiences, which can and should translate to their fellow actors and peers away from the stage. It will lead to a stronger class connection, stronger performances and stronger students who will seek out understanding instead of isolation and fear.
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National Core Arts Standards
Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work - Grade 6
Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation - Grade 7
Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work - Grade 7
Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work - Grade 8
Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation - Grade 8
Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work - High School Proficient
Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work - High School Accomplished
Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work - Grade 6
Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work - Grade 7
Organize and develop artistic ideas and work - Grade HS Accomplished
Speaking and Listening
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.1 - Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
California VAPA Standards (2019)
6.TH:Cr1 Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work
7.TH:Pr4 Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation.
7.TH:Cr1 Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work
8.TH:Pr4 Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation.
8.TH:Cr1 Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work
Prof.TH:Cr1 Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work
Acc.TH:Cr1 Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
6.TH:Re8 Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.
7.TH:Re8 Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.
Acc.TH:Cr2 Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.
Florida Sunshine State Standards
Critical Thinking & Reflection
TH.912.C.1.2 - Create, refine, and sustain complex and believable characters for performance through the integration and application of artistic choices based on research, rehearsal, feedback, and refinement.
Skills, Techniques & Processes
TH.912.S.2.3 - Demonstrate an understanding of a dramatic work by developing a character analysis for one or more of its major characters and show how the analysis clarifies the character's physical and emotional dimensions.
Georgia Performance Standards - Theatre Arts
Grade 6 - Creating
TA6.CR.1 - Organize, design, and refine theatrical work.
a. Identify artistic choices, utilize theatre vocabulary, and demonstrate non-verbal communication skills in the rehearsal process.
b. Interpret a character’s motivation by understanding the relationship between their background and their behavior.
c. Identify the variety of relationships between characters.
d. Identify, define, and classify character traits.
e. Recognize and demonstrate the roles, responsibilities, and skills associated with collaborative performance.
f. Use resources to identify and create technical elements of theatre.
Grade 7 - Creating
TA7.CR.1 - Organize, design, and refine theatrical work.
a. Identify and rehearse effective communication skills.
b. Compare and contrast character types and relationships by analyzing character motivations, objectives, and goals.
c. Compare the physical, emotional, vocal, and social dimensions of a character.
d. Investigate the role and responsibility of the cast and crew.
e. Identify and model ensemble skills in the rehearsal process.
f. Utilize staging and blocking choices to enhance the performance.
g. Compare, contrast, and design elements of technical theatre.
h. Utilize theatre vocabulary throughout the rehearsal process.
Grade 7 - Performing
TA7.PR.1 - Act by communicating and sustaining roles in formal and informal environments.
a. Execute effective verbal and non-verbal communication skills in performance (e.g. rate, pitch, volume, inflection, posture, facial expression, physical movement).
b. Participate in a variety of acting exercises and techniques that can be applied in a rehearsal or theatre performance.
c. Engage in various performance styles.
Grade 7 - Connecting
TA7.CN.1 - Explore how theatre connects to life experience, careers, and other content.
a. Compare and contrast theatre with other art forms.
b. Articulate relationships between theatre and life.
c. Utilize a multi-disciplinary approach to create original theatre.
d. Describe the careers and professional responsibilities associated with theatre production (e.g. director, stage manager, designer, technician, playwright, actor).
Grade 8 - Creating
TA8.CR.1 - Organize, design, and refine theatrical work.
a. Differentiate the physical, emotional, vocal, and social dimensions of a variety of characters.
b. Compare the relationships and interactions between characters by analyzing character motivation (objectives, obstacles, strategy, action, stakes, outcome).
c. Incorporate dramatic elements through improvisation.
d. Connect theatre vocabulary to the application of theatre performance.
e. Identify and demonstrate both ensemble and leadership skills in the rehearsal process.
f. Evaluate the effectiveness of artistic and technical elements used in a theatre production.
g. Design and create scenery, props, costumes, lighting, and sound.
h. Assume different roles and responsibilities in the rehearsal process.
Grade 8 - Performing
TA8.PR.1 - Act by communicating and sustaining roles in formal and informal environments.
a. Demonstrate the physical, emotional, vocal, and social dimensions of a character in different types of theatre performances (e.g. rate, pitch, volume, inflection, posture, facial expression, motivation, physical movement).
b. Demonstrate appropriate ensemble skills throughout a performance.
c. Use appropriate listening and response skills during performances.
Grades 9-12 - FUNDAMENTALS OF THEATRE LEVELS I-IV - Creating
TAHSFT.CR.1 - Organize, design, and refine theatrical work.
a. Recognize and/or employ realistic and conventional speech patterns within dialogue or dramatic verse.
b. Incorporate dramatic elements through improvisation.
c. Recognize and interpret artistic choices in performance.
North Carolina Essential Standards
Beginning High School Standards - Communication
Proficient High School Standards - Communication
Advanced High School Standards - Culture
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 117.211 LI - Foundations: Inquiry and Understanding
MS 117.212 LII - Foundations: Inquiry and Understanding
MS 117.213 LIII - Foundations: Inquiry and Understanding
HS 117.315 LI - Foundations: Inquiry and Understanding
HS 117.316 LII - Creative Expression: performance
HS 117.316 LII - Critical evaluation and response
HS 117.317 LIII - Foundations: Inquiry and Understanding
HS 117.317 LIII - Critical evaluation and response
HS 117.318 LIV - Critical evaluation and response
Acting Drama 20
Acting Drama 30
Improvisation/Acting Level III - Advanced
Junior Goal II Objectives
Improvisation/Acting Level I - Beginning
Junior Goal I Objectives
Theatre Studies Level II - Intermediate (Theatre History)
Senior Goal I Objectives
Orientation Drama 10
British Columbia (2018)
GRADE 9 - DRAMA - Exploring and creating
GRADE 9 - DRAMA - Reasoning and reflecting
GRADE 9 - DRAMA - Connecting and expanding
GRADE 10 - DRAMA - Connect and expand
GRADE 11 - DRAMA - Reason and reflect
GRADE 11 - DRAMA - Connect and expand
GRADE 12 - DRAMA - Connect and expand
Grades 9 & 10 - Foundations - Responsible Practices
C.3.2 - identify and apply the skills and attitudes needed to perform various tasks and responsibilities in producing drama works (e.g., use active listening and cooperative problem-solving skills; practise punctuality; use tact in suggesting changes and improvements; demonstrate willingness to accept criticism and build consensus)
Grades 9 & 10 - Foundations - Context and Influences
C.2.2 - describe how drama is used for various purposes in a range of social contexts (e.g., to express or celebrate group or community sentiments or values in street theatre or parades; to mark important historical or religious anniversaries of a country or culture; to raise awareness of social, environmental, and political issues; to explore personal relationships or social arrangements)
Grades 9 & 10 - Reflecting, Responding and Analyzing - Connections Beyond the Classroom
B.3.1 - identify and describe skills, attitudes, and strategies they used in collaborative drama activities (e.g., brainstorming, active listening, and cooperative problem-solving skills; strategies for sharing responsibility through collaborative team roles)
Grades 9 & 10 - Reflecting, Responding and Analyzing - Drama and Society
B.2.2 - explain how dramatic exploration helps develop awareness of different roles and identities people have in society (e.g., explain what they learned through role playing characters from different socio-economic groups)
Grades 9 & 10 - Creating and Presenting - Elements and Conventions
A.2.2 - use a variety of conventions to create a distinct voice that reflects a particular global, social, or personal perspective (e.g., use voices in the head, role on the wall, and hot seating to create a complex character from another region or country)
Grades 9 & 10 - Creating and Presenting - The Creative Process
A.1.3 - use role play and characterization to explore personal and social issues (e.g., with a partner, create or assume a role that explores an issue such as bullying; create a scenario that reveals details about a character’s motivation)