LESSON PLAN

Approaching Random Tasks in Character

by Kerry Hishon

The objective of this lesson is for students to delve deeper into their roles by experimenting with performing a variety of everyday tasks while in character. As well, it offers students the chance to explore different ways of moving and thinking while in character.

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LESSON PLAN

Character Analysis - Musical Theatre Version

by Annie Dragoo

Use this lesson plan as a response activity connected to viewing a video of a musical in class. For example: At the end of semester or if you need a lesson plan during tech week - watch the musical and then do the exercise.

After viewing a musical, students will exhibit their ability to analyze a specific character from a musical by creating a visual character profile.

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LESSON PLAN

Character Analysis – Play Version

by Annie Dragoo

Use this lesson plan as a response activity connected to a play that you are studying in class.
After reading the play, students will exhibit their ability to analyze a specific character from a play by creating a visual character profile.

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LESSON PLAN

Character Improv

by Marisa Peck

Students will choose a character and become that character (physically and vocally). They will then collaborate with other characters in the classroom to create and perform an improvised scene.

Students explore known characters, characters based on traits, and non-human characters both physically and vocally before choosing their own. Lesson also explores the principle of "Yes...And."

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LESSON PLAN

Contentless Scene Brainstorm

by Lindsay Johnson

In this lesson, students will brainstorm characters/relationships, setting, and conflicts to add content to a contentless scene that they will work on for the rest of the unit. Students will use a variety of methods they’ve learned in the previous unit to communicate meaning: setting, pantomime, relationship clues, objectives, stakes, and tactics.

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LESSON PLAN

Contentless Scene Content Peer Review

by Lindsay Johnson

In this lesson, students will perform for peers and give and receive feedback on the Scene Details Rubric. Students will be using a variety of methods they’ve learned in the previous unit to communicate meaning in a contentless scene: setting, pantomime, relationship clues, objectives, stakes, and tactics.

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LESSON PLAN

Creating Character Movement Through Archetypes

by Annie Dragoo

In this lesson, students learn to identify characters with an archetype. They participate in various exercises to help them understand that archetypes all move and speak differently. Students will explore the statement “movement brings meaning to our life.” Use this lesson to explore character movement, types of character movement, and applying character movement to their own work.

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LESSON PLAN

Culminating Project: Performing Scenes

by Matt Webster

Students will link together two blank scenes to create a single, unified scene that justifies the characters’ actions and dialogue through character analysis.

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LESSON PLAN

Emergency Lesson Plan: Character Study

by Lindsay Price

In this ELP, students will read a scene with two characters. Students will read the scene and then analyze the characters. Who are they? What specific character traits do they have? What evidence is there in the text to support your opinion? Students will then reflect on the characters: Who do they connect with most? Who do they connect with least? Who would you want to play/not want to play and why?

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LESSON PLAN

Emergency Lesson Plan: Compare and Contrast (Shakespeare)

by Lindsay Price

In this ELP, students will read and discuss a scene from the Shakespeare Play Much Ado About Nothing and a modern adaptation of that text - Much Ado High School by Lindsay Price.

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LESSON PLAN

Final Scene Rehearsal

by Lindsay Johnson

Students will review the various techniques we’ve explored this unit (voice, movement, set design, projection, etc.) to convey meaning in a contentless scene. They will continue to work on their scenes and complete a Rehearsal Checklist.

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LESSON PLAN

Gender and Casting

by Kerry Hishon

In this lesson students will have the opportunity to explore and discuss ideas and concepts related to gender in plays, to try making casting decisions themselves, and to consider how gender can affect how an actor portrays a character and is perceived by an audience member. Can they look beyond
the male/female binary and be thoughtful and inclusive in their casting choices?

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LESSON PLAN

How Costumes Affect Your Character - Practical Exploration

by Kerry Hishon

Students will read an article about how costume items affect their character and their physical movements onstage. Then will then apply their knowledge by preparing a brief monologue (20-30 seconds in length) and practicing it three times, each time using a different costume item. Students will then perform their monologue using one of the items they worked with. Students will become aware of the challenges that costumes can cause while performing onstage. Afterwards, students will complete a Reflection.

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LESSON PLAN

I am a Fortress: Character Development

by Lindsay Price

Students create physical and vocal attributes based on a visual - images of buildings. Students will also take turns coaching the exercise to the class to demonstrate their comprehension.

Includes images and two assessment rubrics.

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LESSON PLAN

Intro to Blocking

by Lindsay Johnson

In this lesson, students will decide how best to include movement in their scene to help an audience understand what is happening in the scene. Students will complete a set design for their partner scene and add 3+ blocking notes to their scripts. Students will also take a Stage Directions Mini-Quiz
to demonstrate their understanding of stage directions/basic blocking notes.

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LESSON PLAN

Intro to Scripts

by Lindsay Johnson

In this lesson, students will brainstorm characters/relationships, setting, and conflicts to add content to a contentless scene that they will work on for the rest of the unit. Students will use a variety of methods they’ve learned in the previous unit to communicate meaning: setting, pantomime, relationship clues, objectives, stakes, and tactics.

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LESSON PLAN

Intro to Set and Stage Notes

by Lindsay Johnson

In this lesson, students will learn the terminology needed to identify different parts of the stage and to create a set design that uses levels in an effective and appealing way. Students create a basic kitchen set design for a kitchen set design that applies their new knowledge of stage parts, levels and scenery.

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LESSON PLAN

Intro to Voice Expression

by Lindsay Johnson

In this lesson, students will focus on how voice can be used to communicate character as well as to make the dialogue in the scene easily accessible to an audience. Students will give and receive feedback on their vocal clarity and expression in performance.

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LESSON PLAN

It’s all in a name: Character Building

by Lindsay Price

In this multi-class lesson plan students will construct a character from scratch. They will start with a name, decide on a physicality, come up with personality details based on that physicality and then answer interview questions in character.

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LESSON PLAN

Neutral Mask

by Stephanie-Ann Cocking

Students will receive an introduction to neutral mask and explore the importance of the body as a communication medium.

Students participate in three exercises that explore neutral mask: Reflecting emotion through the body, Reacting to music, and a short mime that combines an emotion and a household chore.
Students will write a short reflection after the activities are completed.

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LESSON PLAN

Object/Emotion Monologue

by Stephanie-Ann Cocking

Students will practice speaking in front of their peers as they explore personification and emotion in a monologue.

After seeing a model exercise, Students choose an object and an emotion as the base for their monologue. Students play the part of the object and decide on a story that explains why they feel their current emotion. Students demonstrate stage presence, vocal presence and creating a relevant story.

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LESSON PLAN

Objectives

by Elisabeth Oppelt

A character’s objective is what a character wants. It is based in what they want from another person, using the formula “I want [person] to do [thing I want them to do.]” The objective is what drives all of their action while on stage. In this lesson students will learn what objectives are and how to write one for a character.

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LESSON PLAN

Objectives

by Elisabeth Oppelt

Students will create a character objective using correct objective phrasing.

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LESSON PLAN

Open Body and Blocking Review

by Lindsay Johnson

In this lesson, students will review the “open body” element of projection. Using this technique, students will make it easier for audiences to see and understand their actions in the scene.

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LESSON PLAN

Posters

by Lindsay Johnson

8 posters for the drama classroom, to support the objectives of the Introduction to Scripted Scenes unit.

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LESSON PLAN

Preparing a Scene

by Lindsay Price

What tools do students need to properly prepare a scene? What exercises? This multi-class lesson plan models and practices those tools and exercises with the full class before they have to take on a scene for assessment.

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LESSON PLAN

Question Your Character (Without Judgement)

by Kerry Hishon

To consider the difference between thinking critically about a character and judging a character.

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LESSON PLAN

Reflection in Role: Character Development Through Script Analysis

by Lindsay Price

Playwrights leave hints and tips in the text as signposts for character building. But how do you find those hints? How do you use them to develop a character?

In this lesson plan, students will examine scenes from my plays, identify character development clues, and apply those clues. The included teaching script will show you those character clues so you know what students are looking for. The Scenes are included in the plan as well as a reflection rubric.

The analysis areas are: facts and concrete assumptions, sentence structure, and strong forms need strong characters.

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LESSON PLAN

Rejection through Movement and Character

by Lindsay Price

Learning to deal with rejection and turn rejection into a positive motivator is a lifelong skill. In this multi-class lesson, students will reflect on and discuss their views on rejection, theatricalize that view through movement, research someone who has found success only after rejection and failure, and theatricalize that information.

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LESSON PLAN

Scene Performance Assessment

by Lindsay Johnson

Students will review the various techniques we’ve explored this unit (voice, movement, set design, projection, etc.) to convey meaning in a contentless scene. Students will perform their final partner scene for assessment in front of the class. They will also completed an audience feedback sheet where they give their peers feedback on Rubric skills.

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LESSON PLAN

Session 1: Introduction

by Lindsay Price

Students create a situation from a picture and examine the given clues to help fill in the gaps. Students then examine the clues in a contentless scene, fill in the gaps, and create their own scenario to perform.

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LESSON PLAN

Session 1: Script Analysis - The Basics

by Lindsay Price

Students will begin their staging journey by compiling the basics. They will read the scene and identify some general knowledge that will help them play the scene.

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LESSON PLAN

Session 10: Removing Actor-Driven Movement

by Lindsay Price

The rehearsal period is coming to a close, and it’s almost time to present. In this rehearsal, students will share their scene with another group with the specific focus of examining it for actor-driven movement rather than character-driven movement: shuffling your weight back and forth between your feet, playing with your hair, vaguely gesturing with your hands, etc.

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LESSON PLAN

Session 11: Final Rehearsal

by Lindsay Price

This is it! The final rehearsal before students perform. Students focus on getting those last few lines word perfect, reflect on where they are, and do final run throughs.

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LESSON PLAN

Session 12: Performing the Scene

by Lindsay Price

Students perform their scene and complete a post-performance reflection.

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LESSON PLAN

Session 2: Script Analysis - Close Reading

by Lindsay Price

When analyzing a script, you want students to do a close reading, multiple times, and mine the text for as much information as possible. It’s important to know who your character is, why they act the way they do, and, most importantly, how you can physicalize all your newfound knowledge. At the end of each read, students identify possible staging ideas for their character and for the plot.

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LESSON PLAN

Session 2: Show and Tell Characterization

by Lindsay Price

Students will use “Show and Tell” to create a detailed background for their contentless scene character and improvise a personal interview with that character.

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LESSON PLAN

Session 3: Script Analysis - Scoring

by Lindsay Price

The last script analysis step is scoring. To score a scene means to divide the dialogue into beats and then add action words for each beat. Scoring gives students a roadmap for staging.

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LESSON PLAN

Session 3: Thou Shalts of Virtual Staging and Performance

by Lindsay Price

Students will participate in a demonstration to explore the rules of virtual staging and performance and why they are important. They will perform a Bad Idea/Good Idea skit for the class to demonstrate their understanding of the concept.

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LESSON PLAN

Session 4: Environmental and Personal Conflict

by Lindsay Price

Students will play a drama game and participate in an exercise to explore how conflict affects their active tactics. Students apply conflict to a scene for performance.

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LESSON PLAN

Session 4: Staging the Scene - Beats and Action Words

by Lindsay Price

Students will take their script analysis work with beats and action words and apply it to their scene. Students will also start to think about how they will have to adapt staging to a virtual environment.

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LESSON PLAN

Session 5: Stage Business

by Lindsay Price

Students will participate in an observation activity and play “What Are You Doing?” to explore how stage business affects performance. In this session, you will coach students through a scene with stage business, then they will apply stage business to their own performances.

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LESSON PLAN

Session 5: Staging the Scene - Character Physicalization

by Lindsay Price

Students will continue working on staging techniques by exploring character physicality.

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LESSON PLAN

Session 6: Contentless Scene - Preview Day

by Lindsay Price

Students review what they have studied in this unit as well as how to give and use constructive feedback. Students will pair up with another scene group, then perform for each other. Students will use the Preview Worksheet to help guide and assess their previews and critiques.

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LESSON PLAN

Session 6: Staging the Scene - Adapting Blocking Notation

by Lindsay Price

Students will solidify blocking notation that can be used in a virtual environment.

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LESSON PLAN

Session 7: Final Performance

by Lindsay Price

Students will perform and be evaluated on the contentless scene that they have prepared during the unit.

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LESSON PLAN

Session 7: Memorization Techniques

by Lindsay Price

The sooner students memorize their lines, the more fun they are going to be able to have with the scene. It’s hard to become a character, fully realize blocking, and make the scene one’s own with a script in hand. Acting begins when lines are memorized. This session will focus on practicing a variety of memorization techniques. They will be applied to Section 1 of the scene.

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LESSON PLAN

Session 8: Staging the Scene - Character Physicality (2)

by Lindsay Price

Students will revisit character physicality choices and solidify that they are a part of their staging. Additionally, there are some exercises to further explore character physicality. Encourage students to continue to visualize and practice bringing characters to life as they work on their scene.

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LESSON PLAN

Session 9: Purposeful Action

by Lindsay Price

Students have been through their scene multiple times with specific blocking choices. They have been working on memorization and character physicality. In their rehearsal today, students will review their blocking choices with a specific objective of making every action in the scene purposeful and theatrical.

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LESSON PLAN

Show and Tell Switch

by Anna Porter

Students apply the questions used in a Character Analysis Worksheet to create a character background for themselves.
Students use this to help them understand the importance of details and commitment to character choices by creating a believable Show and Tell presentation with an unknown object.

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LESSON PLAN

Status Monkeys

by Anna Porter

Students will understand how status affects characterization and character actions by participating in the “Status Monkeys” game as well as other status-based interactions.

The lesson begins with a status demonstration using students. It then moves onto an "unknown status" activity where students react to the status of others without knowing their own status. How do you treat a low status character compared to a high status character?

The final activity is an animal imagery exercise where the students are all monkeys in a jungle with an assigned status. They must explore survival tactics available to someone of their particular status.

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LESSON PLAN

Status Monkeys

by Anna Porter

Students will understand how status influences characterization and character actions by participating in “Status Monkeys” and other interactions based on status.

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LESSON PLAN

Subtext with Secrets

by Anna Porter

Students will understand how background and subtext can help create a scene with honest emotion and depth by exploring secrets.

Students create a secret to explore their character and apply it to a scene.

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LESSON PLAN

Subtext: Pass the Salt

by Lindsay Price

Subtext is the underlying meaning in a text. What is a character thinking? Learning to apply subtext to a scene is an excellent character development tool. It encourages students to think about “the why” behind a line. “Why does a character say this line? Why do they use a particular inflection? What are they really trying to say?

In this lesson plan, students explore the meaning of subtext, practice applying subtext in dialogue and to create their own scene.

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LESSON PLAN

Superhero Public/Private

by Lindsay Price

Students will create a character based on a superhero. They are to establish their walk, how they use their super power, how they talk, and know some background details. Once this “public” side is established, students will add in the “private.” What is this superhero like, at home, when they are alone and not in the public eye? There has to be something surprising and unexpected in their presentation.

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LESSON PLAN

Tactic Fairies

by Anna Porter

Students will understand how tactics are active and how to use them to achieve their character’s objective.

Students consider the tactics they use to get what they want in their everyday lives and then demonstrate how to use various tactics for an assigned objective by playing “Tactic Fairies.” Two students act out a scene, while their "fairies" make them change their tactic 4 or 5 times to get what they want. This instills that a character can't just repeat the same tactic over and over again, or try one tactic and stop. The consequence of certain tactics is also introduced.

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LESSON PLAN

Tactics

by Elisabeth Oppelt

Tactics are how characters get what they want from other people on stage. They are verbs used to describe how a character behaves to get others to do what they want. In this lesson students will learn what tactics are and be able to create a list of possible tactics.

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LESSON PLAN

Tactics

by Elisabeth Oppelt

Students will be able to create a list of fifteen tactics based on what they have learned about tactics.

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LESSON PLAN

The Difference Between Want & Need

by Lindsay Price

One approach to character development is to identify the difference between what characters want vs. what they need. Sometimes students get the two mixed up. Which is more important? Do plays always identify characters as having both? In this lesson plan, students identify the difference between want and need, then apply that knowledge with scenes/monologues.

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LESSON PLAN

The Speed Date

by Stephanie-Ann Cocking

Students create a character and maintain that character throughout an activity.

Students create an original character by filling out a form. These characters participate in a speed date round. Female characters sit in an outer circle of chairs. Male characters rotate clockwise through an inner circle of chairs.The characters introduce themselves and talk for one minute before moving on to the next meeting. Teacher pairs students up and in their pairs student plans and present a short improv: The First Date.

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LESSON PLAN

Using Statistics as Scene Starters

by Kerry Hishon

This lesson provides two different exercises for students to try: Silly Statistics (Improv Game) and Serious Statistics (Theatre Exploration Project). The objective of this lesson is to give students the chance to think differently about how scenes can be developed and to show that ideas can come from just about anywhere—even supposedly “non-theatre-related” classes and topics.

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LESSON PLAN

Writing Open Scenes

by Matt Webster

Students​ ​will​ ​write​ ​open​ ​scenes​ ​to​ ​generate​ ​materials​ ​for​ ​the​ ​Character​ ​Analysis​ ​Unit.

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