LESSON PLAN

19th Century Actors on Acting: Cushman, Booth, Jefferson

by Lindsay Price

This lesson plan looks at three 19th century actors: Charlotte Cushman, Edwin Booth, and Joseph Jefferson. All three were heralded as “stars” and were well known in their time. Students will learn some information about each, read letters in which they talk about acting, and reflect on what they’ve learned.

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Ancient Greek Theatre Vocabulary Research Activity

by Angel Borths

Students will be able to identify elements of Ancient Greek Theatre through a group research activity.

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Ancient Greek Theatre: Presentation Project

by Lindsay Price

This is the project section of the Ancient Greek Theatre unit. Divide students into groups, then give them an information sheet on their subject. Their job is to present the information in a theatrical manner to the class, create an activity that the class can do as a whole, and write a reflection/exit slip for the class to complete.
Within this unit students are given three to four class periods to work on their presentations. Instruct each group to divide up tasks evenly within their group, so that they can meet the deadline. You can certainly give them more time, or establish that students must spend time working on the project outside of class. Depending on the size of your class, it may take one or two classes to complete the presentations.

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Ancient Greek Theatre: It's All Greek to Me

by Lea Marshall

This hyperdoc unit is designed to have students independently discover Ancient Greek Theatre. The unit is broken down into nine sections with multiple activities and includes a culminating activity.

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Aristotle's 6 Elements of Drama

by Angel Borths

Students will be able to identify Aristotle’s 6 Elements of Drama and analyze their application to modern theatre and media.

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Characters in the Comedy of Manners

by Lindsay Price

The Comedy of Manners is a style of comedy that uses satire to highlight the behaviours, actions, fashions, and “manners” of a segment of society. Students will explore characters in the comedy of manners and then create a comedy of manners character profile with one of the characters from The
Importance of Being Earnest.

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Chinese Opera

by Marsha Walner

Students explore Chinese opera and how some of what culture values can be seen in an exaggerated way on stage.

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Compare and Contrast: Theatre spaces

by Lindsay Price

Theatre spaces have changed throughout history, from the outdoor amphitheatres of Ancient Greece to the black box of modern times. In this lesson plan, students will identify what makes a theatre space in a specific era and then compare and contrast two different theatre spaces.

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Context Clues

by Karen Loftus

Students review context clues and apply it to the Prologue from Romeo and Juliet.

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Crime Scene Clues

by Karen Loftus

Students apply their knowledge of context clues to find meaning in the Tomb Scene from Romeo and Juliet.

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Culminating Assignment

by Lindsay Price

In this culminating assignment, students will apply what they have learned throughout this unit to a modern devised scene.

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LESSON PLAN

Does the “Where” Affect Performance?

by Lindsay Price

The Greek Theatre is the ancestor of the modern theatre. It is the birth of the actor stepping away from a chorus of unison speakers, as well as the catalyst that triggered the practice of building theatres. We can look at the production of theatre in that time and see similarities to how we present theatre today. But where do we start? And how do we make theatre history more than the collection of data?
In this lesson plan, students will explore the connection between the past and present by asking the question, “Does the “where” affect performance?” Students will compare and contrast the modern stage with the Ancient Greek Amphitheatre.

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Emergency Lesson Plan: Elements of Greek Tragedy

by Lindsay Price

In this ELP, students will study a handout on Ancient Greek Tragedy, take a short quiz and write a reflection.

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Emergency Lesson Plan: Introduction to Molière

by Lindsay Price

In this ELP, students will read an article and complete quick-fire questions. If you’re in the middle of studying Shakespeare, there’s a compare-and-contrast question that you can use as the class work, or students can complete and grade a quiz.

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Expanding the Unit

by Karen Loftus

Three suggestions for adding on to this unit are included, as well as a unit reflection for your students.

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Final Preparations

by Marsha Walner

Final preparations for the performance during this class, including making and incorporating props or costumes and polishing the scenes.

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Introduction

by Karen Loftus

Students discuss myths, explore group movement and combine movement with choral speaking in a choral ode.

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LESSON PLAN

Introduction

by Lindsay Price

The Comedy of Manners is a style of comedy that uses satire to highlight the behaviours, actions, fashions, and “manners” of a segment of society. In this lesson students discuss the nature of comedies that make fun of a group of people and the definition of satire. They are taken through a slide deck that introduces the background and style elements of the comedy of manners. Students also complete a Viewing Quiz.

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LESSON PLAN

Introduction to Antigone and Agatha Rex

by Angel Borths

Students will be able to summarize the plot of a story from Ancient Greek Theatre using a description of a classical Greek tragedy.

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LESSON PLAN

Introduction to Medieval Theatre

by Ruth Richards

Students will explore Medieval Theatre by role playing what it would be like to perform at the time. Students form trade guilds, create a medieval market scene, and then work on a morality scenario. Lesson plan comes with a written assignment to be completed after the practical assignment.

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Kabuki Theatre from Japan

by Marsha Walner

Students explore Kabuki from Japan and use the Mie technique to display character in this for-the-masses spectacle form of theatre.

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Manners and Codes in the Comedy of Manners

by Lindsay Price

The comedy of manners is a style of comedy that uses satire to highlight the behaviours, actions, fashions, and “manners” of a segment of society. Students will explore the element of manners and codes of behaviour in a modern context, and then look at how the element is applied to a scene from The Importance of Being Earnest.

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LESSON PLAN

Mask Making & Skene Backdrop Activity

by Angel Borths

Students will be able to design and build a Greek Theatre mask in the traditional style for a character in Agatha Rex. Students will be able to design and build a skene backdrop.

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LESSON PLAN

Medieval Drama - Morality Plays

by Lindsay Price

Lessons to cover two class periods. Students learn the elements of a Medieval Morality Play and then create their own morality play with a modern context. Includes a modern version of "Everyman" and three assessment rubrics.

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LESSON PLAN

Medieval Drama - The Mystery Play

by Lindsay Price

Lessons cover two class periods.

Students learn the elements of a Medieval Mystery Play cycle and then create their own Mystery cycle within a modern context. Includes handouts, assignment sheets, and rubrics.

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LESSON PLAN

Noh Theatre from Japan

by Marsha Walner

Exploring Noh from Japan and how masks and movement techniques communicate character in a unique style of storytelling.

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Parts of the Ancient Greek Stage

by Angel Borths

Students will be able to identify the parts of an Ancient Greek Stage and explain the function of each element.

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Performance

by Marsha Walner

Final performances will occur on this day, with audience members offering observation-based feedback.

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Performance & Reflection

by Angel Borths

Students will be able to perform an adaptation of a classical greek play, using theatrical masks as a group.

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Playhouses

by Karen Loftus

Students are introduced to three of the most important playhouses in the Elizabethan Era, as well as the areas of the Globe Theatre.

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Playwrights & Players

by Karen Loftus

This session introduces students to the Elizabethan Era, and its’ key playwrights and players.

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Post-Reading Reflection & Mask Activity

by Angel Borths

Students will be able to design and build a Greek Theatre mask in the traditional style for a character in Agatha Rex.

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Presentation & Reflection

by Lindsay Price

In this lesson, students present their topics, lead the class through an activity, and provide a reflection. They also self-evaluate the process.

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Sanskrit Theatre from India

by Marsha Walner

Students explore Sanskrit theatre from India and how rituals and intentional actions give strength and unity to the creative process.

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Scene Building and Polish

by Marsha Walner

Groups will polish their piece, ensuring everyone is clear on their responsibilities as well as requesting any production elements necessary.

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Scene Development

by Marsha Walner

Students will form small groups and delve into one style. They will use that style to retell a common folktale or story, conceptualizing how their story will unfold on stage.

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LESSON PLAN

Scene Rehearsal

by Angel Borths

Students will be able to stage and rehearse an adaptation of a classical greek play, using theatrical masks as a group.

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LESSON PLAN

Skene Sketching & Vocabulary Activity

by Angel Borths

Students will be able to use their knowledge of Greek theatre to predict matching definitions and terms.

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LESSON PLAN

Storytelling in Ancient Greece

by Lindsay Price

Greek Theatre is the ancestor of the Modern Theatre. It is the birth of the actor stepping away from a chorus of unison speakers. The building of theatres. We can look at the production of theatre in that time and see similarities to how we present theatre today. But where do we start? And how do we make theatre history more than just the collection of data?
In this lesson plan, students will explore the connection between the way they tell stories in the 21st century and the way that the Ancient Greeks told stories. Students will also explore Ancient Greek vases and Homer’s The Iliad.

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LESSON PLAN

Strange Language

by Karen Loftus

Students learn how to use context clues to approach the unfamiliar words they will find in Shakepeare’s language.

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LESSON PLAN

The 21st Century Story

by Lindsay Price

Theatre is about communication. A story is presented to an audience. Storytelling was one of the earliest forms of entertainment that we continue to use today. Even though the method for delivering the story has changed, the form itself has stayed the same for thousands of years.

In this lesson, students will create their version of the 21st century story. What stories do we tell today? How do we tell them? Who do we tell them to?

You can use this lesson as an intro to studying modern theatre, especially for students who don’t have a theatre background. You can also use this lesson as an intro for Ancient Greek Theatre. Start by examining stories in a modern context, then shift to the Ancient Greek era.

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LESSON PLAN

The Ancient Greek People

by Lindsay Price

The Ancient Greek Theatre is the birth of the modern theatre. We can look at the production of theatre in that time and see similarities to how we present theatre today. But where do we start? And how do we make theatre history more than the collection of data?

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LESSON PLAN

The Ancient Greeks

by Lindsay Price

The Ancient Greek Theatre is the birth of the modern theatre. We can look at the production of theatre in that time and see similarities to how we present theatre today. But where do we start? And how do we make theatre history more than the collection of data? It’s hard for students to conceptualize an era that happened so long ago as populated with real people. This lesson plan encourages discussion, application, and reflection on the Ancient Greeks.

Be sure to check out the Ancient Greek Theatre handout as an accompaniment to this lesson. A powerpoint link is also included that is ready to use in your classroom!

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LESSON PLAN

The Ancient Greeks - Handout

by Lindsay Price

This handout is designed as an accompaniment to The Ancient Greeks lesson plan. The two-page handout includes visuals and a description of who the ancient greeks were, including democracy/slavery, the role of women, war/culture, competition, and the Gods.

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LESSON PLAN

The Festival of Dionysus

by Lindsay Price

In this lesson, students trace the journey from ancient storytelling to modern day theatre thousands of years later. One of the main reason theatre evolved like it did was because of performance opportunities during City Dionysus festivals in tribute to Dionysus. The performance framework moved from one person telling a story to a group, to a choral group performing, to one person stepping out in front of the chorus as an actor and so on. It’s interesting for students to see that the more you perform a form, the more that form evolves.

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LESSON PLAN

The Globe Theatre

by Lindsay Price

Students will read The Globe Theatre Handout. Based on the given information, students will re-create the experience of going to The Globe and complete a compare and contrast assignment.

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LESSON PLAN

The Theatre

by Karen Loftus

Students are introduced to aspects of Ancient Greek Theatre and the performing space. The session culminates in students creating their own choral ode in groups.

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LESSON PLAN

The Theatre Space

by Karen Loftus

Students label parts of an Ancient Greek Amphitheatre and apply their knowledge in an exercise.

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LESSON PLAN

Tragedy, Satyr, and Comedy

by Lindsay Price

The Greek Theatre is the birth of the modern theatre. It is the birth of the actor stepping away from a chorus of unison speakers, as well as the catalyst that triggered the building of theatres. We can look at the production of theatre in that time and see similarities to how we present theatre today. But where do we start? And how do we make theatre history more than the collection of data?
In this lesson plan, students will explore the connection between “what” of Ancient Greek Theatre: tragedy, satyr, and comedy.

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LESSON PLAN

Unit Project

by Karen Loftus

The final project for this unit will be a modern version of Medea. Students are exposed to the plot and characters, then create their own version to perform which includes a choral ode. A unit reflection and rubric are included.

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LESSON PLAN

Verbal Comedy in the Comedy of Manners

by Lindsay Price

The comedy of manners is a style of comedy that uses satire to highlight the behaviours, actions, fashions, and “manners” of a segment of society. Students will explore aspects of verbal comedy in a modern context and then look at how the element is applied to a scene from The Importance of
Being Earnest.

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LESSON PLAN

Vocabulary Quiz

by Angel Borths

Students will be able to complete a formal assessment of their knowledge of Ancient Greek Theatre.

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LESSON PLAN

Western Theatre

by Marsha Walner

Students will define Western theatre based on what we know about our culture and its storytelling traditions.

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LESSON PLAN

What Else Can You Do with Ancient Greek Theatre?

by Lindsay Price

Ten ideas for further class work and activities for Ancient Greek Theatre.

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LESSON PLAN

Where Did Drama Begin?

by Ruth Richards

Students will explore the origins of drama through ritual and chant. After discussing modern versions, students will create a ritualistic chant using choral speaking, and synchronized movements.

Lesson Plan comes with an evaluation sheet and a rubric.

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LESSON PLAN

Who is Thespis?

by Lindsay Price

Thespis is often stated as being the first actor because he stepped away from the chorus. But who is he? What do we know as fact and what has been assumed as his origin story? What happens when unreliable evidence is recorded as historical fact? Does it matter?

In this lesson, students will draw their own conclusions about the validity of Thespis as a reliable figure in theatre history. They will also write a monologue from the perspective of a character who shares their viewpoint.

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LESSON PLAN

Who is Thespis? Project Version

by Lindsay Price

Thespis is often stated as being the first actor because he stepped away from the chorus. But who is he? What do we know as fact and what has been assumed as his origin story? What happens when unreliable evidence is recorded as historical fact? Does it matter?

In this lesson, students will research, present and draw their own conclusions about the validity of Thespis as a reliable figure in theatre history. They will then write and present a scene that showcases their viewpoint.

*This lesson requires internet accessibility (for students to research for the project) either during class time or afterward as assigned homework.

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