11 use directions and pathways
by Karen Loftus
Students will get “onstage.” They will explore what is important for onstage action, the basics of stage directions, and how to keep open. This unit will culminate with students trying out what they’ve learned in a short scene.
This unit is more about the technicalities of moving on stage. By giving students something concrete to focus on, it allows them to overcome any stage fright.
Ensemble-building exercises are also included in this unit. If you have time at the end of a lesson after you’ve completed your instruction and are wondering what to do, you can never go wrong with an ensemble-building exercise!
by Karen Loftus
In this unit, students will explore nonverbal communication: first, through body language and gesture, and then through the specific art of pantomime. Students will learn hand position, tension, follow-through, and action/reaction/interaction with objects through warm-up games and exercises. The unit culminates in a two-person pantomime performance.
by Karen Loftus
This unit on Ancient Greek theatre focuses on the function of the chorus, the choral ode, and the details of the theatre space. It touches on plays and playwrights of the era, culminating in a final project of a modern version of Medea that includes a choral ode.
by Karen Loftus
Students will discover, analyze, and explore the history, characters, and style of commedia dell’arte.
Commedia dell’arte is a theatre history unit mixed with improvisation, physicalization, and exploring specific characters. In this unit, we’re going to focus on three main aspects:
1. Causes and Effects of Commedia (History)
2. Stock Characters
3. Commedia Performance Practices
by Annie Dragoo
Musical theatre performers use their bodies to sing, to dance, and to act. We must think of our bodies as instruments and learn to use our instruments properly in order to be better musical theatre performers.
The overall objective with this unit, by Annie Dragoo, is for students to demonstrate an understanding of the use of good movement as it connects to musical theatre. Some of the activities include using action verbs, moving as animals and inanimate characters, nonverbal communication and situational movement. Students will then perform a scene that will allow them to put to practice all the movement techniques they have learned.
by Lindsay Price and Karen Loftus
In this unit, students will explore nonverbal communication. First through body language and gesture, and then through the specific art of pantomime. Students will learn hand position, tension, follow-through, and action/reaction/interaction with objects through warm-up games and exercises. The unit culminates in a one-person pantomime performance.
by Todd Espeland
Friendly Shakespeare teaches a simple and effective method of script analysis for Shakespeare. It uses punctuation and keywords in the text to help students understand the characters' needs, make specific acting choices, and get them on their feet immediately.
This is not dry, sitting in a classroom discussion. It’s physicalizing the text, focusing on the character’s needs and tactics (something every drama student should know full well) and bringing Shakespeare to life.
At the end of the class you will be able to demystify Shakespeare's text and understand how to help your actors make clear, active and emotionally connected choices in Shakespeare's plays.
by Todd Espeland
Learn about the Laban system to teach your students to physically and vocally discover character. This is an advanced course, which means that the course goes deep into exploring character and exploring character work through the work of Rudolph Laban.
by Todd Espeland
In this class, Serious Play, the instructor will lead you through a series of games in risk, movement, focus, and voice. You will get access to a series of all inclusive games that you can string together to make one giant game that is great to use in rehearsal. You will learn how and when to use these games.
You'll get ideas on how to craft your own warm-up lesson plan; and, most importantly, you'll learn about about a pre-class warm-up that you can do on your own so that you can get yourself into that third stage of the creative brain, so that you can begin trying out interesting, creative, and risky choices for yourself in your classes and in rehearsals.
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.
by Erin Carr
Viewpoints is used to create dynamic moments of theatre by simply existing on the stage. However, Viewpoints is more than just an acting technique to understand your own physicality and more than a directing technique to create “ah-ha!” moments on stage. It is first and foremost the philosophy that to create an organic performance, you must see obstacle as opportunity, and that by simply standing in space, your creativity can spark.
This course by Erin Carr will help your students discover fresh impulses that motivate their performance in the moment. We will go through the Viewpoints technique, as created by Mary Overlie, and learn how to tap into kinesthetic awareness as individuals and as an ensemble. Through this style of play, students learn to release their thoughts on what they “should” do, and instead just respond organically to their surroundings and ensemble!
We’re going to break down each of the Viewpoints, there’s lots of visual demonstration, so you can see each Viewpoint in action, and I’m going to provide tips and side coaching examples.
by Matt Webster
The skills identified in Social Emotional Learning are the same skills theatre teachers spotlight in the warmups, games, and activities, as well as group work and theater-related assignments found in the drama curriculum every day.
This course will break down the various games and activities in the drama classroom to identify, incorporate, and intensify the Social Emotional Learning outcomes we want our students to achieve. By the end of this course, you will be able to identify the five components of Social Emotional Learning and see the places in the curriculum where they intersect with basic games and activities in the drama classroom.
by Christa Vogt
SEL stands for Social Emotional Learning. Theatre teachers know that Social Emotional Learning and its categories: Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills and Responsible Decision Making, are innate in what we do.
The goal of this mini-course is to show you that you can take SEL in the way that your administration wants you to, using the language they want you to use, and apply it to lessons you already teach.
Instructor Christa Vogt will take you through the facets of SEL, and then take you step by step through an activity - to show you how you can apply SEL to each and every step.
Our parent company Theatrefolk offers a fantastic selection of plays written specifically for high school and middle school students.
Whether for performances or class study, there's something for everyone: relevant & relatable themes, simple sets & costumes, flexible casting options and much more - a perfect addition to any drama program!