Courses

PD COURSE

Creating the Ensemble-Based Classroom

by Gai Jones

Gai Jones will help you establish an ensemble-based environment from the first day of class or rehearsal.

Learn how to set up your ensemble-based classroom from day one, get students to set classroom norms, and find the balance between creative activity and structure. You’ll learn how to give your students creative freedom through structure and classroom management. The cornerstone of this course are the detailed ensemble experiences from large group to small group and even individual experiences.

This course culminates in a devising model that you can use with your students, and takes you through process, product, performance and an evaluation.

You too can create the ensemble-based classroom.

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PD COURSE

21st Century Skills Through Devising

by Allison Williams

Allison Williams leads the course: 21st Century Skills Through Devising. This course covers what devising is, why to do it, how to do it, and how your students can master the 21st Century Skills of collaborations and cooperation, critical thinking, creative thinking through devising.

High school is a great place to try devising with your students. But it’s not something you want to throw at your students without any preparation. Framework is important and this course takes you through a number of exercises you can take into the classroom tomorrow to help build a place of physical safety, a place where students work at making a lot of choices instead of waiting for the perfect choice, and a place where students feel comfortable making creative choices. The material also reviews the process of putting together a show from the idea/research stage to editing, to giving feedback.

Your students have what it takes to create their own material, collaborate with each other, and have a unique theatrical experience!

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Units

UNIT

Devising

by Corinna Rezzelle

What is devising? It’s a process of playwriting as a group. Plays are created through improvisation, process dramas, and a lot of teamwork. The Devising Unit includes an overview to get you started, and 12 lessons jam-packed with activities.

This unit includes doing some basic Forum Theatre, which is a technique coined by Augusto Boal. It covers Process Drama in a variety of ways such as Hot Seating, Role on the Wall, and a fun exercise called “Character Bag”. There are also some great bonding games for your students to enjoy.

This unit is designed to show students (and teachers) that playwriting doesn’t have to be a solitary, lonely exercise. It can be a fun, sometimes chaotic, and very energetic experience.

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UNIT

Devising

by Corinna Rezzelle

In this unit, students will work with their peers through a series of exercises and activities designed to lead them through the process of creating, writing, rehearsing, and performing a new, original script.

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Lesson Plans

LESSON PLAN

Characterization

by Corinna Rezzelle

Students explore what makes a character interesting through the examination of physical objects. What do objects say about us? What can you infer about a person by the objects they carry with them? Students will role-play in process drama activities to explore characters and to create their own.

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LESSON PLAN

Physicalization / Stage Movement

by Corinna Rezzelle

Students explore how body language can show a story (i.e. how someone is feeling, character traits, relationships between characters, etc.). The lesson culminates in students using a physical elliptical scene (a scene with just stage directions) and adding movements, gestures, and body language.

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LESSON PLAN

Contentless Scenes / Building Scenes

by Corinna Rezzelle

In this lesson, students will start their scene work first with a contentless scene, a one-minute scene, and then (for homework) write a one-page scene based on a real life experience.

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LESSON PLAN

Choosing a Topic

by Corinna Rezzelle

In this lesson, students discuss and choose a topic for their devised piece.

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LESSON PLAN

Beginning to Write

by Corinna Rezzelle

In this lesson, students begin putting the pieces together for their devised work. Students brainstorm on their topic, then participate in a movement piece and a forum theatre activity to explore their topic.

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LESSON PLAN

Building the Play

by Corinna Rezzelle

In this lesson, students continue to build the play by writing and revising scenes, reading each other’s work, and providing feedback.

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LESSON PLAN

The Ren Run

by Corinna Rezzelle

In this lesson, students will work in groups to create transitions in improvised tableaux and movement pieces. They will also participate in a “ren run” to practice improv blocking.

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LESSON PLAN

Revision

by Corinna Rezzelle

In this lesson students watch the Ren Run then discuss the topic of revision. What is the message of the play? How do the scenes communicate the message? Note: Depending on the amount of revisions your students feel the play needs, revising might take longer than one lesson. Feel free to add time, if need be.

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LESSON PLAN

Rehearsal

by Corinna Rezzelle

In this lesson, students finalize casting, then start rehearsing. Focus the rehearsals on blocking. What is the necessary movement to communicate the content of the scene?

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LESSON PLAN

Rehearsal / Character Development

by Corinna Rezzelle

Students continue to rehearse. In this lesson, character development exercises deepen the students’ experiences and final products.

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LESSON PLAN

Rehearsal / Designing the play

by Corinna Rezzelle

Students continue to rehearse. They also move on to the design phase of the project. The group will decide upon costuming and props for the performance. NOTE: Keep costumes and props simple. Black works well for costumes with colourful accents.

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LESSON PLAN

Final Rehearsal & Post Show Discussion

by Corinna Rezzelle

Students run the show before their performance. Pre- and post-show discussion questions are included as well as a post show reflection.

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LESSON PLAN

Characterization

by Corinna Rezzelle

Students explore what makes a character interesting through the examination of physical objects. What do objects say about us? What can you infer about a person by the objects they carry with them? Students will role-play in process drama activities to explore characters and to create their own.

Join now for instant access

LESSON PLAN

Physicalization / Stage Movement

by Corinna Rezzelle

Students explore how body language can show a story (i.e. how someone is feeling, character traits, relationships between characters, etc.). The lesson culminates in students using a physical elliptical scene (a scene with just stage directions) and adding movements, gestures, and body language.

Join now for instant access

LESSON PLAN

Contentless Scenes / Building Scenes

by Corinna Rezzelle

In this lesson, students will start their scene work first with a contentless scene, a one-minute scene, and then (for homework) write a one-page scene based on a real life experience.

Join now for instant access

LESSON PLAN

Choosing a Topic

by Corinna Rezzelle

In this lesson, students discuss and choose a topic for their devised piece.

Join now for instant access

LESSON PLAN

Beginning to Write

by Corinna Rezzelle

In this lesson, students begin putting the pieces together for their devised work. Students brainstorm on their topic, then participate in a movement piece and a forum theatre activity to explore their topic.

Join now for instant access

LESSON PLAN

Building the Play

by Corinna Rezzelle

In this lesson, students continue to build the play by writing and revising scenes, reading each other’s work, and providing feedback.

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LESSON PLAN

The Ren Run

by Corinna Rezzelle

In this lesson, students will work in groups to create transitions in improvised tableaux and movement pieces. They will also participate in a “ren run” to practice improv blocking.

Join now for instant access

LESSON PLAN

Revision

by Corinna Rezzelle

In this lesson students watch the Ren Run then discuss the topic of revision. What is the message of the play? How do the scenes communicate the message? Note: Depending on the amount of revisions your students feel the play needs, revising might take longer than one lesson. Feel free to add time, if need be.

Join now for instant access

LESSON PLAN

Rehearsal

by Corinna Rezzelle

In this lesson, students finalize casting, then start rehearsing. Focus the rehearsals on blocking. What is the necessary movement to communicate the content of the scene?

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LESSON PLAN

Rehearsal / Character Development

by Corinna Rezzelle

Students continue to rehearse. In this lesson, character development exercises deepen the students’ experiences and final products.

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LESSON PLAN

Rehearsal / Designing the play

by Corinna Rezzelle

Students continue to rehearse. They also move on to the design phase of the project. The group will decide upon costuming and props for the performance. NOTE: Keep costumes and props simple. Black works well for costumes with colourful accents.

Join now for instant access

LESSON PLAN

Final Rehearsal & Post Show Discussion

by Corinna Rezzelle

Students run the show before their performance. Pre- and post-show discussion questions are included as well as a post show reflection.

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Resources

RESOURCE

Masterclass with Barbara Pitts McAdams: Devising Through Moment Work

Masterclass is a series of one-on-one interviews with experts, creators and innovators in the world of Theatre that you can study in-depth, or share with your classes. Think of this series as 'Inside the Actor's Studio' for Drama Teachers.

In this masterclass, Matt Webster talks to to Barbara Pitts McAdams, a member of the Tectonic Theater Project and one of the original actors and dramaturges of The Laramie Project. This discussion focuses on devising, specifically through Moment Work.

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RESOURCE

Devising

Recorded at the DTA Virtual Conference in July 2019, Amy Patel takes us through her devising process in the drama classroom.

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PLCs

PLC

Devising

Hosted by Lindsay Price, Matt Webster, Amy Patel, Jessica Fagerstrom

You and your students want a good story and script, even if you have to write it yourselves! But what does that look like? Who's in control? How would that work? How exactly do you devise new work with students?

Join us in this PLC on Devising to learn the ins and outs of generating new works with your students.

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