by Steven Stack
Directing youth theatre can be one of the most thrilling, rewarding, and exhausting jobs there is – because it’s not just about staging a play. It’s about creating an environment that fosters hard work, dedication, trust, and the willingness to take chances, to “play without fear.”
As a writer/teacher/director of youth theatre for over 15 years, I have developed tools and strategies that enable my students and me to focus on the process of creating theatre while fostering an environment that leads to creative freedom and a cohesive groups that doesn't act as individual “stars,” but as a community of one.
In this course, I will share with you these tips and strategies, along with the ways to implement them in your theatre environment.
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 Karen Loftus
In this course, instructor Karen Loftus explores the responsibilities of a stage manager. You'll learn exercises that will help you demonstrate those responsibilities and the necessary skills of a stage manager to your students. You'll learn how to train your students to serve as stage managers for your school’s productions.
The course takes you through what a stage manager does prior to rehearsal and throughout the rehearsal and performance process to have a smooth-running backstage. It includes learning about the paperwork required, including prompt scripts, rehearsal preparations, notating blocking, and a stage manager’s kit and checklist to wrap it all together.
by Julie Hartley
The focus of the teacher-director should be not only on the quality of the show, but on the value of the experience offered to student actors. This course takes you on this journey through practical rehearsal strategies that apply an ensemble approach.
This course starts with those all important first rehearsals, explores warm ups, and looks at character development. We examine specific types of plays, like classical texts and comedy, and conclude with strategies to solve common rehearsal problems.
Go beyond the basics!
by Karen Loftus
Stage Managers have numerous responsibilities in the production process. This lesson will focus in on the things a stage manager does prior to and during blocking rehearsal from preparing for rehearsal, to taking blocking notation, to communicating important notes to other members of the production.
Take a Drama Teacher Tune Up! We look at including mask work in the classroom, the rehearsal process, classroom management, and playwriting.
When you’ve been working on a scene for class or within a play for a while, sometimes things get stale. You know there’s something wrong with the moment, but can’t figure out what it is or where to go. Try these rehearsal exercises to shake up scene work.
Use this exercise in the early days of rehearsal or even as part of your audition process. It allows students to get into the physical side of a character without having to worry about hitting the “thees” and “thous.” This works well with any Shakespeare play.
Our second Drama Teacher Tune Up!
We look at including mask work in the classroom, Shakespeare, Close Reading, and Classroom Management..
This page is designed to be cut into four so each student has a small rubric to follow, for their participation and positive contribution to rehearsals.
This handout is designed for an evaluator to assess rehearsal participation and positive contribution. Two rubrics per page.
It’s a question that comes up time and time again - How do I get my students to memorize their lines. What strategies do you use? Here are 7 strategies for students to use both on their own, and in rehearsal.
The more you can invest your actors in the process of creation, the more they will stay engaged and interested throughout rehearsals. This resource explores alternatives to the traditional rehearsal process as well as alternatives to traditional blocking methods.
One of the biggest challenges directors face when working with inexperienced actors is the need to find creative ways to guide their character development. This resource includes exercises you can work into your rehearsals.
This resource addresses the challenge of classical texts, by exploring how practical drama activities can help students better identify with the complexity of the language.
If you are staging a comedy or a comedic scene, then you need to provide opportunities for your cast to play and laugh together at the beginning of rehearsals to encourage a spirit of light-hearted exploration and discovery. This resources helps you to adapt well-known activities to meet your needs,
depending on the type of comedy you need to explore.
The final rehearsals before a show meets its audience are probably among the most critical. This resources includes exercises to help students become familiar with their production as a complete whole.
The actor has to only ask one question—what does the character want to do? (Bill Ball, A Sense of Direction)
• The to-do part is essential. It leads to action, and action is at the core of the acting process.
• That’s why it’s called acting, not talking.
• The to-do provides the character with a purpose.
This resource offers a list of potential 'to-do's to apply to scene work.
Obstacles are the barriers and limitations the character must overcome to achieve their goal.
• Obstacles can be internal, such as emotional, psychological factors.
• External obstacles include an “other.”
• Obstacles are not limitations. Plays are about characters in conflict, characters in crisis.
• Obstacles spark creativity.
This worksheet helps actors define the obstacles in their scene work. What stops YOUR character?
Hosted by Matt Webster & Jeremy Bishop
Your rehearsal questions and challenges addressed!
Hosted by DTA instructors Matt Webster and Lindsay Price, and special guest - DTA member and teacher Jeremy Bishop.
Recorded on October 20, 2015 at 8pm.
Hosted by Matt Webster, Jeremy Bishop, and Heather Brandon
Production Pitfalls. We all know about how much fun the ups are, but how do we deal with the downs when we’re producing a play? What production pitfalls do YOU need help with? What was your biggest production-related frustration this year?
The discussion is led by Matt Webster, one of our awesome DTA instructors. Joining us are two DTA members: Jeremy Bishop and Heather Brandon.
Recorded June 25, 2015
Hosted by Matt Webster, Lindsay Price, Karen Loftus, Claire Broome
A solid rehearsal process is the foundation of every successful show. How can you design your rehearsals to get the maximum result from your limited time? Our panel will bring their best rehearsal tactics and problem-solving strategies.
Hosted by Matt Webster, Lindsay Price, Gai Jones, Quincy Young
Theatre teachers and their students are ready and eager to rehearse their fall shows. There's just one problem: How do you have a rehearsal when nobody is in the same room?? Holding a virtual rehearsal raises a lot of questions - Should the entire cast be called? Are warm ups really necessary? Can your stage manager work in virtual break- out rooms with small groups? And what time of day (or night) might work best for maximum involvement?
It's a whole new world of rehearsal, so we will explore these and other pressing questions in this vital PLC.
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