Created by Lindsay Price
In studying Ancient Greece, we’re looking at the foundations of theatre as we know it today. Without the Ancient Greek Era, we do not get actors, theatres, plays, and the definitions of tragedy and comedy.
The issue with studying theatre history, or anything historical is that it can become an exercise in memorizing dates and reciting facts. When the truth of the matter is no one in the 21st century benefits from learning by rote. This is especially true when studying history in the framework of a drama classroom. We need exercises that bring history to life, instead of having students plot dates on a timeline.
To that end, this unit does not focus on dates and data. The essential question for the unit is how can we connect the past to the present and this question is explored through the theatricalization of information. Students will access all four 21st century skills, critical thinking, creative thinking, collaboration and communication as they explore this amazing world.
Reflections, exit slips, and rubrics are included throughout the unit as well as a mid assignment evaluation for the culminating project.
National Core Arts Standards
Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art - Grade HS Proficient
Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work - High School Accomplished
Perceive and analyze artistic work - Grade HS Advanced
Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding - Grade HS Proficient
Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work - Grade HS Proficient
Organize and develop artistic ideas and work - Grade HS Proficient
Organize and develop artistic ideas and work - Grade HS Accomplished
Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding - Grade HS Proficient
Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work - Grade HS Accomplished
Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work - Grade HS Advanced
Speaking and Listening
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.1 - Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.4 - Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.L.4 - Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.9-10.2 - Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
California VAPA Standards (2019)
Prof.TH:Cn10 Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art.
Acc.TH:Cr1 Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
Adv.TH:Re7 Perceive and analyze artistic work.
Prof.TH:Cn11.1 Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.
Prof.TH:Cr2 Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.
Prof.TH:Cr2.a - Explore the function of history and culture in the development of a dramatic concept through a critical analysis of original ideas in drama/theatre works from western or non-western theatre traditions.
Prof.TH:Re8 Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.
Acc.TH:Cr2 Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.
Acc.TH:Cr2.a - Refine a dramatic concept to demonstrate a critical understanding of historical and cultural influences of original ideas applied to a drama/theatre in western or non-western theatre traditions.
Prof.TH:Cn11.2 Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.
Acc.TH:Pr6 Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.
Adv.TH:Re9 Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work.
Florida Sunshine State Standards
Critical Thinking & Reflection
Historical & Global Connections
TH.912.H.2.1 - Research the correlations between theatrical forms and the social, cultural, historical, and political climates from which they emerged, to form an understanding of the influences that have shaped theatre.
TH.912.O.2.5 - Explain how the contributions and methods of significant individuals from various cultures and historical periods have influenced the creative innovations of theatre, and apply one of their innovations to a theatrical piece in a new way.
Skills, Techniques & Processes
Georgia Performance Standards - Theatre Arts
Grade 6 - Creating
TA6.CR.1 - Organize, design, and refine theatrical work.
a. Identify artistic choices, utilize theatre vocabulary, and demonstrate non-verbal communication skills in the rehearsal process.
b. Interpret a character’s motivation by understanding the relationship between their background and their behavior.
c. Identify the variety of relationships between characters.
d. Identify, define, and classify character traits.
e. Recognize and demonstrate the roles, responsibilities, and skills associated with collaborative performance.
f. Use resources to identify and create technical elements of theatre.
Grade 6 - Connecting
TA6.CN.1 - Explore how theatre connects to life experience, careers, and other content.
a. Identify similarities between theatre and other art forms.
b. Draw conclusions about the relationships between theatre and life.
c. Define tasks associated with a theatre production (e.g. director, stage manager, designer, technician, playwright, actor).
TA6.CN.2 - Examine the role of theatre in a societal, cultural, and historical context.
a. Describe the origins of theatre.
b. Identify and analyze ways in which theatre influences and reflects the culture of a society.
c. Utilize a multi-disciplinary approach to research, create, and support artistic choices.
d. Examine the relevance of cultural and historical context.
Grade 7 - Connecting
TA7.CN.2 - Examine the role of theatre in a societal, cultural, and historical context.
a. Examine theatre development throughout history.
b. Identify and analyze cultural influences on theatre.
c. Utilize multi-disciplinary research skills to obtain cultural and historical information to justify artistic choices (e.g. costuming, make-up, setting of a time period in relation to the play).
d. Draw conclusions about the influence of theatre on society.
Grade 8 - Connecting
TA8.CN.2 - Examine the role of theatre in a societal, cultural, and historical context.
a. Compare and contrast how theatre evolves through time.
b. Examine how culture is defined through theatre and other media.
c. Apply advanced research skills to obtain appropriate cultural and historical information to rationalize artistic choices (e.g. costuming, make-up, setting of a time period in relation to the play).
d. Discuss theatre’s role in reflecting the culture of a society.
Grades 9-12 - ACTING LEVELS I-IV - Connecting
TAHSA.CN.2 - Examine the role of theatre in a societal, cultural, and historical context.
a. Examine and apply theatrical theories, performances, and conventions from a variety of theatrical literature, historical periods, and cultures.
Grades 9-12 - ADVANCED DRAMA LEVELS I-IV -Connecting
Grades 9-12 - FUNDAMENTALS OF THEATRE LEVELS I-IV - Connecting
TAHSFT.CN.2 - Examine the role of theatre in a societal, cultural, and historical context.
a. Identify and analyze plays and dramas from a variety of historical periods and cultures.
b. Explore the works of milestone playwrights and plays, and the relevance of historical theatre.
c. Recognize historical events that have influenced the role of theatre and how theatrical events have impacted cultural development.
d. Interpret cultural and historical research for use in a production.
Grades 9-12 - THEATRE HISTORY AND LITERATURE I AND II - Creating
TAHSTL.CR.1 - Develop original theatre literature.
a. Compare and summarize theatre literature from various historical periods, cultures, and styles.
b. Examine and outline the steps and conventions involved in the creation of a theatre text.
c. Develop original texts using theatre techniques (e.g. improvisation, adapting non-theatre literature, playwriting exercises).
Grades 9-12 - THEATRE HISTORY AND LITERATURE I AND II - Connecting
TAHSTL.CN.1 - Connect theatre literature to its dramaturgical contexts and other disciplines.
a. Trace the development of theatre from earliest forms to contemporary forms.
b. Identify and summarize contributions made to the development of theatre literature by different cultures and traditions.
c. Research and explain how cultural and historical factors have influenced playwrights and theatre literature.
d. Identify the elements, influences, and contributions of other art forms and content areas to theatre literature.
North Carolina Essential Standards
Beginning High School Standards - Communication
Beginning High School Standards - Culture
Intermediate High School Standards - Communication
Intermediate High School Standards - Culture
Advanced High School Standards - Culture
Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Theatre Arts
HS 117.315 LI - Creative Expression: performance
HS 117.315 LI - Historical and cultural relevance
HS 117.315 LI - Critical evaluation and response
HS 117.316 LII - Creative Expression: performance
British Columbia (2018)
GRADE 6 - ARTS - Exploring and creating
GRADE 6 - ARTS - Reasoning and reflecting
Research, describe, interpret and evaluate how artists (dancers, actors, musicians, and visual artists) use processes, materials, movements, technologies, tools, techniques, and environments in the arts
GRADE 6 - ARTS - Communicating and documenting
GRADE 7 - ARTS - Exploring and creating
GRADE 7 - ARTS - Reasoning and reflecting
GRADE 7 - ARTS - Communicating and documenting
GRADE 8 - ARTS - Exploring and creating
GRADE 8 - ARTS - Reasoning and reflecting
Describe, interpret and evaluate how artists (dancers, actors, musicians, and visual artists) use processes, materials, movements, technologies, tools, techniques, and environments to create and communicate ideas
GRADE 8 - ARTS - Communicating and documenting
GRADE 9 - DRAMA - Exploring and creating
GRADE 9 - DRAMA - Reasoning and reflecting
GRADE 10 - DRAMA - Reason and reflect
GRADE 11 - DRAMA - Reason and reflect
GRADE 12 - DRAMA - Explore and Create
GRADE 12 - DRAMA - Reason and reflect
GRADE 12 - DRAMA - Connect and expand
Grades 9 & 10 - Foundations - Responsible Practices
C.3.1 - identify and follow safe and ethical practices in drama activities (e.g., exhibit safe use of sound and lighting boards; follow procedures for the environmentally responsible use of materials and energy; prepare an individual or group seminar report on the nature and purpose of one or more of the following: copyright protection, royalties, public domain, intellectual property rights)
C.3.2 - identify and apply the skills and attitudes needed to perform various tasks and responsibilities in producing drama works (e.g., use active listening and cooperative problem-solving skills; practise punctuality; use tact in suggesting changes and improvements; demonstrate willingness to accept criticism and build consensus)
C.3.3 - demonstrate an understanding of theatre and audience etiquette, in both classroom and formal performance contexts (e.g., as a performer: show willingness to take direction and behave appropriately towards other actors; as a viewer: demonstrate respect for performers and other audience members by paying attention, not interrupting or talking, and applauding when appropriate)
Grades 9 & 10 - Foundations - Context and Influences
C.2.1 - identify ways in which dramatic expression and performance reflect communities and cultures, past and present (e.g., the prominence of socially and/or politically powerful characters in the drama of pre-industrial societies; the use of boy actors for female roles in Shakespearean theatre; the emphasis on religious themes in the drama of many cultures in different eras)
Grades 9 & 10 - Reflecting, Responding and Analyzing - Drama and Society
B.2.4 - identify ways in which dramatic exploration contributes to their understanding of diverse cultures and traditions (e.g., identify insights they gained through exploring the role of ritual in Greek theatre and/or Aboriginal ceremonies)
Grades 9 & 10 - Creating and Presenting - Presentation Techniques & Technologies
A.3.2 - use a variety of voice and movement techniques to support the creation of character or atmosphere during rehearsal (e.g., use voice and movement to suggest an airport, circus, or factory environment)
Grades 9 & 10 - Creating and Presenting - The Creative Process
A.1.3 - use role play and characterization to explore personal and social issues (e.g., with a partner, create or assume a role that explores an issue such as bullying; create a scenario that reveals details about a character’s motivation)