DTA | Creating Your Own Musical
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Creating Your Own Musical

Created by Laramie Dean

Instructor Laramie Dean uses this unit as the final project for his Drama 2 students. Drawing upon any of the skills students have developed throughout they create a product that could be used within a new piece of musical theatre.

Students start by analyzing three musicals, study guides included, and practice creating musical elements. They are then giving class time to prepare in groups as many elements as their can for a new musical using devised theatre techniques.

There are 24 lessons in this unit which culminates in a final assessed performance.

Standards Addressed

Overview
The overview outlines the guidelines for the unit, including a full list of lessons, time management tips, and learning targets.
1: Introducing Devised Theatre
In this lesson, we define devised theatre and use a piece of music for students to create their own performance inspired by the music.
2: Practicing with Devised Theatre
In this lesson, we try a different devised theatre technique using a photograph to inspire students to create their own performance.
3: Introducing the Musical Theatre Form
In this lesson, we define musical theatre and spend a little bit of time on the history and structure. Students also receive information on their performance and their independent written projects.
4-5: The Musical Theatre Form
In these two lessons, we begin and continue viewing Singin’ in the Rain. Students will watch carefully in order to complete the required sections in their study guide.
6: Practicing with Devised Theatre; Singin' in the Rain
In this lesson, students will finish watching Singin’ in the Rain (if you need additional time) and complete a devising activity based on the film.
7: Practicing with Devised Theatre; Sweeney Todd
In this lesson, students will present their devising pieces and prepare to watch the next musical, Sweeney Todd.
8: Musical Theatre Form; Sweeney Todd
In this lesson, we begin viewing Sweeney Todd. Students will watch carefully in order to complete the required sections in their study guide.
9-10: Sweeney Todd, Continued
In these two lessons, we continue viewing Sweeney Todd. Students will watch carefully in order to complete the required sections in their study guide.
11: Devising Activity; Sweeney Todd
In this lesson, students will finish watching Sweeney Todd (if you need additional time) and complete a devising activity based on the film.
12: Practicing with Devised Theatre; Dreamgirls
In this lesson, students will present their devising pieces and prepare to watch the next musical, Dreamgirls.
13: Musical Theatre Form; Dreamgirls
In this lesson, we begin viewing Dreamgirls. Students will watch carefully in order to complete the required sections in their study guide.
14-15: Dreamgirls, Continued
In these two lessons, we continue viewing Dreamgirls. Students will watch carefully in order to complete the required sections in their study guide.
16: Devising Activity; Dreamgirls
In this lesson, students will finish watching Dreamgirls (if you need additional time) and complete a devising activity based on the film.
17: Presenting Devised Pieces
In this lesson, students will present their devising pieces and prepare to create their own musicals.
18-22: Creating Musical Components
In this series of lessons, students will use class time to work in groups to create as many musical components as they can given the time available.
23: Independent Musical Project
This is the last lesson before students present their pieces for assessment.
24: Original Musical Presentation & Final Assessment
Students present their original musicals components for assessment.

Standards Addressed

National Core Arts Standards

Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation - Grade 6

TH:Pr5.1.6.a - Recognize how acting exercises and techniques can be applied to a drama/theatre work.

Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding - Grade 6

TH:Cn11.2.6.b - Investigate the time period and place of a drama/theatre work to better understand performance and design choices.

Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work - Grade 7

TH:Pr6.1.7.a - Participate in rehearsals for a drama/theatre work that will be shared with an audience.

Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding - Grade 7

TH:Cn11.2.7.a - Research and discuss how a playwright might have intended a drama/theatre work to be produced.

Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work - Grade 8

TH:Pr6.1.8.a - Perform a rehearsed drama/theatre work for an audience.

Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation - Grade HS Proficient

TH:Cr3.1.HSI.a - Practice and revise a devised or scripted drama/theatre work using theatrical staging conventions.

Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding - Grade HS Proficient

TH:Cn11.2.HSI.b - Use basic theatre research methods to better understand the social and cultural background of a drama/theatre work.

Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation - Grade HS Advanced

TH:Cr3.1.HSIII.a - Refine, transform, and re-imagine a devised or scripted drama/theatre work using the rehearsal process to invent or re-imagine style, genre, form, and conventions.

California VAPA Standards (2019)

6.TH:Pr5 Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation.

6.TH:Pr5.a - Recognize how acting exercises and techniques can be applied to a drama/theatre work.

6.TH:Cn11.2 Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.

6.TH:Cn11.2.b - Investigate the time period and place of a drama/theatre work to better understand performance and design choices.

7.TH:Pr6 Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.

67TH:Pr6 - Create through improvisation a drama/theatre work that will be shared with an audience.

7.TH:Cn11.2 Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.

7.TH:Cn11.2.a - Research and discuss how a playwright might have intended a drama/theatre work to be produced.

8.TH:Pr6 Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.

8.TH:Pr6 - Perform a rehearsed, scripted scene from a drama/theatre work for an audience.

Prof.TH:Cn11.2 Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.

Prof.TH:Cn11.2.b - Use basic research methods to better understand the social and cultural background of a drama/theatre work.

Georgia Performance Standards 2017 - Theatre Arts

Tennessee Theatre Curriculum Standards

Tennessee Theatre standards (2018) standards were built using the framework of the NCAS which is built on four key domains: Creating, Performing/Presenting/Producing, Connecting, and Responding. Within each of these domains are foundations and standards to support the development of curriculum, programs, and learning.
(source: Tennessee Department of Education, Tennessee Academic Standards for Fine Arts, Summer 2018)

Please refer to National Core Arts Standards to determine the standard that best suits your needs.

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Theatre Arts

MS 117.212 LII - Foundations: Inquiry and Understanding

B.1.E - demonstrate knowledge of theatrical vocabulary and terminology.

HS 117.315 LI - Critical evaluation and response

C.5.C - offer and receive constructive criticism of peer performances.

HS 117.316 LII - Foundations: Inquiry and Understanding

C.1.D - analyze dramatic structure and genre.

Alberta, Canada

Theatre Studies Level 1 - Beginning (performance analysis)

1 - demonstrate understanding of the need for analysis of the work of self and others

Theatre Studies Level II - Intermediate (Theatre History)

6 - show awareness of selected periods and playwrights

British Columbia (2018)

GRADE 8 - ARTS - Communicating and documenting

Take creative risks to express feelings, ideas, and experiences

GRADE 9 - DRAMA - Reasoning and reflecting

Receive, offer, and apply constructive feedback

GRADE 10 - DRAMA - Connect and expand

Demonstrate respect for self, others, and the audience

GRADE 11 - DRAMA - Connect and expand

Demonstrate awareness of self, others, and audience

GRADE 12 - DRAMA - Connect and expand

Demonstrate respect for self, others, and audience

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