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.

Overview

The overview lays out the objectives, lessons, and assessment guide for the unit.

1: The Body is Your Instrument

Students will demonstrate their understanding of the body’s importance to an actor.

2: Movement and Action Verbs

Students will demonstrate their understanding of actable verbs by using them in a scene. They will be introduced to the concepts of motivation, objective, and tactics.

3: Physicalizing an Objective

Students will demonstrate their ability to physically achieve an objective by using their bodies in a musical scene.

4: Movement for Inanimate/Animal Character

Students will demonstrate their ability to move like an inanimate object by performing a scene.

5: Nonverbal Communication

Students will demonstrate their ability to use physical variety by utilizing three levels of physicalizing emotions to music.

6: Simple Actions

Students will demonstrate their understanding of simple action by performing or coaching the performer to deliver a love poem while using three simple actions.

7: Situational Movement

Students will demonstrate their understanding of situational movement by performing a scene.

8: Occupation While Waiting

Students will demonstrate their ability to find occupation while waiting by performing a scene.

9: Final Movement Performance

Students will rehearse and perform a scene plus song incorporating specific movement. After the performance, students will complete a self-assessment checklist.

Standards Addressed

National Core Arts Standards


Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation - Grade 7

TH:Pr4.1.7.b - Use various character objectives in a drama/theatre work.

Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation - Grade 8

TH:Pr4.1.8.b - Use various character objectives and tactics in a drama/theatre work to overcome an obstacle.

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.

Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation - Grade 8

TH:Pr5.1.8.a - Use a variety of acting techniques to increase skills in a rehearsal or drama/theatre performance.

Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation - Grade 6

TH:Cr3.1.6.b - Identify effective physical and vocal traits of characters in an improvised or scripted drama/theatre work.

Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work - Grade HS Proficient

TH:Pr6.1.HSI.a - Perform a scripted drama/theatre work for a specific audience.

California VAPA Standards (2019)


6.TH:Pr4 Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation.

6.TH:Pr4.b - Experiment with various physical choices to communicate character in a drama/theatre work.

7.TH:Pr4 Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation.

7.TH:Pr4.b - Use various character objectives in a drama/theatre work.

8.TH:Pr4 Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation.

8.TH:Pr4.b - Use various character objectives and tactics in a drama/theatre work to overcome an obstacle.

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.

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

8.TH:Pr5.a - Use a variety of acting techniques to increase skills in a rehearsal or drama/theatre performance.

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

Prof.TH:Pr5.a - Practice various acting techniques to expand skills in a rehearsal or drama/theatre performance.

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

Acc.TH:Pr5.a - Refine a range of acting skills to build a believable and sustainable drama/theatre performance.

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

Prof.TH:Pr6 - Perform a rehearsed, scripted short drama/theatre work for a specific audience.

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 117.211 LI - Creative Expression: performance

C.2.F - create environments, characters, and actions.

MS 117.212 LII - Creative Expression: performance

B.2.G - create improvised scenes that include setting, character, and plot.

MS 117.213 LIII - Creative Expression: performance

B.2.B - portray characters through familiar movements and dialogue.

HS 117.315 LI - Foundations: Inquiry and Understanding

C.1.B - develop and practice theatre preparation and warm-up techniques.

Alberta, Canada


British Columbia (2018)


Ontario, Canada


Grade 12 - Creating and Presenting - Elements and Conventions

A.2.1 - use the elements of drama to achieve specific purposes in drama works