Scene Staging

Created by Lindsay Price

The goal for this unit is to give students a process to work primarily on their own to create a staged scene with specific, dynamic blocking and three-dimensional characters. This unit would work well as a culminating project for a semester. In this unit, students will work independently to analyze, block, build character, experiment, and rehearse a scene. Their performance can count as a summative assessment for the class.

Material: This unit requires that students have access to scenes from plays. Ideally, students should work in pairs and prepare duet scenes.

The overview includes information on the unit, a list of the 15 lesson plans, materials needed, and unit goals, objectives, and assessment tools.
1: Script Analysis: The Basics
Students will begin their staging journey by compiling the basics of the scene. They will read the scene and identify some general knowledge that will help them in the rehearsal process.
2: Script Analysis: Close Reading
Students will do a close reading of the text, multiple times, to mine for as much information as possible. At the end of each read, students identify possible staging idea for their character and for the plot.
3: Blocking Brainstorm
In this lesson, students will get on their feet and apply what they have learned through analysis in a blocking brainstorm.
4: Script Analysis: Scoring
The last script analysis step is scoring. To score a scene means to divide the dialogue into beats and then add action words for each beat. Scoring gives students another avenue for exploratory blocking.
5: Beats and Action Words
This unit now moves into the second phase of the rehearsal process: staging. Students will start by taking their script analysis work with beats and action words and apply it to their scenes through exploratory movement.
6: Character Physicalization, Part 1
In this lesson, students will explore their character’s physicality. These exercises don’t require any assigned blocking, and students only have to memorize one line.
7: Initial Blocking
Students will identify and notate existing blocking for their scenes. They will also walk through each section beat by beat and notate further blocking.
8: Memorization Techniques
To apply memorization techniques as part of the goal of a staged scene with specific, dynamic blocking and three-dimensional characters. This lesson will focus on practicing a variety of memorization techniques.
9: Stage Pictures
In this lesson, students explore a variety of ways to create dynamic staging pictures when blocking a scene. They will discuss the results and reflect on whether or not what they’ve learned should be added to their blocking.
10: Character Physicalization, Part 2
Students will revisit character physicality choices and solidify that they are a part of their staging. Additionally, there is an exercise to further explore character physicality.
11: Rehearsal
This lesson is a straight up rehearsal period. Students will have 30 minutes to rehearse and decide on a section they’re going to show the class. They will perform their section without scripts.
12: Purposeful Action
In their rehearsal today, students will review their blocking choices with a specific objective of making every action in the scene purposeful and theatrical through character wants, audience connection, and vocal clarity.
13: Removing Actor-Driven Movement
In this rehearsal, students will share their scenes with another group with the specific focus of examining it for actor-driven movement rather than character-driven movement: shuffling their weight back and forth between their feet, playing with their hair, vaguely gesturing with their hands, etc.
14: Final Rehearsal
This is it! The final rehearsal before students perform. Students focus on getting those last few lines word perfect, reflect on where they are, and do final run-throughs.
15: Performing the Scene
Students perform their scenes and complete a Post-Performance Reflection.

Standards Addressed

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