Students are introduced to scene work performance through a contentless scene unit. Students prepare and perform a contentless scene to demonstrate their understanding of characterization, staging technique, and working with conflict and stage business in a performance context.


The overview lays out the objective, time management, and unit materials.

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1: Session 1: Introduction

Students create a situation from a picture and examine the given clues to help fill in the gaps. Students then examine the clues in a contentless scene, fill in the gaps, and create their own scenario to perform.

2: Session 2: Show and Tell Characterization

Students will use “Show and Tell” to create a detailed background for their contentless scene character and improvise a personal interview with that character.

3: Session 3: Thou Shalts of Virtual Staging and Performance

Students will participate in a demonstration to explore the rules of virtual staging and performance and why they are important. They will perform a Bad Idea/Good Idea skit for the class to demonstrate their understanding of the concept.

4: Session 4: Environmental and Personal Conflict

Students will play a drama game and participate in an exercise to explore how conflict affects their active tactics. Students apply conflict to a scene for performance.

5: Session 5: Stage Business

Students will participate in an observation activity and play “What Are You Doing?” to explore how stage business affects performance. In this session, you will coach students through a scene with stage business, then they will apply stage business to their own performances.

6: Session 6: Contentless Scene - Preview Day

Students review what they have studied in this unit as well as how to give and use constructive feedback. Students will pair up with another scene group, then perform for each other. Students will use the Preview Worksheet to help guide and assess their previews and critiques.

7: Session 7: Final Performance

Students will perform and be evaluated on the contentless scene that they have prepared during the unit.