This is a mini-unit on staging. Along with the driving question for the unit, students will explore about how staging affects the performance. Students will draw a plot design (ground plan) to emphasize the need to plan where scenic elements will be placed. They will also practice taking cues from the script, in order to create staging.
The overview lays out the objectives for the unit and reviews the content in each lesson.
Students are introduced to staging through video demonstration and discuss the role of staging in a performance. How does staging help to visualize a location? The lesson concludes with a Greek Myth Staging Activity.
Students complete a Staging Vocabulary Activity. They are then given a setting description and have to draw a set based on the description. The point of the activity is not to excel in drawing but learning how to plan and translate a description into a physical setting.
Students discuss scene changes and transitions. How can a poorly rehearsed transition hinder a technically effective performance? They then apply this discussion to a Scene Assignment. Groups create a scene and must demonstrate a scene change within the scene.
Students review what makes a scene technically effective. They are given time to rehearse and then present their scenes. The emphasis is on the groups demonstrating a knowledge of staging effectiveness.
Students discuss the scenes from the previous class and reflect as a group on the process. They then address how lighting, sound, costume and staging interact together to create a technically effective scene.
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.
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.
TA7.CR.1 - Organize, design, and refine theatrical work.
a. Identify and rehearse effective communication skills.
b. Compare and contrast character types and relationships by analyzing character motivations, objectives, and goals.
c. Compare the physical, emotional, vocal, and social dimensions of a character.
d. Investigate the role and responsibility of the cast and crew.
e. Identify and model ensemble skills in the rehearsal process.
f. Utilize staging and blocking choices to enhance the performance.
g. Compare, contrast, and design elements of technical theatre.
h. Utilize theatre vocabulary throughout the rehearsal process.
TA8.CR.1 - Organize, design, and refine theatrical work.
a. Differentiate the physical, emotional, vocal, and social dimensions of a variety of characters.
b. Compare the relationships and interactions between characters by analyzing character motivation (objectives, obstacles, strategy, action, stakes, outcome).
c. Incorporate dramatic elements through improvisation.
d. Connect theatre vocabulary to the application of theatre performance.
e. Identify and demonstrate both ensemble and leadership skills in the rehearsal process.
f. Evaluate the effectiveness of artistic and technical elements used in a theatre production.
g. Design and create scenery, props, costumes, lighting, and sound.
h. Assume different roles and responsibilities in the rehearsal process.
TAHSA.CR.1 - Organize, design, and refine theatrical work.
a. Use script analysis in the development and presentation of formal and informal theatre performances.
b. Examine various theories of dramatic structure.
c. Engage in and apply meaningful cultural, literary, and historical research to create acting choices or directorial concepts.
TAHSA.PR.1 - Act and direct by communicating and sustaining roles within a variety of situations and environments.
a. Examine and implement the voice, body, observation, and imagination as tools of the actor in presentations of formal and informal theatre.
b. Research and assess the development of acting skills for character creation and performance including historical movements, personal experience, and cultural influences.
c. Act by developing, communicating, and sustaining roles within a variety of situations and environments.
d. Identify and examine the responsibilities and tasks of an actor in relationship with directors, designers, and technical crew.
e. Use the skills and tools of a director to conduct rehearsals for performance.
TAHSFT.PR.2 - Execute artistic and technical elements of theatre.
a. Identify and define the various collaborative roles and relationships of technical production personnel (e.g. sound, lighting, set, scenic, costume, dramaturge, makeup, marketing, business aspects) in relation to the directors and performers.
b. Identify and apply the various aspects of directing, staging, performance spaces, and rehearsal management.
c. Recognize and apply the basic elements and procedures involved in the construction of props, scenery, and platforms.
d. Formulate effective theatrical designs in order to support the text and directorial concept.
TAHSTT.CR.1 - Create technical elements of theatre (e.g. sets, props, costumes, makeup, lighting, sound).
a. Explore and utilize the elements of design and principles of composition for a theatrical context.
b. Create basic to advanced technical elements by choosing appropriate materials, tools, and techniques.
c. Analyze and/or develop choices in technical elements (e.g. sets, lights, costumes, sound) of informal and formal productions and theatrical texts as a part of the design process, considering mood, tone, and symbolism.
d. Create industry standard paperwork (e.g. budgets, cut lists, materials, cue sheets, lighting and costume plots, schedules, calendars) as it relates to completing design renderings and/or models.
e. Conceptualize and/or generate design elements for a dramatic work (e.g. scene, one act, full-length, musical).
TAHSTT.PR.1 - Produce technical elements in theatre.
a. Identify, explain, and demonstrate standard safety guidelines and operating procedures for tools and equipment used in formal and informal theatre productions.
b. Identify and interpret design and construction documentation, materials, techniques, and procedures for production.
c. Differentiate between stock and non-standard material, scenic, or technical elements related to a production.
d. Conduct initial research about design to inform further development of the production concept.
e. Explore and/or produce an appropriate series of design documentation for a theatrical production (e.g. thumbnail sketches, swatches, first renderings, mixed media presentation).
TAHSTT.RE.1 - Respond to technical elements of theatre using appropriate supporting evidence.
a. Revise projects, plans, and/or procedures after peer criticism to improve development of technical elements.
b. Identify and analyze the characteristics of different types of performance spaces and how they can influence production decisions (e.g. proscenium stage, studio/black box, thrust stage, classroom, arena, found space).
c. Evaluate design choices of professional designers.
d. Evaluate design and technical elements in a post mortem following the completion of a theatre production.
TAHSTT.CN.1 - Connect technical elements of theatre.
a. Explore and understand the collaborations between designers and directors to develop design elements.
b. Investigate the history of theatre architecture, stage technology, and other technical elements.
c. Understand technical theatre career options and various industry unions (e.g. International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Actor’s Equity, United Scenic Artists, Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, League of Resident Theatres).
d. Explore connections with other disciplines associated with technical theatre (e.g. scientific principles behind technical theatrical practices, physics of electricity and sound, basic structural engineering, load ratings, working load limits).
e. Connect design themes with historical and social relevance using dramaturgical research and an understanding of historical and cultural artistic movements (e.g. expressionism, realism, Kabuki, Sanskrit Drama).
C.3.C - perform a role such as actor, director, designer, technician, or editor in production decision making and collaborate with others in a production role to tell a story through live theatre or media performance.
C.3.D - demonstrate responsibility, artistic discipline, and creative problem solving by concentrating in one or more areas of theatre production such as acting, technical theatre, or theatre management.
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.1.3 - demonstrate an understanding of production roles, practices, and terminology when planning and presenting drama works (e.g., set design, costume design, lighting plot, light cue sheet, sound cue sheet, prompt book, set sketch, set model)
B.1.3 - identify aesthetic and technical aspects of drama works and explain how they help achieve specific dramatic purposes (e.g., write theatre or film reviews assessing whether the lighting, sound, set design, and costumes of a drama are used effectively to illustrate the intended message)
A.3.1 - identify and use a variety of techniques to influence the audience in specific ways (e.g., have actors enter the performance space from the audience to increase audience connection to the drama; use blocking to focus audience attention on key characters or relationships between characters)