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The Actor in Transition: From Presentational to Three-Dimensional

Created by John Minigan

The objective of this unit by John Minigan is to move students from a traditional presentational model of performance to a three-dimensional model. You’re going to achieve this by having students
- Develop tactics to achieve character goals, despite obstacles
- Connect physical choices to scene structure and relationships
- Clarify tactics and story rather than forcing emotion
- And focus on the scene partner rather than the self

This unit was created to use with grade nine students as a transition from middle school to high school acting approaches. It would also be appropriate for a beginning-of-the-year unit for a program that includes Drama 1. But any class that is at the beginning of their acting process will find value.

Each lesson comes with an engagement Rubric to assess how students participated in the activities and discussions.

Overview
The objective of this unit is to move students from a traditional presentational model of performance to a three-dimensional model.
1: An Organic Approach to Objective, Obstacle, Action/Tactic
This lesson introduces the idea of “Objective/Goal, Obstacle, and Action/Tactic” as a powerful building block for actors and to introduce the concept of working with verbs as tactics.
2: Scores and Beats
This lesson introduces the idea of “Objective/Goal, Obstacle, and Action/Tactic” to simple scenes by scoring those scenes and playing the scored text.
3: Power Plays in Three Statues
This lesson incorporates physicality into stage relationships and learn to use stage position as an element of blocking that can show the dynamics of and changes in power in a scene.
4: Eight-Line Power Plays
This lesson combines the work done in Lesson 2 (scoring scenes by beats) with the physical work done in Lesson 3 (creating dynamically staged scenes by connecting choices in blocking/staging to the underlying structural elements in a scene).
5: Acting the Other and Intensifying the Tactics
This lesson includes a series of improv games to focus students on “the other” rather than “the self,” on listening, on sharing their energy with scene partners, and on collaboration in acting.
6: The Beats in Every Scene
Students will work in pairs to create and perform two-minute scenes focused on clear objectives, clear obstacles, multiple tactics – and they will learn to give focused feedback.
Attachments

Standards Addressed

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