DTA | The Actor in Transition: From Presentational to Three-Dimensional
Drama Teacher Academy Logo

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.

Standards Addressed

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

National Core Arts Standards

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.

Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation - Grade HS Proficient

TH:Pr4.1.HSI.b - Shape character choices using given circumstances in a drama/theatre work.

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.

Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation - Grade HS Proficient

TH:Pr5.1.HSI.a - Practice various acting techniques to expand skills in a rehearsal or drama/theatre performance.

Organize and develop artistic ideas and work - Grade HS Accomplished

TH:Cr2.1.HSII.b - Cooperate as a creative team to make interpretive choices for a drama/theatre work.

Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation - Grade 7

TH:Cr3.1.7.a - Demonstrate focus and concentration in the rehearsal process to analyze and refine choices in a devised or scripted drama/theatre work.

California VAPA Standards (2019)

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.

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

Prof.TH:Pr4.b - Shape character choices using given circumstances in a drama/theatre work.

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.

Georgia Performance Standards - 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

Alberta, Canada

Movement Drama 10

4 - perform a physical warmup

Theatre Studies Level III - Advanced (The script)

12 - analyze a script to identify character, setting and plot

Orientation Drama 10

listen to self and others

British Columbia (2018)

GRADE 8 - ARTS - Communicating and documenting

Take creative risks to express feelings, ideas, and experiences

GRADE 9 - DRAMA - Reasoning and reflecting

Receive, offer, and apply constructive feedback

GRADE 10 - DRAMA - Connect and expand

Demonstrate respect for self, others, and the audience

GRADE 11 - DRAMA - Connect and expand

Demonstrate awareness of self, others, and audience

GRADE 12 - DRAMA - Connect and expand

Demonstrate respect for self, others, and audience

We are an approved continuing education provider in the following states, and provide PD certificates to be used in districts around the world. Click here for more details.

Approved PD Provider, State of Arkansas
Approved Provider of PDPs for Massachusetts
Approved Provider of Montana OPI Units, Montana Office of Public Instruction
Approved PD Provider, State of Pennsylvania
Approved CPE Provider, Texas Education Agency
Provider of Professional Development Credits, State of Wyoming
© Copyright 2015-2021 DramaTeacherAcademy.com