When teaching students who are brand new to theatre, it’s important to discuss and apply the expectations of the drama classroom and the theatrical world. How do you implement and instill theatre etiquette in your classroom and your rehearsals – before a show and backstage? A cohesive theatrical community starts with the rules and codes of behaviour both onstage and off.
Topics covered within the unit include: What is Etiquette, Real World vs Theatre World Etiquette, Audience Etiquette, Audition Etiquette, Pre-Show and Performance Etiquette. The unit ends with a culminating activity which included a rubric and reflection.
The overview lays out the details and pacing for the lessons in this unit.
In this lesson, students will define etiquette, refine the definition for the theatre classroom, and work on a Creativity Contract that has goals and procedures. What do students want out of the class? What are the steps they need to take to achieve those goals? What procedures are needed to make the theatre classroom a safe place where they can achieve those goals?
Students will learn about creating a safe and professional space in the classroom and in the theatre, and how these principles can be applied to the real world. What are the best practices for etiquette in the classroom, which can also be used in rehearsal, and which can also be used in the real world.
Theatre does not happen without an audience. It’s important for students to be aware of and apply audience etiquette. In this lesson, students will explore the different ways an audience behaves depending on the event, what is bad audience behaviour, establish the rules, practice critical thinking as an audience member, and complete an exit slip to demonstrate comprehension.
Students will explore the elements of the audition process, discuss the necessary guidelines of audition etiquette, and practice applying those guidelines.
Students receive the Pre-Show Etiquette Tips and Performance Etiquette Tips (handouts).They will brainstorm and develop a warm-up exercise designed to encourage pre-show etiquette, and design series of posters (either fully done or described with sketches) to encourage and highlight performance etiquette.
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.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.4 - Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.9-10.4 - Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone).
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.4 - Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language of a court opinion differs from that of a newspaper).
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.9-10.3 - Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.
TA6.RE.1 - Engage actively and appropriately as an audience member.
a. Identify the role of the audience in different environments.
b. Analyze the relationship between an audience and a performer.
c. Create guidelines for behaviors appropriate to a theatre experience.
d. Model appropriate audience behaviors.
TA6.CN.1 - Explore how theatre connects to life experience, careers, and other content.
a. Identify similarities between theatre and other art forms.
b. Draw conclusions about the relationships between theatre and life.
c. Define tasks associated with a theatre production (e.g. director, stage manager, designer, technician, playwright, actor).
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.
TA7.RE.1 - Engage actively and appropriately as an audience member.
a. Assess the role and responsibility of the audience as an integral part of theatre performances.
b. Summarize the relationship between the audience and performers.
c. Predict how audience relationships will differ with venue and performance type.
d. Demonstrate appropriate audience behaviors.
TA7.CN.1 - Explore how theatre connects to life experience, careers, and other content.
a. Compare and contrast theatre with other art forms.
b. Articulate relationships between theatre and life.
c. Utilize a multi-disciplinary approach to create original theatre.
d. Describe the careers and professional responsibilities associated with theatre production (e.g. director, stage manager, designer, technician, playwright, actor).
TA8.PR.1 - Act by communicating and sustaining roles in formal and informal environments.
a. Demonstrate the physical, emotional, vocal, and social dimensions of a character in different types of theatre performances (e.g. rate, pitch, volume, inflection, posture, facial expression, motivation, physical movement).
b. Demonstrate appropriate ensemble skills throughout a performance.
c. Use appropriate listening and response skills during performances.
TA8.RE.1 - Engage actively and appropriately as an audience member.
a. Evaluate the role and responsibility of the audience as an integral part of media productions.
b. Articulate why the relationships between the audience and performers is critical to the success of theatre productions.
c. Examine the differing audience relationships (e.g. various venues, performance styles).
d. Demonstrate appropriate audience behaviors.
TA8.CN.1 - Explore how theatre connects to life experience, careers, and other content.
a. Investigate and prove common themes and structure among theatre and other disciplines.
b. Defend how theatre reflects life.
c. Incorporate multi-disciplinary aspects into theatre performance.
d. Identify and analyze professions associated with different forms of production (e.g. director, stage manager, designer, technician, playwright, actor).
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.
TAHSFT.RE.1 - Engage actively and appropriately as an audience member.
a. Articulate why the relationship between the audience and performers is critical to the success of the production and demonstrate appropriate audience behavior.
b. State and support aesthetic judgments through experience in diverse styles and genres of theatre.
TAHSFT.CN.1 - Explore how theatre connects to life experiences, careers, and other content.
a. Examine how theatre reflects real life.
b. Analyze how theatre employs aspects of other art forms and disciplines to effectively communicate with a live audience.
c. Demonstrate awareness of the discipline, knowledge, skills, and education required for careers in theatre.
d. Explore various careers in the theatre arts (e.g. performance, design, production, administrative, education, promotion).
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.
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.3.3 - demonstrate an understanding of theatre and audience etiquette, in both classroom and formal performance contexts (e.g., as a performer: show willingness to take direction and behave appropriately towards other actors; as a viewer: demonstrate respect for performers and other audience members by paying attention, not interrupting or talking, and applauding when appropriate)
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.3.1 - identify and describe skills, attitudes, and strategies they used in collaborative drama activities (e.g., brainstorming, active listening, and cooperative problem-solving skills; strategies for sharing responsibility through collaborative team roles)
B.1.1 - use the critical analysis process before and during drama projects to identify and assess individual and peer roles and responsibilities in producing drama works (e.g., identify and assess the contribution of leadership and supporting roles, group dynamics, and cooperative problem solving to their process of creating drama works)