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Theatre Radically Reimagined: Exploring Artaud, Grotowski, and Boal

Created by Ruthie Tutterow

In this unit, students will learn about Antonin Artaud and how his ideas influenced avant-garde theatre in the 20th and 21st centuries. They will also learn how Jerzy Grotowski took Artaud’s theories into new directions. This is done through direct instruction. A culminating presentation will ask students to take common stories and reimagine them using some of these ideas. They will present a “pitch” of an avant-garde version of their story. In the second lesson, students learn about some of the ideas of Augusto Boal and try a session of Forum Theatre.

Standards Addressed

Overview
The overview lays out the structure of the unit, includes objectives, time management suggestions, and outline.
1: Artaud and Grotowski
Students will learn about two practitioners of avant-garde theatre. They will then reimagine a common fairy tale in the style of either Artaud or Grotowski, or a combination thereof. In doing so, they will acquaint themselves with non-realistic theatre production techniques.
Attachments
2: Boal and Forum Theatre
Students will use a few of Boal’s group warm-ups and participate in Forum Theatre to help them work out issues of importance to them. Through this, they can also see new ways of using theatre to address group dynamics and social issues.
Attachments

Standards Addressed

National Core Arts Standards

Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work - Grade 6

TH:Cr1.1.6.a - Identify possible solutions to staging challenges in a drama/theatre work.

Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation - Grade 6

TH:Pr4.1.6.b - Experiment with various physical choices to communicate character in a drama/theatre work.

Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation - Grade 7

TH:Pr4.1.7.a - Consider various staging choices to enhance the story in a drama/theatre work.

Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art - Grade 8

TH:Cn10.1.8.a - Examine a community issue through multiple perspectives 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.

Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding - Grade HS Advanced

TH:Cn11.1.HSIII.a - Develop a drama/theatre work that identifies and questions cultural, global, and historic belief systems.

Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation - Grade 6

TH:Cr3.1.6.b - Identify effective physical and vocal traits of characters in an improvised or scripted drama/theatre work.

Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work - Grade 6

TH:Pr6.1.6.a - Adapt a drama/theatre work and present it informally for an audience.

Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation - Grade 8

TH:Cr3.1.8.b - Refine effective physical, vocal, and physiological traits of characters in an improvised or scripted drama/ theatre work.

Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work - Grade 8

TH:Pr6.1.8.a - Perform a rehearsed drama/theatre work for an audience.

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

TH:Cr3.1.HSI.b - Explore physical, vocal and physiological choices to develop a performance that is believable, authentic, and relevant to a drama/theatre work.

Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding - Grade HS Accomplished

TH:Cn11.2.HSII.a - Formulate creative choices for a devised or scripted drama/theatre work based on theatre research about the selected topic.

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

TH:Cr3.1.HSIII.a - Refine, transform, and re-imagine a devised or scripted drama/theatre work using the rehearsal process to invent or re-imagine style, genre, form, and conventions.

California VAPA Standards (2019)

6.TH:Cr1 Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work

6.TH:Cr1.a - Identify possible solutions to staging challenges in a drama/theatre work.

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

6.TH:Pr4.b - Experiment with various physical choices to communicate character in a drama/theatre work.

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

7.TH:Pr4.a - Consider various staging choices to enhance the story in a drama/theatre work.

8.TH:Cn10 Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art.

8.TH:Cn10 - Examine a community issue through multiple perspectives 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.

Adv.TH:Cn11.1 Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.

Adv.TH.Cn11.1.a - Develop a drama/theatre work that identifies and questions cultural, global, and historic belief systems.

6.TH:Pr6 Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.

6.TH:Pr6 - Adapt a piece of literature and present it for an audience.

6.TH:Re9 Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work.

6.TH.Re9.b - Identify a specific audience or purpose for a drama/theatre work.

8.TH:Pr6 Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.

8.TH:Pr6 - Perform a rehearsed, scripted scene from a drama/theatre work for an audience.

Acc.TH:Cn11.2 Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.

Acc.TH:Cn11.2.a - Formulate creative choices for a devised or scripted drama/theatre work based on research about the selected topic.

Florida Sunshine State Standards

Georgia Performance Standards - Theatre Arts

North Carolina Essential Standards

Advanced High School Standards - Communication

A.C.2.2 - Interpret scripts through formal and informal presentations.

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Theatre Arts

MS 117.212 LII - Foundations: Inquiry and Understanding

B.1.E - demonstrate knowledge of theatrical vocabulary and terminology.

HS 117.316 LII - Foundations: Inquiry and Understanding

C.1.C - demonstrate effective voice and diction.

Alberta, Canada

British Columbia (2018)

GRADE 6 - ARTS - Reasoning and reflecting

Examine relationships between the arts and the wider world

GRADE 6 - ARTS - Communicating and documenting

Take creative risks to express feelings, ideas, and experiences

GRADE 8 - ARTS - Communicating and documenting

Take creative risks to express feelings, ideas, and experiences

GRADE 9 - DRAMA - Connecting and expanding

Demonstrate respect for themselves, others, and the audience

GRADE 11 - DRAMA - Reason and reflect

Demonstrate awareness of self, others, and audience

GRADE 11 - DRAMA - Connect and expand

Demonstrate awareness of self, others, and audience

GRADE 12 - DRAMA - Connect and expand

Examine the impacts of dramatic works on culture and society

Ontario, Canada

Grade 12 - Creating and Presenting - Elements and Conventions

A.2.1 - use the elements of drama to achieve specific purposes in drama works

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