DTA | Unit 8: Restoration Comedy & 18th Century Theatre
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Part of the Theatre History Curriculum

Unit 8: Restoration Comedy & 18th Century Theatre

Created by Drama Teacher Academy

We will travel through two time periods in this unit. First, we will explore Restoration Comedy in late 17th century England. When the Puritan-led Commonwealth failed and King Charles II was restored to the throne, theatre was also restored. The Comedy of Manners mocked the behaviour and loose morals of the upper class. The lack of theatrical works in the 18th century comes down to three things: playwrights tended to write for opera rather than theatre, censorship and control of theatrical content, and, more than anything, society of the day valued conformity over originality. In France and England, fearing attacks and mockery, the crown and the government passed laws that strictly censored theatre.

Standards Addressed

Overview
The overview lays out the objective, pacing, lesson structure, and assessment strategy for the unit.
Additional Attachments
1: Set the Stage for Restoration Comedy
In this lesson, students will be introduced to late 17th century England. They will complete a research project on the sociopolitical and cultural background of the era to set the stage for Restoration comedy.
Attachments
2: Restoration Comedy: Comedy of Manners
In this lesson, students will be introduced to Restoration comedy, specifically Comedy of Manners. Students will create scenes that “mock” a society group as comedy of manners does, explore wordplay, examine lines from comedy of manners plays, and reflect how the comedy of manners acts as a mirror to the audience.
Attachments
3: The 18th Century
In this lesson, students will be introduced to the turmoil of the 18th century. Theatre was extremely curtailed by censorship in this era. They will complete a research project on the sociopolitical and cultural background of the era to set the stage for a lesson on censorship in the 18th century.
Attachments
4: Censorship in the 18th Century
In this lesson, students will explore the impact of censorship on an era of theatre and create a theatrical moment using a specific censorship prompt.
Attachments
5: Culminating Activity
Decide how students will demonstrate their knowledge of the unit. A variety of activities are provided. You can choose to have all your students do the same activity, or allow students to choose how they demonstrate their knowledge. Rubrics are provided for each activity.
Attachments

Standards Addressed

National Core Arts Standards

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.

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

TH:Cn11.1.HSI.a - Explore how cultural, global, and historic belief systems affect creative choices in a drama/theatre work.

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.

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.

Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding - Grade 6

TH:Cn11.2.6.b - Investigate the time period and place of a drama/theatre work to better understand performance and design choices.

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

TH:Cr3.1.7.b - Develop effective physical and vocal traits of characters in an improvised or scripted drama/theatre work

Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work - Grade 7

TH:Pr6.1.7.a - Participate in rehearsals for a drama/theatre work that will be shared with an audience.

Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work - Grade 8

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

Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work - Grade HS Proficient

TH:Pr6.1.HSI.a - Perform a scripted drama/theatre work for a specific audience.

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

TH:Cn11.2.HSI.b - Use basic theatre research methods to better understand the social and cultural background of a drama/theatre work.

California VAPA Standards (2019)

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.

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

Prof.TH.Cn11.1.a - Explore how cultural, global, and historic belief systems affect creative choices in a drama/theatre work.

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

6.TH:Cn11.2.b - Investigate the time period and place of a drama/theatre work to better understand performance and design choices.

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

67TH:Pr6 - Create through improvisation a drama/theatre work that will be shared with an audience.

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.

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

Prof.TH:Pr6 - Perform a rehearsed, scripted short drama/theatre work for a specific audience.

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

Prof.TH:Cn11.2.b - Use basic research methods to better understand the social and cultural background of a drama/theatre work.

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.

MS 117.213 LIII - Foundations: Inquiry and Understanding

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

HS 117.317 LIII - Foundations: Inquiry and Understanding

C.1.B - experiment with stage movement.

HS 117.318 LIV - Historical and cultural relevance

C.4.A - evaluate historical and cultural influences on theatre.

Alberta, Canada

Theatre Studies Drama 10 (Greek, Medieval or Elizabethan, and Canadian)

1 - recognize theatre has evolved as a traditional art form

2 - recognize innovations in the theatre

British Columbia (2018)

GRADE 10 - DRAMA - Explore and Create

Intentionally select and combine drama conventions

GRADE 11 - DRAMA - Connect and expand

Demonstrate awareness of self, others, and audience

Ontario, Canada

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