Students will have a chance to merge their understanding of scene elements with their improvisation skills in this final unit based on Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed. Theatre of the Oppressed is a style of theatre specifically created to highlight the injustices of power and oppression in society and to problem-solve ways to bring about change.
Starting with image theatre techniques to identify issues of power and oppression, students will then use forum theatre to create scenarios of oppression taken from their own lives and improvise realistic solutions.
The unit culminates in a performance in which students participate as both actors in a scene they create themselves and spect-actors in scenes created by their peers.
The overview lays out the objectives for the unit, outlines all lesson plans, and provides context for the assessment tools.
Students will participate in a tableau “Power Handshake” exercise that will give them some basic background experience with image theatre/tableau and nonverbal expressions of relationship and power. They will then work on their critical thinking skills by close reading an article that gives a brief introduction to Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed.
Students will participate in a number of power activities that will encourage them to come up with ways to physically demonstrate a powerful/powerless character. A discussion about power in our society will follow.
Students will be introduced to Boal’s Image Theatre. They will review the concept of tableau (frozen picture) from Lesson 1, and they will be introduced to the tableau rubric and the three tableau skills (frozen bodies, 3+ levels, and character). In small groups, they will create tableaux that capture an image of “Family” (whatever that word means to them).
Students will review the three tableau skills (frozen bodies, 3+ levels, and character). In small groups, they will analyze the tableaux from last class that captured an image of “Family” (whatever that word meant to them), as well as create and analyze new tableaux around a topical issue in society.
In groups, students will brainstorm a list of scenarios in which they feel power or oppression in their daily lives. They will then select a scenario from their list and turn it into a tableau.
Students will be introduced to forum theatre by researching a video example. Students will then try their hand at forum theatre by acting out a middle school scenario of oppression, becoming spect-actors, and improvising solutions.
In groups, students will begin by briefly bringing to life the tableaux from Lesson 5. They will then create the skeleton of a scene for each tableau, indicating the protagonist, antagonist, and method of oppression in each scenario. Finally, students will review their peer’s work and rank the scenes that they are most interested in bringing to life.
Students will take the scene outline created last class and use it to create a more detailed script that includes scene-setting notes, movement notes, and dialogue for the characters. Students will evaluate a peer’s script for errors in grammar or script writing conventions. They will then turn in their scripts for an assessment grade at the end of class.
Students will begin by discussing the importance of realistic acting in these scenes, noting how they will be graded on the Realistic Acting Rubric. They will commit their scenes to memory and review projection skills. When the scenes are solid, students will then begin practicing becoming and reacting to spect-actors, and reviewing the Improvisation, Spect-acting, and Realistic Acting Rubrics after each spect-acting attempt.
In this lesson, students will perform their final scene for assessment in front of the class. They will also complete an audience feedback sheet where they give their peers feedback on rubric skills.
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.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).
TH.912.C.1.2 - Create, refine, and sustain complex and believable characters for performance through the integration and application of artistic choices based on research, rehearsal, feedback, and refinement.
TH.912.H.2.1 - Research the correlations between theatrical forms and the social, cultural, historical, and political climates from which they emerged, to form an understanding of the influences that have shaped theatre.
TH.912.O.2.5 - Explain how the contributions and methods of significant individuals from various cultures and historical periods have influenced the creative innovations of theatre, and apply one of their innovations to a theatrical piece in a new way.
TA6.CR.1 - Organize, design, and refine theatrical work.
a. Identify artistic choices, utilize theatre vocabulary, and demonstrate non-verbal communication skills in the rehearsal process.
b. Interpret a character’s motivation by understanding the relationship between their background and their behavior.
c. Identify the variety of relationships between characters.
d. Identify, define, and classify character traits.
e. Recognize and demonstrate the roles, responsibilities, and skills associated with collaborative performance.
f. Use resources to identify and create technical elements of theatre.
TA6.CR.2 - Develop scripts through theatrical techniques.
a. Identify the elements of a story.
b. Identify the theme and structure of a play.
c. Articulate creative ideas in oral and written forms.
d. Use the dramatic writing process to generate a script.
e. Demonstrate the conventions of dialogue and stage directions.
TA6.PR.1 - Act by communicating and sustaining roles in formal and informal environments.
a. Demonstrate effective verbal and non-verbal communication skills (e.g. rate, pitch, volume, inflection, posture, facial expression, physical movement).
b. Execute character creation in a performance.
c. Demonstrate a variety of types of theatre performances.
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.CR.2 - Develop scripts through theatrical techniques.
a. Create ideas for stories.
b. Analyze the theme and structure of a play.
c. Use the dramatic writing process to generate a script.
d. Utilize dramatic conventions in the scriptwriting process (e.g. stage directions, dialogue, scenes).
TA7.PR.1 - Act by communicating and sustaining roles in formal and informal environments.
a. Execute effective verbal and non-verbal communication skills in performance (e.g. rate, pitch, volume, inflection, posture, facial expression, physical movement).
b. Participate in a variety of acting exercises and techniques that can be applied in a rehearsal or theatre performance.
c. Engage in various performance styles.
TA8.CR.1 - Organize, design, and refine theatrical work.
a. Differentiate the physical, emotional, vocal, and social dimensions of a variety of characters.
b. Compare the relationships and interactions between characters by analyzing character motivation (objectives, obstacles, strategy, action, stakes, outcome).
c. Incorporate dramatic elements through improvisation.
d. Connect theatre vocabulary to the application of theatre performance.
e. Identify and demonstrate both ensemble and leadership skills in the rehearsal process.
f. Evaluate the effectiveness of artistic and technical elements used in a theatre production.
g. Design and create scenery, props, costumes, lighting, and sound.
h. Assume different roles and responsibilities in the rehearsal process.
TA8.CR.2 - Develop scripts through theatrical techniques.
a. Classify different points of view in a story.
b. Identify, analyze, and articulate the structure of a script.
c. Utilize improvisation techniques to generate script ideas.
d. Use the dramatic writing process to generate a script.
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.
TAHSA.CR.2 - Develop scripts through theatrical techniques.
a. Examine theatre practices regarding the development, structure, layout, and format of scripts.
b. Use improvisation, personal experiences, heritage, imagination, literature, and history to develop scripts.
c. Perform formal and informal monologues and scenes based on published and original scripts.
TAHSFT.CR.1 - Organize, design, and refine theatrical work.
a. Recognize and/or employ realistic and conventional speech patterns within dialogue or dramatic verse.
b. Incorporate dramatic elements through improvisation.
c. Recognize and interpret artistic choices in performance.
TAHSFT.CR.2 - Develop scripts through theatrical techniques.
a. Differentiate between dramatic and traditional literary writing and utilize common steps of the playwriting process.
b. Assess the need for script analysis, concept development, and directorial and technical concerns of a theatrical script.
c. Construct and critique elements of dramatic structure, character, and dialogue.
d. Create and perform scenes for audiences.
TAHSFT.PR.1 - Act by communicating and sustaining roles in formal and informal environments.
a. Observe and demonstrate aspects of verbal and non-verbal techniques in common human activity for performance (e.g. voice, breathing, posture, facial expression, physical movement).
b. Construct and interpret artistic choices in performance including the objectives, decisions, and actions of characters.
c. Explore various acting methods and techniques (e.g. Stanislavski, Uta Hagen, sense memory, emotional recall) for the purpose of character development.
d. Perform acting choices for an audience based on critiques.
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.
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.
B1.1 - engage actively in drama exploration and role play, with a focus on identifying and examining a range of issues, themes, and ideas from a variety of fiction and non-fiction sources and diverse communities, times, and places
B1.1 - engage actively in drama exploration and role play, with a focus on examining multiple perspectives related to current issues, themes, and relationships from a wide variety of sources and diverse communities
B1.1 - engage actively in drama exploration and role play, with a focus on examining multiple perspectives and possible outcomes related to complex issues, themes, and relationships from a wide variety of sources and diverse communities
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.2.2 - describe how drama is used for various purposes in a range of social contexts (e.g., to express or celebrate group or community sentiments or values in street theatre or parades; to mark important historical or religious anniversaries of a country or culture; to raise awareness of social, environmental, and political issues; to explore personal relationships or social arrangements)
C.1.2 - demonstrate an understanding of and use correct terminology to refer to the forms, elements, conventions, and techniques of drama, with a focus on ensemble drama works (e.g., chorus, protagonist, ingénue, supporting role, act, scene, climax, resolution, improvisation, mask, freeze-frame image)
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.2.1 - identify different types of drama and explain their function in diverse communities and cultures from the past and present (e.g., the function of television, film, or video game dramas with predictable plot lines and stock or stereotypical characters in today’s society; the function of theatre in ancient Greece, liturgical drama in medieval Europe, Shakespearean drama in Elizabethan England, and/or “social problem” dramas today)
A.3.2 - use a variety of voice and movement techniques to support the creation of character or atmosphere during rehearsal (e.g., use voice and movement to suggest an airport, circus, or factory environment)
A.1.2 - select and use appropriate forms to present identified issues from a variety of perspectives (e.g., use a radio play, improvisation, or series of tableaux to present two opposing views about a political, social, or environmental issue)
A.1.3 - use role play and characterization to explore personal and social issues (e.g., with a partner, create or assume a role that explores an issue such as bullying; create a scenario that reveals details about a character’s motivation)