DTA | Unit Four: Intro to Scripted Scenes
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Part of the Middle School Curriculum

Unit Four: Intro to Scripted Scenes

Created by Lindsay Johnson

Students will be introduced to the most basic of scripts: the contentless/open scene script. They will use their knowledge of character/relationships, setting, objective, and tactics to add content to a contentless scene. Students will also learn the basics of set design and blocking, and will begin
using voice expression to communicate clearer characters. The unit culminates in a performance assessment in which students will work in pairs to add content to and perform a contentless scene.

Standards Addressed

Overview
The overview lays out the structure for the 9-lesson unit, including assessment tools, key vocabulary, and learning target focus.
1: Intro to Scripts
In this lesson, students will brainstorm characters/relationships, setting, and conflicts to add content to a contentless scene that they will work on for the rest of the unit. Students will use a variety of methods they’ve learned in the previous unit to communicate meaning: setting, pantomime, relationship clues, objectives, stakes, and tactics.
2: Contentless Scene Brainstorm
In this lesson, students will brainstorm characters/relationships, setting, and conflicts to add content to a contentless scene that they will work on for the rest of the unit. Students will use a variety of methods they’ve learned in the previous unit to communicate meaning: setting, pantomime, relationship clues, objectives, stakes, and tactics.
3: Contentless Scene Content Peer Review
In this lesson, students will perform for peers and give and receive feedback on the Scene Details Rubric. Students will be using a variety of methods they’ve learned in the previous unit to communicate meaning in a contentless scene: setting, pantomime, relationship clues, objectives, stakes, and tactics.
4: Intro to Set and Stage Notes
In this lesson, students will learn the terminology needed to identify different parts of the stage and to create a set design that uses levels in an effective and appealing way. Students create a basic kitchen set design for a kitchen set design that applies their new knowledge of stage parts, levels and scenery.
5: Intro to Blocking
In this lesson, students will decide how best to include movement in their scene to help an audience understand what is happening in the scene. Students will complete a set design for their partner scene and add 3+ blocking notes to their scripts. Students will also take a Stage Directions Mini-Quiz to demonstrate their understanding of stage directions/basic blocking notes.
6: Open Body and Blocking Review
In this lesson, students will review the “open body” element of projection. Using this technique, students will make it easier for audiences to see and understand their actions in the scene.
7: Intro to Voice Expression
In this lesson, students will focus on how voice can be used to communicate character as well as to make the dialogue in the scene easily accessible to an audience. Students will give and receive feedback on their vocal clarity and expression in performance.
8: Final Scene Rehearsal
Students will review the various techniques we’ve explored this unit (voice, movement, set design, projection, etc.) to convey meaning in a contentless scene. They will continue to work on their scenes and complete a Rehearsal Checklist.
9: Scene Performance Assessment
Students will review the various techniques we’ve explored this unit (voice, movement, set design, projection, etc.) to convey meaning in a contentless scene. Students will perform their final partner scene for assessment in front of the class. They will also completed an audience feedback sheet where they give their peers feedback on Rubric skills.

Standards Addressed

National Core Arts Standards

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.

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.

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.

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

TH:Cr3.1.HSI.a - Practice and revise a devised or scripted drama/theatre work using theatrical staging conventions.

California VAPA Standards (2019)

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.

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.

Georgia Performance Standards - Theatre Arts

North Carolina Essential Standards

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

MS 117.212 LII - Creative Expression: performance

B.2.A - demonstrate safe use of the voice and body.

HS 117.315 LI - Critical evaluation and response

C.5.C - offer and receive constructive criticism of peer performances.

HS 117.316 LII - Foundations: Inquiry and Understanding

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

Alberta, Canada

Theatre Studies Level III - Advanced (The script)

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

British Columbia (2018)

Ontario, Canada

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