Theatrefolk - The Drama Teacher Resource Company

Production Tips for

by Lindsay Price

Sometimes we choose the way the world sees us. Black box - indestructible. Jewelry box - plain on the outside, shiny on the inside. Sometimes our box is defined by others - our parents, our friends, our enemies. A box built by others can feel small, confined, impossible.

How do we handle the boxes imposed upon us because of our gender? Our race? From peer pressure? From parent pressure? Do we have to live with our box for the rest of our lives? Can we change?

Box is a middle school vignette play with flexible casting. It can be expanded for a large cast or reduced to a cast of 10 with doubling. Excellent small scene and monologue opportunities.

» Box is now available in Spanish! Click here for details. «

Dramedy Issue-Based Movement-based Vignettes

Average Producer Rating:

This is a vignette play! What is a Vignette Play?

Tips from past Producers

I had my students dress in a black/jean combination so they could have their own identity but still look united as a cast. The show requires minimal props or set pieces but you can go as small or large as you desire. I added music to some of the transitions between vignettes to spice it up a bit.
Enjoy the ensemble work and the aspects of the play that can be staged in a more abstract way.
Our cast made and decorated boxes for each of their characters based on their own interpretation of the character's looks, personality, and experiences in the show. It was a fantastic way to get them thinking in a more abstract way about how to develop their characters. It was also a cheap and effective way to get them to construct their own props, and they really rose to the challenge. We used cardboard boxes of every size (which turned it into kind of a cool upcycling project), old lunch boxes, a little music box, etc. It was really cool to see what they came up with.
We did this show on Zoom, where it worked well. This would be a very fun play to do and see live, with a lot of potential for different spaces that could be delineated by lighting or partitions.
Be creative and have fun, but don’t forget to take time to savor and discuss the meaning of the material.
We used a "Mondrian" style wrap to our unit set pieces to give it a pop of color, and the "boxy" lines was a fun way to echo the title. We enjoyed "Wacky Wednesday" rehearsals where the students got to go "over-the-top" with their characters and performance style. It allowed them to explore and try some things that we sometimes kept because it was so good. Also, we explored "Box- The Musical" (just sang the lines) as one of our rehearsal. We discovered that only 2 cast members could sing. LOL
The students decorated all of their own boxes. They loved it! And the only set pieces were different-sized wooden boxes to create levels. The kids even chose the sound effects and music we used! We got colorful t-shirts as costumes and the kids got to keep them as a memento. Overall, super experience for all involved.
Our students were dressed in plain black T-shirts and black bottoms. We kept the costume simple so the focus was always on 'the box' and the character's message. We spray-painted cardboard boxes in muted shades to display around the perimeter and background of our stage, stacking them randomly for a neat effect. We gathered lots of school supplies (binders, notebooks, books, backpacks, lunch boxes, etc. for simple props.) Our school has a very small budget and few resources, but this play was very manageable for us. We did not use any music and did not use any microphones, but it still turned out very well.
Spend a lot of time on the final scene, and the Group A, B, C parts, as these were the most challenging for the students to get the lines and rhythm of.
If you are working with a large cast and a small budget then this play is for you! Minimal set is needed for staging.
We did this play with a bare stage. The only decorations were a banner at the back of the stage covered in boxes and a few box towers made of boxes that the students decorated with themes from their characters. The students were able to do it all themselves.

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