- The Elements, The Production Process, Roles and Responsibilities
- Design – Set, Costume, Poster/Promotion
- Design – Lighting and Sound
- Theatre Criticism
I have just started this unit with my class and thought it would be a good idea to share my classroom experiences in real time rather than quite a while later as I have done with some of my other posts.
So here’s a suggestion for introducing the elements, the production process and roles and responsibilities to your students.
- To establish the idea that theatre is not just about the actor’s but a whole team of people;
- That it is a lengthy process requiring considerable planning with people from various areas of responsibility;
- That the team’s primary role is to interpret a text and bring it to life on stage.
Remember: Try to re-inforce the idea that this is a “directing” course, not a theory course.
There’s No “I” in Team:
- Form student’s into small groups.
- Give each group a photograph.
- Assign each group member with a role: director, actor, costume designer, set/props and any other role you like.
- Allow each group 5 minutes to recreate a scene from the photograph but they must change it in some way to make it original.
- Whilst groups are working out what they are doing, walk around and whisper “commands” into certain people’s ears, e.g. “Refuse to do anything,” “Let the actor do whatever he/she wants.”
- Have each group present their photograph performance.
- Afterwards ask groups to talk about how well or perhaps how well they did not work together and what they felt would have made the team work even better. The pressurised time situation is bound to bring out some interesting responses. You could also link in a discussion about the workplace and any similiarities or connections seen from the exercise.
- Use this as a lead in to discuss the concept of a production team and the various roles in that team. Have handouts at the ready here with lists of responsibilities for each role.
- Get student’s to complete a “heirarchy chart” of the various production roles that looks at the areas of responsibility and who is “in charge” of who.
- Lead into a discussion about the three parts of the production process: pre-production (70%), production (10%) and post-production (30%). Yes, that does equal 110%. As well as, of course, how could we forget, Murphy’s Law and the need to be prepared for anything that may go wrong.
Paint By Number:
- Create a workstation for each student with newspaper, paint brushes, water and a selection of colours (I use the primary colours).
- Give each student 4 sheets of A3 paper. Have them number them 1-4 and put their name on the back of each.
- Select four differing pieces of music. You could base these on the Laban movements. So, something soft, flowing and melancholic, something short, sharp and up-tempo, something constant and rhythmic, something brimming with tension.
- As each piece of music plays, have the student’s paint what comes into their minds using the various colours, mixing colours, using shapes, line and pattern.
- You can leave the exercise here at this point or as an extension to this exercise you could have the student’s write about what they created and which elements of drama they were drawing upon.
- Finish the lesson by reinforcing that what the student’s did was to interpret and utilise their imaginations to create an original work that could then become a set or a costume design.
Here are some photos of what my student’s did during their lesson this week.
Image Credit: karlao, Paint by Number Activity, 2011.Follow @karlao_dtn