Students will demonstrate their understanding of blocking/movement by blocking a scene from The Importance of Being Earnest.
The Importance of Being Earnest Scripts, Stuart Vaughan’s book Directing Plays: A Working Professional’s Method, Projection of The Importance of Being Earnest scene between Jack and Lady Bracknell, Schanker, Harry H. ed. The Stage and the School. Glencoe McGraw-Hill: Ohio, 1999.
Ask a few students to share how they beat the script from The Importance of Being Earnest that they took home for homework (another lesson plan called “Beats” posted on this website). Ask them to share why they have given the scene the beats that they did.
Instruction: Review what a beat is with the students. o A single unit of conflict. o Everyone’s beats will be different. o Finding beats. § Look for a change of subject. § Look for a change in who is leading the scene. § Look for where somebody enters or leaves. § Look for where someone finished a problem and starts another in their speech.
Lead discussion about Blocking and Movement. Discussion points come from The Stage and the School, McGraw Hill, and Stuart Vaughan’s book, Directing Plays: A Working Professional’s Method.
Notes: o Go over blocking areas of the stage. o Movement & Blocking should be established before work on line interpretation is done. Always 1st. o Use the whole stage when blocking. o Effective stage pictures and levels should be utilized. o All gestures and movements should have meaning. o Spontaneous reactions from the actors during rehearsals are good too. o Actors should not hang onto chairs, tables, skirts, swords, or other actors. o Don’t have crosses happen in silence, move on lines. o Strength of stage areas, what are the strongest areas. o How to write blocking in the script. Drawings. o Have script at all rehearsals with a pencil.
· Modeling: Use the overhead of the scene between Jack and Lady Bracknell from The Importance of Being Earnest. As a class go through the first page writing in the blocking on the overhead so the students can see the process.
· Guided Practice – Students will now block their script of Jack and Gwendolyn from the play.
This is the second half of a two-part lesson. The first lesson is called “Beats of Acting” and this follows that lesson. Or this lesson can be adapted to stand on its own if the anticipatory set/hook is changed.