Mono Rehearsal - Contrasting Feelings

Lesson Objective:

Students will be able to apply different acting techniques to their contrasting monologues through practicing and peer evaluations.


Materials Needed:

signs with one tactic on each, as described in the “switching game” activity; student evaluation forms  Lesson 4.Peer Evaluation Worksheet.



Be sure students have enough room to work in pairs on their monologues.


Hook: Image Theatre (10 minutes)

Have the class spread out and find their own space in the room. Explain that we are going to be using our bodies to express certain words/feelings—this is a NON VERBAL game. The leader (teacher) will call out a word and each person in the class has ten seconds to “morph” or sculpt into an expression of that word. Explain that this is not a descriptive representation—it is more of an expressive one. If the word is “tree,” it is not trying to make your body look exactly like a tree, it is portraying the essence of tree—the feeling of tree—the first thing that comes to mind in your body when you say tree. Some examples of words to call are: tree, red balloon, grumpy pumpkins, silver wind, fear, joy, etc. After doing this individually, instruct the class that they will now have ten seconds to morph into a class image—they must come together and create an expressive image of that word as a class. Do this a few times.


Warm-up: Focus Energy (5 minutes)

Have the class silently make a circle, standing. Instruct them to bring their hands about 6 inches apart from each other in front of them, and keeping the hands 6 inches (at least) apart, act as if you were rolling a ball between your hands. Focus on the magnetic energy between your hands. Soon you will be able to feel the magnetism pushing your hands apart—it will feel like you have a magnetic ball in between your hands. While the students are feeling their “magnetic chi ball,” ask them to call out (while staying focused) reasons why we warm up before performing, or auditioning.
•Why are warm-up activities helpful?
•Think about the warm-ups we’ve done today. Why do we need to find our focus, and focus our energy before we perform?
This will be a good starting point for going deeper into “warm-ups” in our next lesson.


Step 1: Justification (5 minutes)

Have the students pull out a copy of their cut monologues that are due. They must give a written justification as to why these monologues are good for THEM, and why they are good for a college audition. Prompt them to remember what we talked about (going through another person, contrasting, short enough for the time limit, age appropriate, “I like it because…” etc). Each student will turn in their justification when they are finished.


Step 2: Memorization/Peer Evaluations/Peer Coaching (15 minutes)

Hand each student a peer evaluation form. Then place the class into partnerships. Each partnership will have time to practice their monologues for each other. Discuss with each other how to improve the monologues, and the good points about them. Use the evaluation form as a guide for this exercise. Students may also use the proficiency forms as guides to help coach their peers. This is student coaching. Teachers monitor the progress, answering questions and helping students stay involved.


Step 3: Re-group (5 minutes)

Gather the class back together.
•How did it go?
•How is helping your peers beneficial to your own performing?
•Was it easy or difficult to coach each other?
Have everyone turn in their peer evaluation forms. These forms are not for your grade—you are not giving each other a grade. You are learning to evaluate and coach.


Step 4: Switching Game (30 minutes)

Ask for a few volunteers and give them a piece of paper with a tactic on it. Then have a student come to the front of the room. Explain that the student is going to recite his or her monologue. While he or she is performing, the students who have the papers with tactics on them can hold up their paper, only one at a time, and the performer must incorporate whatever that tactic is into whichever part of the monologue they are in. Students silently take turns holding up their papers and watching the different reactions to the tactics.
•How could this exercise be helpful to you in learning your monologues?
•How can it be helpful in light of performing two contrasting monologues in the same time frame?
After this example is done, have each student write down at least five appropriate contrasting tactics on a piece of paper. Then have them group off in pairs—different partnerships than they had for the last round. Each person in the partnership will have a turn practicing their monologues, and each will have a turn calling out or holding up tactics for the one performing to adapt to. The students should get a feel for switching tactics and be able to change from one type of feeling to another quickly. This will enable them to perform contrasting monologues in an actual contrasting way. Also encourage the students to use the adjudication form as they continue to coach each other.



to insult to anger to rejoice to help to comfort to destroy to seduce
to excite to beg to plead


Step 5: Discuss (5 minutes)

Bring the class together again.
•How did it go? What did you notice about trying different tactics?
•Was it hard? Was it easy?
•How did it change your monologue?


Step 6:

Wrap up/Review (5 minutes) Ask the students if there were any questions or concerns about building their resume. Then collect the resumes from each student.