Students will demonstrate their understanding of the theme by creating a monologue for a specific character in the devised theatre piece.
Conduct the Boal game There is only one Liar. There should be no talking until the exercise is over. The group sits or stands in a circle and closes their eyes. Tell the students that one person will be selected by a tap on the shoulder. The leader walks around the whole circle, then asks the group to open their eyes. The group members must look around and try to guess who was chosen. They are asked to remember who they decided upon but not to reveal it at this point. The game is repeated. When everybody has finished looking round, the leader asks them, on the count of three, without talking, to point at the person they thought was chosen the first time. Everybody points. Now, they do the same again for the second time. Afterwards, members are asked what it was that led them to choose a particular person, for example, the facial expression that person had. Then, on a signal, they are asked to put up their hands if they were touched the first time. They discover that no one was touched the first time. They are asked to do the same for the second time. The group discover that they were all touched the second time. There is only one liar – the teacher!
STEP 1: Transition- Talk to the students about facial expressions which was one of the main reasons that they all guessed each other. Tell the students that facial expressions are going to be a huge part of telling a story and that they need to be aware of what they are doing with their face. Their face will tell a story and they need to know what it is doing.
STEP 2: Group practice- Tell the students that we want to get back into our animals for a bit and really explore who they are as a character. Have them think about their animal and who they are and begin to explain the Bear and Hunter game. Have one student be the Hunter and the rest of the students are the hunted animals. They walk around as their animals until the teacher says “Hunter in the forest” all the students have to freeze on the ground and not move as the hunter comes around. If the hunter makes the animal move then they are now a hunter. Then the hunter goes away and the animals are free to move around again until the teacher yells “Hunter in the forest”. The game repeats until all the animals have moved and are hunters.
STEP 3: Check for understanding- As a class review the ideas about the play that were discussed before. Talk about animals and narrator and those specific decisions.
STEP 4: Individual Practice- Now, as their animal, tell the students that you all have come together at the nearest watering hole. How do you associate with other animals? Are you aware of what they all are? How do you respond to other animals?
STEP 5: Individual Practice- Create a monologue for your animal explaining who you are. Time is about 30 sec to a minute. What do you like, dislikes? Characteristics? Hobbies? What do you take pride in? Are you a beat boxing orangutan? Who are you? Really create your character as an animal. Write down your monologue. Once everyone has had time to write one down, have each student share individually with the class.
STEP 6: Group Practice- Now, as your new developed animal characters, grab a partner and interact with one another. What would happen if the two characters meet? How can you show us who you are with your facial expressions your physical body? Really begin to develop these characters.
STEP 7: Transition- Tell the students that we are going to begin to compile our piece. Remind them that at the beginning of our story we are at “grandpa’s house”. Organize the students into families and have them decide the ages and names of them all. Have them say who they are one by one. We want their animals traits to come out in the “children” characters as well.
STEP 8: Group practice- Improvise the beginning of the play. In this devised piece we have a narrator. Have the narrator begin the theatre piece. Introduce the play, go from there. Have them start to improv the play out and see what happens!
STEP 9: Modeling- You may need to step in a few times and direct their thoughts and be there to keep them focused. They may need help staying within the storyline, but also let them explore different ways of telling part 1 of the story. Have them go over the beginning part a few times. Remind the students that the devised process is fun and all ideas are welcomed. We will come to a final piece later, we are just exploring the possibilities. Encourage them to share their ideas and be there to keep them focused as well.
Students can be assessed on their animal monologues and their participation in the activities.