Students will establish their technical considerations by designing and displaying their technical production design choices.
Directing Plays textbooks, access to computers with Internet access in the media center or computer lab, five instrumental music samples, five CD players/boom boxes, color gel samples, overhead projector
As the students enter the classroom, divide them into five groups. Have each group go to a section in the classroom where a CD player is sitting along with a pile of gel samples. Make sure that each CD player has one of the music samples in it. Assign each group to listen to the music sample and determine the mood that the music evokes. Once the group has decided on the mood of the piece, have them sift through the gel samples and decide which color gel fits would add to the mood and atmosphere of the piece.
Once all of the groups are finished with their “creations,” have them take turns presenting their creation to the rest of the class. Have them play the music sample and put their gel color up on the overhead projector so that the color shines brightly on the screen or wall. Have a spokesman from the group describe the mood that the music evoked for the group and explain the group’s color gel choice to enhance the atmosphere.
Transition – Discuss with the class how much more effective the atmosphere and mood can be with the addition of music and color. Ask them to cite specific moments in the group presentations that were particularly strong. What kind of emotions did certain music or colors make you feel? How can you use these effects to strengthen a play? What other technical considerations go into providing the “world of the play?”
Instruction – Have them get out their Directing Plays textbooks and turn to pages 89-93 to discuss the design considerations presented there. Be sure to consider each of these elements within your school’s space and restraints: • The Theatre Itself (the performing space that they will be designing for) • Budgetary factors (how much money and support will be provided by the school) • Time Factors (realistic time lines) • Level of Production Skills Available (will the tech class be helping to supply materials) • The Play’s Design Essentials (what do they HAVE to have in order to do the play…considering style and the genre of the play)
Modeling – Review with the students the technical requirements for their Director’s Books. If possible, either from your stock of materials or from theatre textbooks and other resources, show them examples of costume sketches, floor plans, etc. Encourage those who students who do not consider themselves artists to peruse the Internet and magazines to find pictures and photographs that will show the types of clothing, furniture, and props they want to use in their production.
Instruction – Tell the students that they have just practiced what they should create for the sound and lighting of their production, with the addition of a “lighting mood picture.” This picture is ANYTHING that the student finds that portrays the mood and atmosphere of their production. It need not have anything to do with their concept or setting, but rather simply convey the atmosphere and feeling that the effect of the lighting will be.
The students will find a music sample that they will share with the class when they present their director’s books. It can serve as pre-show, post-show or underscoring music, and it may have words if it fits in with the concept and feeling of the show.
Individual Practice – Because there is so much research for the students to do, give them the remainder of the class period to work on their technical considerations. Take them to a computer lab or the media center where they have access to the Internet. *If you take them to the media center you may be able to have previously arranged with the librarian to pull furniture and fashion books to be readily available to the students.* If they would rather, the students can create their floorplan or begin working on their prop lists and written descriptions of technical needs. Float around and be available as a resource to the students.
Students can be assessed through their mood presentations and their research progress.