Casebook and Mock Talk-back presentations


Students will demonstrate ability to communicate the contextual ideas of their casebooks by hosting a mock post-performance talk-back between an “audience” (classmates) and a dramaturg (themselves.)


Materials Needed

“The Big Candy Jar”


Lesson Directions


Anticipatory Set/Hook

Place “The Big Candy Jar” [which is quite large and holds regular-sized candy bars] on a table or desk at the front of the classroom. [Alternative: cookies, brownies, Krispy Kreme donuts, etc.]



Note: The teacher may choose to allow students to volunteer, be called on, or to sign up on a schedule to present their talk-backs. If necessary, the talk-backs will continue into the next class meeting.
1. Introduce the talk-back process:
During the talk-backs:
o Each student will introduce him/herself as the dramaturg of [title of play, and who the play was written by].
o Each student will then take questions from the audience for a period of 5-7 minutes. The talk-backs will be timed; at 5 minutes the instructor will give a silent signal that there are 2 minutes remaining; at 7 minutes, the instructor will invite the dramaturg to close the session.
· During each talk-back, the student leading the discussion will call on people who volunteer by raised hand to ask a question. (If necessary, the teacher may choose to ask the first question to get a talk-back started.)
o Each student will close his/her session by saying something like, “We are out of time/Our time is about up/etc. Thank you for attending our talk-back of [title of play].” Alternatives of this basic closure are acceptable and preferred.


Review/assessment: Students will display their casebooks for their classmates and participate both as a dramaturg and an audience member in a mock talk-back.
Briefly review with the students what constitutes audience etiquette: listening, raising hands and waiting to be called on, no talking out of turn or amongst each other, applause at the close of a performance [without cat-calls].


2. Casebook presentations
o Students will display their casebooks on tables or desks for their classmates to examine.
o Students will circulate around the room and briefly examine each of the casebooks. They are recommended to make notations about questions and/or observations they may have about each of the casebooks. They should each be prepared with at least one question that specifically addresses/relates to each play (although there will not be time to get to every question from every student); these questions are in addition to the 4-5 questions they wrote on their lists in the previous class. During the actual talk-backs they may ask other pertinent questions as they come to mind; the writing exercise is to engage students in the world of each play. Allow 10-20 minutes for this activity, depending on the number of casebooks being examined.


3. Mock Talk-back: Students present a mock talk-back of their plays to the class.
o Each student will present and moderate a mock talk-back following the guidelines introduced at the beginning of class.


4. Casebook Submission
o At the end of each mock talk-back, students will hand in their casebooks for evaluation and final grading.
· At the close of class, each student who has presented a talk-back may choose something from “The Big Candy Jar”.