Application thru the ages


The students will demonstrate their knowledge of theatre history by presenting a timeline and corresponding images.



Materials Needed

see lesson



Related Documents

• Theatre History Quiz   Lesson11.TheatreHistoryQuiz



Lesson Directions

Anticipatory Set/Hook
As students enter the classroom, they are asked to write down 5 or so random sentences. (The teacher will likely want to add class specific regulations to what can be written. The class is then divided into groups to perform the scene. At least 4 of the sentence papers are laid down on the ground. As they say a line, they must then read the line given them and try to act from there.
Ask 2-3 players to play a short scene. One could limit the scene to 8 lines of dialog per player. Then ask the players to replay the scene, based on some audience suggestions for:
· a particular acting style – ritual dance, Greek chorus, facing front presentational, .
· a particular historical era of theatre – Greek, Roman, Medieval, Elizabethan, etc.
· a different location – the globe theater, a pagent wagon, a town square, a lunchroom, etc.
· like a film / reality TV / soap opera style.
· in Gibberish
You can time the scene to 1 minute, and then replay in 30 seconds, 15 seconds, 7 seconds and 3 seconds.




Instruction: We have just been learning about theatre history. We have covered all the really important stuff from storytelling through ritual dance, we have spent time with the Greek chorus, the Roman gladiators and Medieval priests. We have looked at Shakespeare and on though Oscar Wilde and Gilbert and Sullivan. We have even looked into early American drama and glimpsed improv and staged chaos. Now we are going to close that up, look into your timelines (that will help you in college) and see where that takes us today and how it helps us to become better actors.




The instructor will then share the images that she has for each century, these have been shown throughout the unit and can be found in Theatrical Design and Production, 3rd Edition, by J. Michael Gillette, various pages.



Checking for Understanding:

What ideas or techniques can you take from the images you have seen and use them in theatre today? How can you incorporate a Greek chorus – Urinetown? Medieval pagent wagons – performing in found spaces, like “Improv everyday.” What about commedia dell’Arte – SNL or Comedy Sports? Or Shakespeare that you see in “10 things I hate about you, or even Romeo and Juliet, the modern Baz Lurman version.




Now we want to see what you have come up with. What images have you found that will remind you of these time periods?



Guided Practice:

The students will then share their images and timelines with the class. They will hand the timeline in for credit.



Independent Practice:

If there is time, the students should use it to work on their Shakespeare monologues from Much Ado about Nothing or review for the quiz.




Closure and Assessment: Now we are moving on from theatre history into how we can use this information today. In the next class period, after we take the quiz, we will be taking a tour of the auditorium and learning about the different parts and the important vocab to know as an actor or technician.
There will be a quiz on the different eras of theatre that we have studied in this unit during the next class period. Please review your notes to prepare for this quiz. If there is time, the teacher can review a bit with the class.
Also during the next class period, we will be performing our Shakespeare monologues in front of the class. Extra points will be given for those who add character to the monologue.