Students will demonstrate their understanding of the nature of children’s theatre characters by creating a character and presenting him/her to the class.
Theatre for Children by David Wood Pieces of paper with Guest Instructions
Place on everyone desk a piece of paper that says, “Observe our guest carefully for voice quality, mannerisms, and character qualities” face down. Have a guest at the front of the room when the students enter the classroom. It is important that the guest have a large personality, and uses lots of movements, and is able to talk a lot. Have the guest introduce him/herself to the class and just talk, telling the students about him/herself, taking questions, etc. When the guest has talked awhile, thank the guest for coming, and let him/her out.
Step Two: Talk about the guest with the students. Have them reference their answers on the sheets. What were his/her mannerisms? What kind of voice did he/she have? Etc. Put “Characters” on the overhead and have them take notes. Have them glance over the list and place the guest under one of the categories. Go through the list one by one, asking for examples from stories they know. Have a student go to the board and write down these examples. Example: Some characters will inject humor. Character: Smee from Peter Pan
Step Three: Have the students take out a piece of paper. Have them brainstorm about a character that they are either playing in the fairy tales, or a new one. Have them create this character and write some of his/her attributes on their piece of paper. Tell them to think of the things we’ve discussed, including voice and body movement.
Step Four: In the performance area set up four chairs. Have four volunteers come sit in the chairs (three boys and one girl, or one boy and three girls). Proceed to play the dating game with three “unknown” bachelors or bachelorettes. Have the person asking the questions ask each person two questions. Have them all play their characters, except the questioner. After each round of the game, have the students describe their character to the class. Make sure everyone gets a chance to show his or her character.
Step Five: Remind them of their homework for that evening. If there is time, let them meet with their groups and rehearse their play.