Students will demonstrate understanding of the importance of reading the script in developing a production concept by reading a summary of a play, participating in activities and discussions and by selecting a particular scene on which they will base their director’s concepts and design elements for their production book.
Copies of the play script (Midsummer Night’s Dream) – one for each student
Copies of a summary of the play of Midsummer Night’s Dream – one for each student
Script/Summary Check-out Card (3×5 card)
Paper/pencil to notate answers in group discussions
Tags for Group Discussion Leader, Scribe, Spokesperson
Before the students arrive, arrange the chairs/desks in a circle. Place a play summary, the script (for Midsummer Night’s Dream), and a check-out card on each desk/chair. As the students come into class, have them sit in small groups somewhere near the chalkboard—not in the circle of chairs. It doesn’t matter if the students are sitting on the floor, blocks, etc.
Step 1—Review the previous lesson.
Step 2—Instruct the students to select a Discussion Leader, a Scribe, and a Spokesperson for their group. (Hand out the tags so everyone knows who has what assignment) Give each group a piece of paper; make sure every student in each group writes their name on the paper to get credit for participating in the learning activity.
Step 3—Write the following questions on the board and ask the students to discuss:
Why is the script important to the production team?
How can the script be a tool?
Step 4—Instruct the Discussion Leader to conduct the group discussion and make sure each student in the group participates in the discussion. Give the students a few minutes to discuss the questions and come to their own conclusions. Have the scribes notate the group discussion on their papers. Then have the Spokesperson of each group present the group’s conclusions to the class while their scribe writes the different points on the board. Collect the groups’ notes.
Step 5—Invite the students to sit in the circle of chairs. Ask each student to neatly print his/her name on the top of the card. Write the script/summary number and the title of the play (Midsummer Night’s Dream) on the third (3rd) line and hand the cards to the right until you get all the check-out cards.
Step 6—Taking turns reading aloud, have the students read the first few pages of the play (Midsummer Night’s Dream).
Ask: What is happening in this play? (Students may not understand anything or very little)
Why is this play so hard to understand? (Written by Shakespeare, Old English, etc.)
How could we understand the storyline (basic plot) more quickly? (Read a summary)
Step 7—Read the summary of Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Checking for Understanding: After each scene/act, stop and discuss what was read to make certain the students are understanding the storyline, who the characters are, etc.
Ask: How does reading the summary help us as a production team? (understand the basic plot)
Is reading the summary sufficient? (no) Why not? (it doesn’t give the details needed for props and/or to develop the set/costuming, etc.)
Every member of the production needs to read the script.
Ask: As a member of the production team, how many times do you think you should you read the play? (minimum of three – five times)
Although I think it is very important to read the play multiple times, you only have to read the entire play once BUT you have to read your scene three (3) times and notate information that will help you develop a production concept for design, etc.
Step 8—Now it is time to select the scene you will base your concept and designs on throughout this unit. Take a few minutes to review the summary, select 2-3 scenes you are interested in, then come and sign up for a scene. Because all the scenes in the play must be assigned before duplicate assignments will be made, sign-ups are on a “first come, first serve basis.”
Give the students a few minutes to peruse the summary and come to you to sign up for a specific scene on the sign-up sheet.
Step 9—Have students work individually, in pairs, or small groups to read the script and discuss meaning of lines, etc. Students should notate information needed for design, props, etc. Remind students that their participation points are dependent upon how wisely they utilize the class allotted time.
HOMEWORK: Read the entire play.
Read your assigned scene three (3) more times.
Notate information gleaned from reading.
CLOSURE: Stress the importance of completing the reading assignment before the next class period. Don’t forget to write in your Learning Log
Participation in discussions, learning activities, and group discussion notes.
POSSIBLE ADAPTATIONS: Work in pairs to discuss play/scenes, and develop concepts for production book (Every student would still be required to submit own portfolio).