Introduction to Musical Theatre


Students will demonstrate their knowledge of musical theatre by filling out a KWL form which will include what they know, what they want to know, and what they learn.


Materials Needed

Copies of the audition handout with KWL sections, copies of other handouts such as the Musical Theatre Unit Assignment Sheet, Musical Theatre Grade Sheet, Musical Video Report,  clipboard, glasses, video and DVD player with television, and movie musicals to show examples.  The following theatre musicals can be used:  The Sound of Music, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Phantom of the Opera, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,Pippen, The Pirates of Penzance, Camelot, and Porgy and Bess. 


Related Documents


Lesson Directions

Anticipatory Set/Hook

As students enter the teacher has a clipboard and glasses acting as a director desperate to hire singers and actors for a musical review.  Each student is given an audition form that is actually a KWL form to assess their musical theatre knowledge.  For the audition the students can share something they know about musical theatre or even sing a few measures from a song in a musical.  Of course after each student does their audition they are hired on the spot to be in the musical review at the end of this unit.



Transition:  The director character states that she has hired a teacher to help the students learn all about musical theatre so please now pay attention to the teacher.  The teacher breaks character and begins to talk about musical theatre history and leads into showing the students different genres of musical theatre from prepared clips of musical theatre movies.  It is also possible to do a Teacher-in-Role where the students may interview the teacher as the “director” about musical theatre.


Directions:  The students are instructed to fill in the portion on their audition sheet of the new things they learn today on theatre musicals as they watch each sample.


Modeling:  The teacher will show an audition KWL form all filled out and state it will be turned in at the end of class.


Instruction:  The teacher will show selected clips from the following musical theatre movies to point out certain aspects of musical theatre:  Porgy and Bess, The Pirates of Penzance are opera or operetta, Phantom of the Opera is a modern musical, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is the classic American musical, Pippin show a solo, Camelot show a duet, Sound of Music show an ensemble, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat show a dance scene with the character Jacob sing talking his words.



Throughout the viewing of the musical theatre excerpts, asking questions of the students is helpful at this time along with the student’s comments.


Independent Practice:  The students are instructed to write down everything they learned new today and then pass in their audition KWL forms to the teacher.



At this time the teacher passes out the musical theatre syllabus and requirements for this class to remind the students that what they watched today they will have a chance to do in class.  Please reassure those students who may not feel confident in singing that there are pieces they can do that are more talk-singing then regular singing.



The KWL part of the audition sheet is for the teacher to assess what the students already know and what can be adapted to this unit for what they want to know.  The informal assessment is when the students either sing of share something from their KWL with the class.