What is Theatre?


Students will demonstrate a basic knowledge of theatrical elements by creating a list of theatre “terms” as a group, which will be studied throughout the unit.


Materials Needed

Tape, Examples of “Hook” questions, paper, marker


Related Documents


Lesson Directions

Anticipatory Set/Hook

After clearing a large space (i.e. classroom or stage), put a piece of tape down the center of the floor. Tell the students to stand on either side of the taped line on the ground.

Instruct them that as you ask the following questions, if they have experienced what you are asking, or can answer the question “yes”, they need to step onto the line; if not, stay where they are. Proceed to ask the questions. (See attachment for examples of questions)



Step 1:

In groups of two have the students come up with 15 things they want to learn, know, or that they like about theatre.  Remind them to think about the questions in the questions game, and what they did and didn’t know about.  After a few minutes, have them combine with another group of two and all together, combine their lists into 10 things.  Give each group a large piece of paper and markers, and have them narrow their list down to 5 things.  Let them know that they will be presenting to the class:

  • Five things they want to learn
  • Why they want to learn these things
  • How they think they are important to theatre/the theatre class


Step 2:

After each group has presented and all the lists are visible to all students, in a class discussion, find the common themes in each group’s ideas.  Talk about why these things are important, and in some cases explain the terms being presented.

Pulling from these ideas, explain to the students that in the next few weeks they are going to be learning about these things, and the important aspects of creating theatre.  Create a list of specific things that will be learned in the unit, incorporating ideas from the groups that include at least the following areas/terms:

  • Theatre
  • Actor/Acting
  • Director/Directing
  • Producer
  • Playwright
  • Dramaturg
  • Designers
  • Techies/Stage Management
  • Plays
  • Auditions


Once the class has created this list, ask each student to think about three of the jobs, in order, that they are most interested in, and have them write it down on a piece of paper to turn in.

This will be used in the future for other activities within the unit, where each student gets the chance to model, ‘being’ or ‘doing’, one of the theatre jobs.