Composition Day

Lesson 6: Composition Day


Lesson Objective:

Students will put their visual theatre piece together by creating the beginning, middle and end of their story.



  • Open space for rehearsal


Step 1: Warm-Up—What’s in the box?

Have students sit in a circle. Tell them that you have a magic box that is a little bit like the magic energy ball from a few lessons ago. Tell them this box can be any size and shape and can hold anything in the world. Their job is to show everyone what their box looks like and what’s inside. This is a silent activity. First you show the dimensions of the box and then you take out whatever is in the box and act out what it is (ex: the box may be a small, square box that holds earrings. You would show the size of the box and then take the earrings out, acting out putting them in your ears). The group will guess what was in the box. Once they’ve guessed, you put the item back in the box and pass it to the next person.


Ask: How does this activity relate to our visual theatre project?


Step 2: Beginning, Middle, End

Have the students get into their project groups and review the things they discovered in their where exercise. After they’ve reviewed, tell them that now they’re going to decide on and craft the beginning, middle and end of their story. As a group, they should discuss what the main events of the story are, they can write these things down on a sheet of paper or you can pass back their proposal sheets for them to keep notes on.


After a few minutes of discussion, encourage them to get up on their feet and begin to physicalize those events. Remind them of the requirements of the piece: a moment of complete stillness, a moment where everyone moves and a gesture that is repeated three times.


Step 3: Transitions

Have the groups pause for a moment. Ask: What is a transition in a story? The transition occurs between main events or even main movements in the story. The transition keeps the story flowing and making visual sense. What are some ways we can transition between main events in our visual theatre projects?


Tell the students to begin to put transitions between the main events in their visual piece.

Circulate the classroom, giving help where needed.


Step 4: Closure

Tell the students that they will have next class period to rehearse their whole visual theatre piece.