Objective: Students will be able to use the stage effectively by blocking out their scenes.
Preparation: None. (Script Analysis Due)
Starter: Write on the board, “What is unique about the setting of your scene?”
Allow students to answer. Ask, “How do you think that setting will effect movement in the scene?”
Today we are going to discuss how to block a scene. Does anyone know what blocking means?
When blocking, we need to be aware of:
Stage Pictures (We don’t want linear movements only)
Let’s hop on the stage and practice!
Activity 1: Using the Whole Space!
Step 1: Have the students get into partners. Explain that they are going to be given an objective, and they must improv with their partner until one of them achieves their objective. They need to keep in mind how they can use more than just linear movements to do this.
Partner A: To get partner B to go out the backdoor with them.
Partner B: To get partner A to go out the frontdoor with them.
Oh! And the first time we try this, you cannot use words. (Remember safety… don’t do anything that would make your partner feel uncomfortable or would harm them physically.)
What things did you try to get your partner to go with you?
Did you use a lot of the space? Why or why not? (Was your movement linear?)
Step 2: Let’s try it again, but this time you can use words! Ready, go!
How was this different? Was it easier?
Did you use a lot of space? Why or why not?
How do you think your blocking would be different if there were furniture or other obstacles in your way?
Play around with how you can use the space in creative ways to achieve your objectives. Sometimes blocking works best by just improv-ing the movement in the whole scene then writing down the things you and your partner like best. Which brings me to the next thing we are going to focus on today. Writing blocking.
Instruction 1: Writing Blocking
We’ve learned a lot about the stage, so this should come easy to you. (Remember, this is part of the things that you need to have on your script that you turn in at the end of this unit.)
Step 1: Draw a stage diagram on the board. Have a student label each of the areas on the stage. Ask:
Where should most of the action be taking place on the stage, and why? (Try to push scene towards audience, or downstage.)
When I write down my blocking, I make my playing space smaller than the whole stage.
Step 2: Draw a living room into the space, starting with center stage. Erase the upstage, and re-write the stage directions in the shortened space.
Step 3: Now that I’ve mapped out my location and “set design” I can write out my blocking. There is no set way to do this. Share ways to do this.
Activity 2: Block your scenes!
Give the students the rest of the class period to block their scenes.