OBJECTIVE: Students will demonstrate their ability to create a character by presenting a character collage while acting the part of their character.
MATERIALS NEEDED: Scripts for each character in each scene (I labeled them with their character and the student name in the case someone leaves theirs in the classroom). For optional scenes from The Curious Savage, see attachment.
HOOK: Write on the board the words “Movement” and “Voice” Discuss with the students the importance of these elements in creating a character. Use examples: How would Santa Claus’ voice be? How would he move (including his posture, step, or even the was he sits)? What about the Tooth Fairy? How would they speak? Move? How does that differ from Santa Claus? You may choose to demonstrate these characters, or have a student volunteer do it. What if someone were to act the part of Santa Clause using the same voice we created for the Tooth Fairy?
Explain that with every character, the actor makes a choice in a voice and movement for their particular character. These choices, however, must be backed up by their nature and especially by the script.
STEP 1: Transition – Now that we have studied the script to learn about our characters, it is time to create a voice and physicality for our characters. Have the students think of their characters. How would they speak? How would they sit? How would they move?
STEP 2: Practice – Explain to the class that when we begin our next activity they will become their character. When you say “Begin” every student should sit like their character would sit, respond as their character would respond etc. They will be introducing themselves to the other guests of the Cloisters Sanitarium during one of their meetings. To do so, they will come to the front of the group (walking as their character would walk), introduce themselves and say at least three things about themselves (all as their character). They should include their collages as a visual. In addition to this, those listening can respond (respectfully) as their character would. For example, if Fairy is introducing herself, the Savages might be rolling their eyes or impatient. If Titus is presenting, the guests from the Cloisters might be defensive etc. During this entire presentation, students are to remain in character the entire time.
STEP 3: Group Practice – Assign each character their specific scene. Have the students get into their scene groups and assign the following tasks during their rehearsal time:
1) Read through the script at least twice marking their part.
2) Create a set for their scene (decide how many chairs and where, decide where the entrances are etc.
3) With any time remaining they should begin rehearsing.
CLOSURE: Bring the students together. Remind them to bring their script to the next class. You may choose to warm them of the memorization deadline now so that they can begin memorizing.
ASSESSMENT: Students can be assessed by their character collage, their introductions, and/or their participation.