Color and Storytelling

Lesson 3: Color and Storytelling


Objective: Students will demonstrate their understanding of the relationship of color and telling the story of a play (both emotionally and physically) by creating and defending a basic color scheme for the play The Rainmaker.


Lesson Length: 60 minutes


Class: Intermediate Technical Theatre


Materials Needed/Room Set Up:

-Chalkboard or whiteboard

-Chalk/dry erase markers

-Powerpoint of changes or progressions on stage shown by color (Sandy,



The Plan:


Chalkboard Dash:

Draw line down center of chalkboard

Split class into two teams

Chalkboard relay: a member of each team will go up to the chalkboard and be given a question.

  • Winner of the round=person who writes answer and turns around first
  • Let the students know that the questions may be a bit subjective but based on the past few class periods they ought to be able to answer them.
  • Winner of the round gets to “injure” the losing team (He can take away her right eye or left index finger, etc.). The injuries will be cumulative, so it’s in you and your team’s best interest to be quick and correct.


Questions for the game (asked in any order):

-What are the primary colors?

-Purple, orange and green are examples of what kinds of colors?

-What are two things/emotions that the color red communicates on stage?

-What are two things/emotions that the color blue communicates on stage?

-What are two things/emotions that the color yellow communicates on stage?

-What are two things/emotions that the color orange communicates on stage?

-What color would you use to signify mourning on stage?

-What color would help to communicate royalty?


When the game is over (either when you run out of time: this shouldn’t last more than 10 minutes or questions or when one team has lost all capability to answer questions) declare a winner: a team of color experts.



The Rainmaker Review:

Ask the students to keep these things about color theory they’ve reviewed in mind.

Write the names of the characters from The Rainmaker on the board.

Get students into groups of 2 or 3. Each group should:

1.Review the basic plot of The Rainmaker (the play they analyzed not too long ago)

  1. Then go down the list of the characters on the board and discuss what change(s) those characters undergo through the course of the play.

**If there is no substantial change to say so and give a reason why.


Class Discussion of Group Findings:

After a few minutes, bring the whole class back together and ask for a scribe. Tell the scribe that as the class goes down the list of characters to write up the ideas of changes the characters go through on the board under the character’s name.

            How can we use color to communicate these changes to the audience?


The Rainmaker Color Talk with Partner

            Have students turn again to their partner and talk for a minute about possible color choices for characters that may help to communicate their changes.


Group Discussion:

How did you make your color choices? 

Was it difficult?

Why did you choose the colors you did?


Theme and Color

A way to help found your color choices in your play is to use the thematic statement and conceptual statement/viz to help you narrow your choices. Remind the students of the thematic statement and the conceptual viz/statement for The Rainmaker they had used when they analyzed the script.

How does this knowledge change your color choices?

Could you narrow down your choices to a certain palette?

Have students share ideas and ask them “why” when they give you a possible color choice



Color Scheme Pitch

Hand out the paper with the thematic and conceptual statements written on it to each student.

Students are part of The Rainmaker production team

They’ve been asked to come up with a basic color scheme to pitch to fellow designers and the director

Each person will need to create their own color scheme with at least 4 key colors and then write two or three sentences of why they chose each color.

**This can be based on the conversations we’ve had and keeping in mind the power of color to communicate emotion and change on stage.

Each student will pitch or sell their idea to the class by explaining their color choices (what they’ve written)



Remind of good audience etiquette

Each student shares their color scheme and turns in written work to you.