Given Circumstances in Action

Lesson 4: Given Circumstances In Action

Length: 75 min.

Objective:Students will demonstrate an understanding of the importance of given circumstances in a creating a character through rehearsal and modeling exercises.

Levels of Understanding:

apply, interpret, empathize

National Standards:

TH:Cr1.1.I.c. Use script analysis to generate ideas about a character that is believable and authentic in a drama/theatre work.

TH:Cn11.1.I. a. Explore how cultural, global, and historic belief systems affect creative choices in a drama/theatre work.

TH:Cr3.1.I.b. Explore physical, vocal and physiological choices to develop a performance that is believable, authentic, and relevant to a drama/theatre work.

TH:Pr4.1.I.b. Shape character choices using given circumstances in a drama/theatre work.

Materials Needed:

Photocopies of selected scenes

Given Circumstance worksheet

Complete scripts of scenes being worked with

UHSAAContemporary Scene Rubrics

Hook (5 min):

Have students get with a partner from a different group, one who is not doing their play. Each partner will tell the other all they know about their character in 30 sec or less. The listening partner will then try to take on the physical and vocal traits of that character.

The informing partner will then correct their choices, but only by giving 30 more seconds of information.

After, the informing partner will be allowed to model corrections and physically manipulate their partner, in an attempt to help them “get it right.”

Step One: (5 min) Ask the class about their challenges completing the activity. Was it more helpful to tell or to show? Did they feel they needed more information? Today, they will find more information by reading the rest of their scripts, but they will also work on showing what they know about their roles through rehearsing in character.

Step Two: (30 min) Allow the students to finish reading their scripts. By the time they finish, their Given Circumstance worksheets should be complete. They will keep these worksheets until the end of the unit, when they will be turned in. However, the worksheets will be checked at the end of the class for completion.

Step Three: After reading, ask the students if they would make any changes to how they had their partner behave. What new information did they find?

Step Three: (25 min) Now give out the photocopied scenes. allow the students time to rehearse their scene. As they rehearse they should focus on their physicality and voice. Can they do what they hoped to get their partner to do?

Step Four (5 min): At the end of class, have the students get back with their partners, and try through modeling to have their partners get it right one more time. What did they learn from rehearsal they couldn’t learn from tablework?

Give students the UHSAA Contemporary Scenes Rubric. Explain that the scenes they are preparing can be used when they get to high school next year for state competition—they are doing prep work for their future practice. The students will demonstrate their understanding of given circumstance through the worksheet, and their final performance will be graded on the rubric.