Intro to Collaborative Project

Intro to Collaborative Project

By Katelyn Tullis



Students will demonstrate their understanding of the collaborative nature of the actor, director, and designers and their interdependent roles in a drama/theatre work by fulfilling one of these roles in a small performance piece.


Prior Experience:

Students will draw upon all lessons in this unit as they practice the following skills: collaboration, acting, designing, script analysis, and “yes, and.”


Class Style:

*Short Class Zoom Call. Transition to group work on smaller Zoom calls.*


National Standards:

TH:Cr2-I.b. Investigate the collaborative nature of the actor, director, playwright, and designers and explore their interdependent roles in a drama/theatre work. 

TH:Re9.1.I.c. Formulate a deeper understanding and appreciation of a drama/ theatre work by considering its specific purpose or intended audience.

TH:Cr3.1.Ia. Practice and revise a devised or scripted drama/theatre work using theatrical staging conventions


Big Ideas:

  • Theatre makers must collaborate.
  • Rehearsal is a collaborative time period.


Enduring Understandings:

  • Students will practice listening to each other.
  • Students will practice making the script their source of storytelling ideas.


Essential Questions:

  • What does collaboration look like?
  • What is my interdependent role as a(n)  _____ (actor, director, playwright, and/or designer) look like?



  1. Zoom
  2. Rubric
  3. Script Analysis Template
  4. The Odd Couple Scene
  5. Zoom groups for each of the individual classes
    1. You will need to make these ahead of time. 
    2. Link regarding making the small Zoom meetings. A recurring meeting means that the same link can be used multiple times. It can be opened any day, at any time.
    3. Link regarding making the students hosts within those meetings so that they can have full access to the Zoom controls. The first link shows a comparison of host and co-host abilities. The second link shows how to make someone a co-host.



  1. Create small groups of 5 students. Two students to be actors and three students to be designers. If needed, there can be a group or two of 4 or 6 students. In these groups, there can be one more or one less designer in that group. Decide which two students will be acting (the scene is written for two men, but can be easily changed to two women) and which students will be the designers. From there, the students can decide which character they would like to be and which area they would like to design for.
  2. You will need to create small Zoom meetings that will be sent to the students in those groups. You will want to make sure that these zoom meetings are links that are reusable so that the students can join the same link multiple times. The students will be working during the end of class today as well as during the next lesson. Be sure to inform students that you will be moving in and out of the various zoom meetings to check in and answer questions, etc. 


HOOK (10 minutes)

  1. We are going to watch a video and I want each of you to think about what things they do as a group of people working together to be able to work effectively and collaboratively?
  2. You, as the teacher, can choose to screencast the video so that everyone can watch it at the same time. It might be a little bit jumpy, but everyone should get the general idea.
  3. Video Link:
  4. Discussion
    1. How well did the people collaborate? 
    2. What specific things did someone in the video do to work effectively with the rest of the people working on the production?


INSTRUCTION (20 minutes)

  1. “Today will be the start of your project for the end of this unit. Throughout this unit, we have learned about script analysis and how we can tell stories with both our bodies and our voices. We learned about objectives and tactics, the design process, and tableaus. We have also practiced working in groups. This project will be a culmination of all those things! I will be giving you a short scene. You will be thinking about how you can tell the story with the director’s concept that I give to you.”
  2. “There are 5 people in each group. Two of you will be actors and three of you will be designers. It is each of your responsibility to analyze your script.” (One may consider having smaller groups where students are both the actor and designer to experience both roles and to reduce stress of delegating roles that are unwanted.)
    1. Actors role: Read through your script individually and with your acting partner. Figure out more about your character by analyzing your script. Work together to find ways to tell your story not only with your voices but with your body. Practice working through your objectives and tactics.
    2. Designers role: think about what we learned about research and script analysis. Analyze the script and decide what the needs are. Research anything that you might need more information on to make more informed design choices (for lights, costumes, or set.) Then work to come up with a sketch for us of what you think the designs could be if you were to perform this scene. I do not expect these sketches to be perfect, but I would like you to put in your best work. Use a ruler for straight lines, label items that might be small, etc.
      1. You could also use images to supplement your sketch if necessary. 
      2. For example, if you choose to design the lights, it might be easier for you to choose pictures that show the kind of lighting you are imagining, but you should still turn in a sketch of where your lights might be placed on the stage. Make sure to collaborate with whoever might choose to design the set in your group so that you know what the set could look like.
      3. You can design lights, costumes, or the set.
  3. Rubric
    1. Script Analysis: At the end of the project each of you will need to either take pictures of your script with your notes in it and upload it to the class website or email it to me. Or you can take notes and tell me how those notes correspond to the text. For example, if you have a note about a specific line and you are typing up your notes, put the line from the script in “quotation” marks and then write your note next to it.  You can use the template that I have put on our class website.
    2. Acting: as stated on the rubric.
    3. Designers:  as stated on the rubric.
    4. Collaboration: The purpose of this unit and this project is to help you have fun, introduce you to some basics of theatre, but to also help you understand what it is like to work collaboratively as a group on a project. Part of your grade on this project will be how well you work together as a group. If you are contributing to your group, you will get a good grade for that section.
  4. Explain how their Zoom rooms will work. 
    1. There is a meeting set up for each of you where you will practice as a group. The actors can practice working on their scene and the designers will be working on their design. 
  5. Allow for questions as they come up so that students feel confident moving into their projects.
  6. Inform students of their groups and which students will be actors and which will be designers. Students can choose which character they would like to be or which area they would like to design for: lights, set, or costumes.



  1. Send students to their small Zoom rooms.
  2. Make sure to visit each room so that they can ask you questions. You can observe their work and help side-coach them in their work.  Examples of sample questions to ask:
    1. What design choices have you made?  Why?
    2. Name the active tactics the actors are making, why you chose them and where they correlate in the script?