Character Backstory

Educational Objective:

Students will be able to create a character analysis which includes backstory and character motivations by performing character interviews and by participating in a graffiti wall.


Facet of Understanding

#1 – Explanation, # 2 -Interpretation, # 3 Application, #4 Empathy


Enduring Understanding 1:

Theatre reflects real life stories and experiences


Enduring Understanding 2:

Characters must be motivated from external and internal sources in order to be true and believable.


Essential Question 1:

Why do we need to consider the character’s life and personality in creating them onstage?


Essential Question 2:

How can we use our own experiences and what we already know about life to create the character?

Materials Needed: Large Paper for Graffiti Wall, Markers
Hook: Where Space as Character: Start with one person who chooses a space with their character. Each student joins first student as they figure out where the person is.
Step 1 – Practice: Runway Walks as character. Line students up 5 at a time. Individually, as their character they take their turn doing a “Runway Walk” as their character. Encourage them to make specific choices as they: Walk, Pose, walk off.
Step 2 – Practice: Question Scene: As characters, two students improvise a scene where the all lines must be questions. If someone hesitates or fails to ask a question, another student takes their place. The scene continues as is, or can start over from the same position the last pair ended in. Be consistent.
Step 3- Discussion: Why would questions help develop character? Lead to what are essential characteristics of characters that an actor needs to be able to play?
Step 4- Practice: Students will do a graffiti wall in groups where they determine what are essential parts of a good character analysis
Step 5- Discussion/Instruction: Go over graffiti walls.
Step 6 – Practice: Begin to write character analysis



Final Assessment for Lesson 3:

Participation – 5 points for good attitude and effort.




Finish Character Analysis. Rubric: See attached at end.  Character Analysis Assessment Rubric