What you already know about theatre



Students will become familiar with drama/theatre and its purpose by participating in group “idea boards” and discussion following class activity.


Materials Needed:

Poster board for groups (6 groups of 5-6)


Anticipatory Set/Hook (15-20 min):

As this is intended to be at the beginning of the school year and you are getting to know your students: Play the stupid name game to make sure you are familiar with everyone’s name.


Activity 1 (10-15 min):

Divide the class into groups of 5-6. Every group will get a poster board and markers. Ask the question “what is theatre?” They will get a few min to write words, draw pictures, etc. of what they think drama/theatre is.
Have each group come to the front of the room and “present” what they wrote on their poster to describe what theatre is.


Activity 2 (10-15 min):

Based on their posters facilitate a discussion about the many different aspects and roles in theatre. Explain that acting or performing is only a portion of the types of jobs in the theatre field and that we will be exploring many of these throughout the course of the term. As they give responses, write them up on the board. Ask the students what the different roles in the theatre are.
– actor
– director
– playwright
– designer
– producer
– stage manager
– house manager
– publicist
– dramaturg


Activity 3 (10-15 min):

Have all the students stand up and get in a straight line facing towards the teacher. Then instruct them that without using noise, words, or mouthing anything, they must re-arrange themselves in order based on their birth month. They must use their hands or bodies to communicate and get in line beginning with January babies all the way to those born in December. Show them where January should start and December should end. Instruct them that if there are multiple people born in one month, they need to get in order of the actual day. Tell them that they only have 2 minutes to do this.


When the time is up, have the students each say their birthday and check to see how accurate they were. Have them go back to their seats and ask the students what their experience was with this activity.
What was difficult?
How did you communicate?
Did you see something that someone else was doing that you thought was effective?
How could you improve your time if you were to do this again?
How does this activity relate to theatre or acting?
Talk about how communication is the most important thing with theatre. Without multiple people performing with one another or for one another theatre would not exist. Theatre is a different way of communicating with the world and becoming better people. It is for ourselves as well as for others.