Physical Obstacle

Educational Objective:

Students will demonstrate the ability to incorporate physical obstacle into a scene by performing a task with a physical obstacle.

Enduring Understanding 1:

Actors must be willing to follow their impulses and instincts to create compelling theatre work.


Essential Question 1:

How do our desires and goals influence others?


Materials needed:

Index cards with task written on it



Greet students as the walk into the room and hand them a post-it with a task on it. Instruct them to find a space in the room and start doing this task in pantomime. Have them doing the task as the rest of the class files in. Once all of the students are filed in and doing the task they are handed, say “Freeze!”
Examples of tasks: washing dishes, vacuuming, putting stamps on envelopes, folding laundry, writing a letter, etc.
Variation: If you don’t have time to make index cards, just point at them as they walk in the door and say, “washing dishes!” Then explain that they should now find a space in the room and start doing the task that you say. (Maybe have a list in front of you, because it was less effective when I was blanking on random tasks and running out of them.)


Step 2-

Instruct the students to get into groups of 4 (may be one or 2 groups with 5) and to perform their task for each other. Side coach as they perform and help them give each other feedback on how they can make their task clear.
Teacher says “Performer 1: Go.” Puts timer on for a minute. “STOP.” when done.
Minute to talk: Go! Stop.
Performer 2: Go! Stop.
Minute to talk: Go! Stop.
Performer 3: Go! Stop.
Minute to talk: Go! Stop.
Performer 4: Go! Stop.
Minute to talk: Go! Stop.
Performer 5: Go! Stop. While last groups are finishing up, have the other groups talk about their
Minute to talk: Go! Stop. performances as a whole, and decide on one person from the group to perform their task for the class.


Step 3- Perform:

Bring the class together and have the nominated student from each group get up and perform their task.


Step 4 –Instruction:

After first student has gone, introduce physical obstacle. What is it? What could it be from what it sounds like? Give them hints and help them come to the conclusion. Instruct them that it’s an obstacle from within. But it’s physical, not mental/emotional. Something you see.
Have them give examples of what a good physical obstacle might be.
Assign the students performing a physical obstacle. You may ask the class for ideas. Coach each student while class watches you work to model how to be more consistent with the physical obstacle and incorporating it into the task.
Examples of physical obstacle: bloody nose, back pain, pregnant, sleepy, twitch in the eye, old, cold, stray hair, blind, deaf, drunk, recurring itch, earache, broken arm etc.


Step 5- Practice:

Assign next performance: Get with a partner and be prepared to perform on Tuesday: Setting, Relationship, Objective, 3 tactics, Task, Room Conflict, Physical Obstacle.


Step 6 –

Give 10 min to work.


Final Assessment for Lesson 5:

10 points -Participation/Effort in task activity



Practice for Performance