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Types of Theaters, Parts of the Stage, Theatre Jargon


Students will demonstrate their understanding of theatre jargon and elementary acting by completing a worksheet and presenting a group scene.

Materials Needed

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Lesson Directions

Anticipatory Set/Hook

Stage directions masking tape game – we will be doing this on the apron in the auditorium: Each student will be given a long piece of tape and be asked to use the tape to create one of the following letters on their front: U, U, U, C, C, C, C, C, D, D, D, R, R, R, L, L, L, H, A1, A2

The students will then go take their places on the stage, according to their letter and the diagram below. The teacher will help them get into the right order and explain how a stage is set up. She will have actors 1 and 2 move throughout the space, giving them directions on crossing, etc. (This can be repeated as necessary in other locations as time permits).

UR UC UL Actor 1, Actor 2


Instruction: The terms that we learned in the beginning activity will become very important as we move on and discuss other important parts of the theatre world. If I need you to cross downstage center, where would you go? How do you know that? Now we have finished with theatre history, we have the opportunity to move on and find out more about the modern art form in which we will be participating – acting. In order to do that, we need to learn some of the jargon that is associated with the theatre.

Modeling: You are now going to have the opportunity to try to figure some of these out. You will separate into groups and you will be given two envelopes with slips of paper. You need to match up the terms (also given on your worksheet handout) with the definitions on the slips of paper. You will then need to fill in the blanks and come up with a creative way to act these terms out and help the rest of the figure out what need to go in the blanks.

The teacher will begin with an example from the hook. For example: If I asked you what Upstage right was – what would you tell me? What if I asked you what the House is?

Students will then separate into 4 groups to fit the words and definitions together.

Checking for Understanding: Students will then return to their seats and using their worksheet, they will fill in the blanks as each group presents them and the teacher assists, correcting as necessary. They will have a quiz next week on these terms, so it is important to not only remember them, but to start using them as we discuss acting and work on our scenes and monologues.

Transition: Now you have already had experience moving and conveying a message with your body onstage through pantomime, we have acted some and especially done improvisations in our theatre history work. Now we are going to take this even farther by figuring out why and how we act on the stage.

Guided Practice: Think of an everyday activity that you see 3 or 4 people perform everyday. It could be something you see in the cafeteria or maybe at the grocery store or in your own home. Each student should write down a brief description of this activity and put them in the cup. Draw one from the cup. Several students (4-5) are chosen to come up to the front of the class and create a snapshot for us of what that activity look like. Then 4-5 more are chosen to come up and create a piece of “art” for the class of a representation of that activity.
While students are getting ready, the instructor can discuss how acting is considered an art form; it tells us the story and is meant to represent life.

Independent Practice: The students then get into 5 groups; a group leader is then chosen. They have several minutes to prepare to act out that everyday activity. The teacher will walk around and assist as necessary. Each group is to write out a storyline of the activity. Develop it from just a snapshot of what we do everyday to a full storyline. It needs to have a clear beginning, middle and an end. Each performance should be 2 to 3 minutes and should follow the Aristotelian plot structure. The students will need to rehearse so that they can perform for the rest of the class.


Closure and Assessment: Each group will be given the opportunity to perform and will be graded on participation and concentration. Each written story line with the participants’ names at the top will need to be turned in for points.

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