Login Now || Register for Free!
home> lessons> Stage Positions

Stage Positions


Objective

The students will demonstrate their ability to use staging, blocking, and focus by creating stage pictures, taking a quiz, utilizing different positions and levels in their duo scenes, and by defending their use of staging principles in their scene.

Materials Needed

 

            Copies of various “stage pictures”

            Stage Positions Quiz

            Stage Positions Transparency

Lesson Directions

Anticipatory Set/Hook

 

Divide the students into groups and give each group an example of various “stage pictures” as they enter the room.

Instruction

 

Instruction:

Step #1: Instruction. Have the students discuss in their groups what they notice about the pictures.

What stands out to them?
What do they feel is most important in the scene?
Where is the focus?
Why do they think their eyes are drawn to certain areas?

Step #2: Transition.  Ask half the groups to describe it to the other half.  Ask the students to describe what is happening in the picture. How do they know? What clues do the people or actions shown give?  Ask the students for their thoughts on the effect that staging can have on a scene.  Take turns letting the students present their “pictures” (tableaus) to the class.

 

Then, show the picture to the entire class. Ask the half who had the picture described in words first how the image was different than what they had imagined. Mention the phrase that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Ask the students why they think this statement is true?


Ask the students for their thoughts on the effect that staging can have on a scene.


Step #3: Instruction.  Explain that a character’s body position (level) and the area where they stand on the stage can convey meaning about that character.

Practice.   Ask for one group to come up in front of the room and create the “stage picture” they have been using.  Discuss who in the picture has the power/focus, etc. Then, have different students fill in the picture with all possible levels so students can visualize the different levels.  Try to get the students to determine if any other levels are possible.

 

Practice.   Using various situations and by only using spacing and levels:

Show that one person holds a higher office than the others
Show that one person has control over the others
Show that one person does not belong with the others or is of a lower class
Show respect for a certain individual

Show fear of a certain individual


Step #4: Instruction.  Ask for volunteers to demonstrate various stances and pictures to emphasize the following concepts:

Body Position: (It may be necessary to define these terms.)
            Strongest: full front, the actor faces directly front. This is used to deliver important lines

2nd strongest: full back, the actor turns his back to the audience. This is used only for special cases.

3rd strongest: one-quarter front, the body is a quarter turn from the audience. Most frequently used when two actor's "share" a scene.

4th strongest: 3-quarters back The actor turns away from the audience so all they see is one quarter of their face.

Weakest: profile

Stage Position

Strongest Area: Down Center
Weakest Area: Up Left

Focus

By stage area, central areas have most focus.
The tallest actor or the actor on the highest level will dominate a scene
The characters’ focus, the audience will look at the character, the other on stage characters are looking at
Focus will be on actor furthest down stage
Primary focus on character at apex of a triangle
Primary focus on actor that is apart from the group
By scenery, a character framed in a door way
By costumes, a character in a bright costume or a unique costume

By lights, a character isolated in a pool of light
By movement, A character moving across the stage

 

Step #5: Transition: Just as a photo helps us see things we cannot describe our movement on stage portrays ideas that we don’t say with dialogue. We also create images on stage which can send important messages to the audience.

Instruction: Review the principles of movement learned in the pantomime unit.

Movement should be precise.
It should have a purpose.
It should help tell the story.
If it confuses the audience we shouldn’t do it.

Rules of staging:

 
1. We should be open to the audience, meaning we face them so they can see our action.
2. We should never stand in a straight line unless told to do so by the director. Straight lines are boring and cause us to loose interest in the story.


3. We should always try and create both depth and height on stage. By creating levels we can draw the attention of the audience where we want it.

 

Guided Practice: Break the class into three groups. Explain that they will be given an event and asked to create a before, during and after photo which tells a story. They have 5 minutes to prepare, then they will perform for the class.  The class will guess what they event is and what happened in the story. (possible ideas: a surprise birthday party, decorating the Christmas tree, getting ready for school, telling Santa what you want for Christmas, etc.)

 

Critique each group -- ask the class what the group did well. What was clear about the image? How could we change it to make it even clearer or more interesting? As the changes are suggested have the students do them and discuss how the image is more precise etc.

 

Give students Body Position and Strength/Focus handouts, tell students a quiz will be given the next day.

Transition: Just as we created images to show an event we can create images on stage when we are talking and acting in a scene.

Give the students time to practice for their final performance. Have the students incorporate at least 3 staging techniques into their scene. As they practice, have the students write down which techniques they are using and why.

 

Assessment:

Through participation, group presentation, observation of the rehearsal process, and quiz.

Assessment

 

Assessment:

Give the students time to practice for their final performance. Have the students incorporate at least 3 staging techniques into their scene. As they practice, have the students write down which techniques they are using and why.

Through participation, group presentation, observation of the rehearsal process, and quiz.

 

User Comments

No User Comments

Any changes, additions, or links that don't work--please let the site administrator know.