Partner Scene Work

by Megan Michaels

Partner Scene Work Unit

Created by: Megan Michaels


Learning Level:

First and second year theatre students


Prior Experience:

Includes pantomime, improve, content-less scenes, elements of voice and diction, stage areas and directions, stage pictures.


Unit Educational Objective:

Students will be able to perform a rehearsed scene with a partner while demonstrating their understanding of stage rules and creating believable characters with objectives and tactics.


National Core Arts Theatre Standards:


  1. Apply basic research to construct ideas about the visual composition of a drama/theatre work.


  1. Practice and revise a devised or scripted drama/theatre work using theatrical staging conventions.
    b. Explore physical, vocal and physiological choices to develop a performance that is believable, authentic, and relevant to a drama/theatre work.


  1. Practice various acting techniques to expand skills in a rehearsal or drama/theatre performance. 


  1. Consider the aesthetics of the production elements in a drama/theatre work.
    c. Formulate a deeper understanding and appreciation of a drama/ theatre work by considering its specific purpose or intended audience.


Unit Big Ideas:

  • Stage Directions
  • Basic Script Analysis
  • Creating Character Backgrounds
  • Physicality
  • Objectives and Tactics
  • Stage Pictures
  • Rehearsal Focus-Group Collaboration, Preparation, Listening
  • Memorization Techniques


Essential Questions:

  • What makes a character believable?
  • How do the past experiences of a person affect their actions or attitudes?
  • How do pictures around us tell a story?
  • What objectives and tactics do I see around me every day?
  • How can I apply my experience with objectives and tactics to tell a believable story?


Key Knowledge and Skills (activities):

  • Graffiti Wall
  • Stage Directions Map
  • Follow Stage Directions With a Partner
  • Facebook Character Profile
  • Basic Script Analysis
  • Candy Objectives/Tactics Game
  • Worksheet for Character Objectives and Tactics
  • Creating Stage Pictures for Fairy Tales
  • Creating Stage Pictures for Assigned Scenes


Authentic Performance Tasks:

Perform a scene with partner(s)


LESSON 1: Staging Rules and positions

Educational Objective: Students will show their understanding of stage areas, directions, and notations by labeling a stage map and developing a basic script notation.


LESSON 2-Background work

Educational Objective: Students will create character backgrounds and relationships with scene partners by analyzing clues from the script and creating a Facebook profile for their characters based on their analysis. 


LESSON 3-Body and Voice

Educational Objective: Students will create a believable character in body and voice by developing and practicing a physical trait and vocal pattern for their characters.


LESSON 4-Tactics and Objectives

Educational Objective: Students will demonstrate their understanding of objectives and tactics by identifying an objective (I want [person] to [action]) and choosing 3 tactics they will use for their

character in their assigned scenes.


LESSON 5: Stage Pictures

Educational Objective: Students will demonstrate a working knowledge of how to create effective stage pictures, by developing a distinct picture for the beginning, middle, and end of their scenes.


LESSON 6-Rehearsal

Educational Objective: Students will rehearse scenes while focusing on their stage pictures, vocal and physical traits, and spending time on memorization.


LESSON 7-Preview

Educational Objective: Students will demonstrate their ability to receive and give helpful feedback to other scene partnerships by previewing their scenes for peers.


LESSON 8-Performance day

Educational Objective: Students will demonstrate their ability to apply stage directions, body positions, tactics and objectives by performing a short scene.


Partner Scene Work Unit of Lessons.Megan Michaels