Contemporary Performances and Reflection


An Introduction to Playwrights and Their Work



Grade Level:

10-12 grade, 77 minutes



National Standards:

Content Standard #2:

Acting by developing, communicating, and sustaining characters in improvisations and informal or formal productions


Content Standard #4:

Directing by interpreting dramatic texts and organizing and conducting rehearsals for informal or formal productions


Content Standard #7:

Analyzing, critiquing, and constructing meanings from informal and formal theatre, film, television, and electronic media productions


Content Standard #8:

Understanding context by analyzing the role of theatre, film, television, and electronic media in the past and the present



Materials Needed:

Performance rubrics  Lesson 11.Performance Requirements Rubric, reflection handout   Lesson 11.Playwrights and Contemporary Performance Unit Reflection Instructions, performance evaluation worksheet   Lesson 11.Contemporary Performance Evaluation, and any props/costumes the students plan to use.



Learning Objective:

Students will show their understanding of the importance/influence of both traditional and contemporary playwrights and playwriting by performing a piece they’ve created that applies contemporary performance practices to a work of the dramatic canon, critiquing themselves and the other groups, participating in a discussion, and by turning in a reflection.



Hook (3-5 minutes):

Hand out the reflection description and go over what’s expected of them for that assignment. It will be due the following class period. Also briefly review the rubric for their performances so they know what they should be thinking about in the short time they have to prepare.



Activity 1 (5-10 minutes):

Tell students they have about 5 minutes to get ready and prepare their scenes. Order of performance will be decided randomly and all groups should be ready to perform. This means all students should already have all their props ready and be in costume.



Activity 2 (45 minutes):

Tell groups to come back together and pass out the performance evaluation sheets. Students should be paying close attention to each other’s performances in order to fill out the worksheet. They should look for things the group did well, as well as things they could improve on. It’s important to think deeply about the work we see and create. Each group should also evaluate themselves.



Wrap-up (10 minutes):

Take the remainder of the class period to briefly discuss what each group did well, and what the students have learned from the unit. This will also help them think of ideas for what they should be writing for their reflections. What have you learned from this unit? How do you view theatre differently, or do you? How has your view of what a playwright is changed? What is the value of these original works from the dramatic canon versus contemporary productions of them?