Students will demonstrate their understanding of spectacle by designing scenery for “Spectacular, Spectacular”.



Materials Needed

• Moulin Rouge DVD (“Spectacular, Spectacular” scene)
• ½ hour clip of spectacular show (ex. Vareka by Circus de Soleil.)
• Paper, markers, watercolors, etc.



Lesson Directions

Anticipatory Set/Hook
Play the “Spectacular, Spectacular” scene from Moulin Rouge.




STEP 1: Transition: Define and discuss spectacle from the observations of “Spectacular, Spectacular” and the “6 Elements Handout”. “The spectacle in the theatre can involve all of the aspects of scenery, costumes, and special effects in a production. The visual elements of the play created for theatrical event. The qualities determined by the playwright that create the world and atmosphere of the play for the audience’s eye.”


STEP 2: Activity: Watch extended clip of a highly spectacular film. A clip from Circus De Soleil would be especially effective because the performances have a loose plot structure, themes, and characters, but they are chiefly spectacle. After the clip, discuss the spectacular elements in the scenery, costumes, and special effects. Also, discuss the emerging plot structure and themes.


STEP 3: Assignment: The students are now set/costume designers for a new staging of “Spectacular, Spectacular.” Money, laws of physics, geography, etc. do not matter (if the student wants to put the Sphinx in the Grand Canyon and have their actors fly that’s just fine). The design needs a spectacular backdrop, two or three special effects, and at least one idea for a costume. The students will need to create a labeled, colored sketch of the scenery, and a short paragraph describing the different elements and when they’ll be used in the scene. The design will be due at the beginning of the next class.


STEP 4: Review: Review each of the 6 Elements. Answer any questions about the elements. Tell the students exactly what will be on the test. They will be required to watch a film, pick out the main plot points of the film, state a dominant theme in the film, and give specific examples of another element used. Any remaining time in class may be used to work on the design assignment.