Theatre Written with Social Agenda


Students will demonstrate an understanding of performing plays with a social agenda by participating in a stage reading and a discussion of the effectiveness of such works.



Materials Needed

A classroom set of a one-act play that deals with social issues for example Los Vendidos by Luis Valdez



Lesson Directions

Anticipatory Set/Hook
Immediately hand out the scripts. As a class read any “about the author” or “introduction.” Then select individuals to read the parts, and begin the staged reading.
The students who are reading may sit when they are not on-stage, but they should stand when delivering lines. The acting, pronunciation, etc. does not need to be perfect, but they should try to grasp a sense of the meaning of the script. If they can, they should be encouraged to read ahead to get a sense of the structure of the play so they can read it well. The individuals not selected to read should follow along with their scripts. Los Vendidos is a particularly good script for this activity because it is short, humorous, and gives important insights to issues of race.




Step 1: Discussion: After the staged reading, invite the class to engage in a conversation about the piece. Proper participation includes willingly taking a role in the staged reading, and commenting at least twice during the discussion. Begin the discussion with general responses: what did you think of this script? How did it feel to play a particular part? What are the major issues discussed in this play? How do they discuss them? Do you think this piece would be effective? How does this apply to your project? How can we write children’s theatre that is engaging but also touches on important issues?


Step 2: Group activity: Students will also be given the remainder of time to work on their final projects. The students need to select a story from their brainstorming lists to adapt, and to select an issue from their brainstorming list that the story will address.




Author’s Notes

Students need to write down that information on a sheet of paper that will be turned in for 10 points. If students complete this, they should begin drafting their script.