Adapting and Performing in the Moment


Students will demonstrate an ability to adapt to new situations by participating in an improvised scene affected by changing circumstances.


Materials Needed

· Mini “Letters” (see Lesson 1)– Letters: 20 comedic 20 dramatic
· Match up sheet to lines
· Objectives


Related Documents



Lesson Directions


Anticipatory Set/Hook

Step 1: “Hook”- Engage students in the activity telephone mime. In this activity, divide the class in half and have them form two lines. The front member of each line will be told a word, or phrase, they will then try to act out that word or phrase to the next person down the line. As they go they need to do their best to convey their understanding of the action to the next person, sometimes needing to adapt the motion not merely replicate. At the end of the line ask the student to say what they believe was being conveyed.
o What was difficult or easy about this activity?
o What skills did it require?
o How do these skills tie to performance?



Step 2: Instruction/Discussion: Instruct students regarding the importance of flexibility and focus on stage so they can adapt, as a character as well as an actor
o How can we change in order to accomplish something? Objective, tactic,
As a character:
· Another character says something you don’t expect
· Something surprising happens in the script
As an Actor:
· Someone forgets a line on stage


Step 3: Exploration Activity- Students will be instructed to say the line, “Honey I love you but I just can’t smile” while simultaneously reading the “letters” used in the lesson on honesty vs. overacting and reacting to them. The purpose of this activity is to require students to remain in character while adapting to new information or outside influences.
· Subtext: 6-8 different notes, deliver line while reading the note (Dear ________, etc.)
· Adapt to situation while remaining the character


Step 4: Discussion- Engage students in a discussion about the previous activity.
o What did we learn about adapting?
o Was it easy? Hard? Was the style of adaptation influential on the difficulty?


Step 5: Guided Practice- Gibber Adaptations- “Affect the Player”—Have the players divide into pairs. Each player is directed to elicit a specific feeling or set of feelings from his or her partner, but neither player is aware of the objective of the other (e.g., Player A makes Partner B feel confused, Player B makes Partner A feel elated). Players may be directed to elicit two different emotions from their partner. This exercise is most often done without talking, although actions, sounds, or gibberish may be used. The players are instructed to strongly and actively pursue their objective, while allowing themselves to be affected by the actions of their partner. Have them do this then in character and then within a scene.


Step 6: Transition/Discussion- Discuss with students the difficulties of conveying meaning, of adapting to communicate with those not finely tuned to understand you. This is why it is important to be on the same page as fellow actors, to know how to adapt effectively to each other. Tell the students that the following activity is designed to provide opportunities to adapt and improvise solutions.



Step 7: Assessment- Have students divide into pairs. Within these pairs, the entire class is given a situation and stock characters with which to improvise a situation and create a working relationship. Give students 5 minutes to improvise the scene in different ways and become used to each other’s style. Once students are comfortable, have students return to their seats. Ask a pair of students to demonstrate their improvisation. Following their improvisation, ask a student from another group to introduce their third character into the scene that the original actors would need to adapt to. Continue this model with another pair or so. Following this group model, have students return to their pairs, join with another pair and in this fashion interrupt each other’s scenes forcing the actors to adapt.


Step 8: Closure- Ask students to reflect with their partners the difficulties their encountered in the final work activity. Ask them to consider difficulty, ways to prepare and its importance.