Preparing to go Onstage


Students will demonstrate an understanding of actor preparation towards performance by participating in a series of short activities culminating in entering the stage.


Materials Needed

· Work Day Participation Rubric
· Large work space, stage lighting capabilities
· Kiss me Kate- “Another opening, another show”


Lesson Directions


Anticipatory Set/Hook

Step 1: “Hook”- In the Spotlight- House lights out, lights onstage.
Next week, you will go onstage. You will perform for family, friends, and strangers. Not for me, but for a full-blown audience here to see you perform.
· How do you feel about that?
· What needs to be done to prepare? Technically? Individually?
Be familiar with all props, costumes, quick changes, lighting and sound effects. But…
· What needs to be done to prepare? As a cast? Individually?



Step 2: Discussion- Focus on the task at hand
Inform students that; today I will lead you through a series of activities that are intended to prepare you to go onstage. These activities will be like a condensed version of the preparation you should do. Acting requires preparation, focus and commitment to the story, the cast and to the character you portray. Over the past few units, we’ve talked about:
· Trust
· Focus & Concentration
· Commitment
· Character


Step 3: Build Energy- Prepare your body to Act & React
· Engage students in stretching, high to the ceiling, low to their toes, wiggling their fingers wiggling their body. Do this all in one large group.
· Once students are stretched, have them divide into two groups. These two groups are your “Casts” and we are going to prepare to go onstage. Explain that we will do a chant, this chant is the. “Ooo I feel so good, Liiiiiike I knew I would” Oo I Feel Sooooo Good!” Instruct student to begin by bouncing together to a beat, then have them say the chant as soft as they can, then medium, then loud and then even louder with each increase of volume growing more exaggerated in their bouncing.


Step 4: Focus Energy- Have students form into two or more groups. Have the students close their eyes and breath in and out. Have one student choose to have the energy of the group. This person, when the group opens their eyes, will pass their energy to a specific member within the group. Once that member of the group has received it, they will pass it on to another member of the group- with no speaking. After a specified period of time, call the activity to a halt and ask:
· Who has the energy?


Step 5: Build Unity-Within these same groups, have students begin to mirror each other. Copying each other’s every move, have students try not to let any one person lead but to watch each other so closely so to be able to move together. Thus mirroring as an entire cast. Next ask students to pair themselves with another classmate. Have these students begin mirroring each other, focus on moving together. Once they are in sync, have students turn their backs to each other, not touching and try to breathe in unison with their partner, and move their arms as they feel necessary. Do not try to predict your partner but to be aware of the energy around you and move accordingly.


Step 6: Build Character-Focus student energy and prepare to use it on stage by asking students to find their own space in the room. Ask them to begin with their eyes closed.
· Individual focus time: Face a wall/close eyes, Breathe in, Breathe out,
· How do you feel today?
· How does your character feel?
· What is your character thinking about? What is important just prior to entering that stage?
· Where will your character be going? What does your character think will happen today?
· Have students open their eyes, focus on something around you (your finger, an item etc.)
· What does your character want to do? Do it.
· What does your character want to say? Say it.
· Feel your character spread from your core, to your toes, your fingers, your body and face. Take a walk as your character.
Go back stage and enter as your character. (Lower lights in house and lighten on stage)


Step 7: Practical Application- Pass out rubrics for their Work Day individual time. Explain that their work will be checked on every 10-20 min. They may work on:
· Memorization (Make it natural)
· Voice: Projection, Diction
· Characterization (Walk, Talk and Thoughts)
· Impulse and Variety
Inform students that everyone will be spot checked on memorization before the end of the class period. Rubrics must be turned in by the end of the class period with a signature for each time segment, and a check mark for memorization.



Step 8: Closure- Assure students of their work in class and at rehearsal. Encourage students to work to develop their characters towards that next level of performance.