Viewpoints of Space—Shape


Students will be able to demonstrate their understanding of shape and how to create physical shapes by presenting group tableau scenes to the class based on a text.



  • TH:Re8.1.I.c. Justify personal aesthetics, preferences, and beliefs through participation in and observation of a drama/theatre work.
  • TH:Pr5.1.I.a. Practice various acting techniques to expand skills in a rehearsal or drama/theatre performance.
  • TH:Cr3.1.I.a. Practice and revise a devised or scripted drama/theatre work using theatrical staging conventions.


  • Copies of graphic organizer of the viewpoint of shape
  • Student name tags
  • Whiteboard and markers
  • YouTube video clips


Preparation: Write the following quote from Waiting for Godot on the board, get YouTube videos ready to show.


Quick Review: Quick discussion and review about what was said on the exit cards.


Welcome class! Thank you for your fantastic work last time. We saw a lot of extremely creative choices being made. It is really fun for us to see how you all work as theatre artists. There were a few reoccurring questions on the exit cards that you wrote at the end of class, so we wanted to just clear up things have a quick review of what we learned last time.


  1. What is the difference between tempo and duration?
    1. Think of a song. How is the tempo in a song different from the duration of a song? Now how can we translate that to movement?
  2. What is the difference between tempo and repetition?
  3. What is kinesthetic Response? What does it have to do with time?


A few of you asked to see a demonstration of the viewpoints of time by us, so we are going to quickly demonstrate them.


(This was written in direct reaction to the exit cards from our practicum. Change questions if needed.)


Hook:  Preparation for Final Assessment


On the board there is a written, “There’s man all over for you, blaming on his boots the faults of his feet.” ― Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot.


Graffiti board: Ask the students the following question, but tell them to come to the front and write on the board when they think of an answer.

  1. What themes, concepts, or ideas does this quote say to you?

Tell them we’ll use this for a later activity.


Step 1: Break down of Shapes (10 minutes)


At this point, handout a graphic organizer that breaks down the Viewpoint of Shape. Explain that there is room to take notes if they want to. This graphic organizer will greatly help them to prepare for the written test towards the end of the unit.


Shape has many components. First there are lines, curves, and the combination of lines and curves.

  • How do we see lines, curves, and the combination of them? What effect does that have on the performance? What messages does it send to the audience?

Secondly, there are shapes that are round, angular, and a mixture between the two. Thirdly, shape can be stationary or moving through space.

  • How do we see round, angular and the mixture between the two here?
  • How do we see shapes being stationary or moving through space?
  • What effect does that have on the performance? What messages does it send to the audience?

Step 2: Break down of the forms that shape can have.


To explain the last and most important part of shape, I need a volunteer.


So, shape can be made in one of three forms.

  1. The body in space. Have one of the volunteers make a shape in the space.
  2. The body in relationship to the architecture.
  1. This one is trickier. Ask the volunteer if they can place themselves in such a way that they will make a shape with the architecture of the room. If the volunteer is unable to, ask the class if they can think of a way to do this. If no one really responds, have the volunteer lie on the ground, parallel to the ceiling. What effect does this have?
  1. The body in relation to other bodies making a shape. Ask for another volunteer. Have the two volunteers stand close to each other.
    1. What effect does this shape have? What does it say to you?
  2. Have the two volunteers face each other.
    1. How does this change the message/emotion? Or does it?
  3. Have one volunteer stand upstage, another down stage. Now let’s compare this shape to the next. Have the down stage volunteer turn their back to the audience and do cat stretch (kneel down, bend body forward in relaxed position with arms and hands stretched out on the ground in front) in the direction of the upstage volunteer.
    1. Between to two shapes, which shape is more powerful or more meaningful to you? Why?
  4. Ask for one more volunteer. Ask that volunteer to stand stage right, facing audience, looking at upstage volunteer.
    1. How does this change the shape or image?


Transition discussion:

  1. What shapes were most meaningful to you? Why?
  2. What are some potential ways that breaking down physical shapes like this can help us as actors?

Now that we have learned what different shapes look like, let’s try doing them ourselves.

Step 3: Quantum World (Shape form practice)


(Goal of activity: to warm students up for final activity and to have them practice creating physical shapes.)


Explain to the students that we are going to do an activity called the “Quantum World.” I love this game because I am kind of a science nerd. We are going to become quantum object. Some may have learned about the quantum world and quantum objects in some of their science classes, others may not have. A brief explanation of quantum objects is, “Quantum objects can exist in multiple states and places at the same time.” Quantum objects can also pop in and out of our observed reality. You all are going to walk around, being duplicates of the same emotionless and meaningless quantum object until the teacher calls out, “reality”. At this point, you must form yourself slowly into a whatever shape the teacher has called out, and then freeze as that object. This is when they pop into our observed reality as an emotional and meaningful human. When the teacher yells out Quantum world, you become that emotionless and meaningless object that is wandering around with all the other emotionless and meaningless objects once again.


  1. Quantum World! Have students walk around the space. Explain that to the students as they are walking to begin thinking about a shape they could do with their body to show a line. Yell, “Reality!” Do this same activity for a few other shapes: curve, a combination of lines and curves, a round shape, an angular shape, and combination of round and angular. (You don’t need to do all of them)
    1. Explain that the shape they are making is the concept of a “shape in space.”
  • “Quantum World!” When the teacher calls out a name of a part of the architecture or the objects in the room, the students must find a way to use shape in relation to the architecture or the object.
  • “Quantum World!” Explain that this time, students must find a partner to create a shape with, but they don’t get to choose beforehand. They must make a shape with whomever they are around. Yell, “Reality!” While students are frozen, ask a partner or two to share what making a shape in relation to another person was like.


Transition Discussion:


(Goal: To guide students in deconstructing their physical experience making shapes.)


  1. So what shapes are the easiest to make? Which ones are the hardest? Why is that?
  2. How can our knowledge of physical shapes help us in rehearsals?
    1. Pictures are definitely something that the director is trying to create! Shapes make great emotional images.
    2. It can help us vary our movement during rehearsals, especially while blocking. So often actors are like magnets to furniture, or don’t know what to do and just stand there. This can help us to brainstorm different ways to move.
  3. In theatre we usually aren’t just creating pictures and making shapes. We are usually working from some kind of source, very often, that source is a text. So let’s practice using text to inspire our shapes that we make.

Step 4: Create Shapes based on a piece of text.  (25 minutes)


(Goal: To get the students to practice making shapes based on an interpretation of a text, to create a theatre piece collaboratively, and the practice performing)


Divide students into groups of 6 (There should be two groups that have 5). Ask the students to think of what time they woke up that morning. Who thinks they woke up the earliest? Start with that students’ hour. Progressively call out hour after hour, assigning students to work with partners based on waking up at a similar time. (This could really be anything, just an opportunity to get students working with new people). Groups 1 and 2 will be with one student teacher, 3 and 4 with another, and 5 and 6 with another. Have them get into their groups. Explain that for this final project they will need to:

  1. Decide on a theme for their project based on the themes that we wrote on the board at the beginning of class.
  2. Work within their larger groups (i.e. groups 1 and 2) to create a flipbook of shapes based on the theme that their smaller group. This flipbook needs to have five cohesive images that represent the theme you have chosen.
  3. Perform for one of the other groups.

Now divide into the larger groups!


Larger group Activity


(Goal of larger groups: to help the groups work quickly and efficiently with time to do the task)

            Step 1: Tell the students to think about their theme individually for a second. What does this make you think of?

            Step 2: Without discussion about each other’s thoughts, create a group image within your smaller groups. Remember this shape!

            Step 3: Repeat step 2 four more times. Go through all five images of the flipbook before going on to the next step.

            Step 4: Have the students return to their themes. How can they adjust their images to make a more cohesive flipbook? (Remind them the goal of the flipbook is to show the theme.)

            Step 5: If there is time encourage students to explore the transitions between images. Are they all smooth? Are they quick and rough?


Step 5: Perform Flipbook Scenes for another group (I.e. group 1 performs for group 2 and vice versa.) (10 minutes)



Each tableau scene will be given up to two points for a total of eight points. Students may earn an additional two participation points for being considerate and on task during the class discussion, presentations, and group work. Proficiency will be 8/10 participation points for the day.


Teacher Note: Make sure to write down any students that may need participation points dropped that day. (Playing on phone after they were asked not to, distracting others from working, etc.)