Combining Viewpoints—Starting Final Scenes


  • TH:Cn10.1.I.a. Investigate how cultural perspectives, community ideas and personal beliefs impact a drama/theatre work.
  • 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.



Students will demonstrate their ability to use viewpoints in making performance choices by participating in guided activities in their final performance groups.



  • 40 index cards


HOOK: Have students stand up. Call out the different viewpoints one at a time, including sub-categories like behavioral gesture and solid mass (architecture). As each term is said, students will seek to individually create an image (either frozen or moving but generally staying in one place in the room) that best represents that viewpoint.


Step 1: After this warm-up, remind students that they have a vocabulary quiz next class period. In preparation, we will be doing some activities that will help us review the viewpoints and prepare for final group performances. Let the class know that the purpose of these activities is also to guide them through creating their final performances. The things they come up with in their groups today can and should be used in their final performances.


Step 2: TOPOGRAPHY, ARCHITECTURE – Have students get with their groups for their final scenes. We will be doing class activities but they will participate within these groups.

Have them create two tableaux based on that theme. Instruct them to consider their placement in relation to the five facets of architecture. Once they have come up with their tableaux, ask them to start doing their tableaux one right after the other. Without discussion or pauses, imagine there is red paint on their feet again and practice going from tableau 1 to tableau 2, incorporating any movements that would be required to get from one image to the next. They might need to add certain movements or actions to make the tableaux connect to each other.

  • How was this tableau activity helpful in exploring theme?
  • Was it helpful to have two strong images and then work on ways to connect those images through movement? Why or why not?
  • How can these tableaux help us create a visually meaningful theatre performance?


Step 3: SHAPE, SPATIAL RELATIONSHIP – Have students go from tableau 1 to tableau 2 focusing on the Shape of their bodies and of the images of their placement in relation to each other. They might want to think about playing with levels. You may prompt them with ideas such as, make sharp, bold shapes this time. This time, make the transition a rounded, soft shape. Take 1 minute in your groups and talk about the transitions you have enjoyed the most so far.


Step 4: GESTURE – Now let’s add some character development. Why are your characters moving the way that they are? What are their relationships or emotions toward one another? What are some ways your character might move (their topography, their shape, their interaction with architecture, etc.) that other characters in your images/scenes so far might not? What are some gestures your character might make? Think of at least one behavioral and one expressive gesture to use apiece as we go from tableau 1 to tableau 2 again.


Step 5: Have them pull out worksheets and go over it with them briefly, explaining expectations for the final performance (going over rubric), and reviewing the 9 viewpoints.


Step 6: Song Selection – Give students 15 minutes to discuss and decide on which things they want to keep in their final performance and what things they might eliminate or alter. Make sure they are writing down their ideas, the sequence of things that are happening in their piece, and the character choices they each made. As they work, go around to each group and spend 3 minutes listening to enough of their song choices to get a feel for each one. Ask questions such as, “Which of these songs best represents the theme or mood of your piece? Will that song add or detract from the work we have just created together?” Approve a song for each group.


Step 7: Have students find their own space as groups—they may have to go out in the hall and different rehearsal spaces. Make sure a teacher remains in each general area to keep an eye on the groups at all times. Before they go to their group workspace, make sure that when students are in their groups, they are playing their song and going through their scenes up to this point considering how they might incorporate the viewpoints of DURATION, KINESTHETIC RESPONSE, TEMPO, AND REPETITION. Make sure groups write down their discoveries.


Step 8: How can what we learned in this exercise be helpful for our final performances? Will your group be using any of the images, tableaux or movements that you discovered? How did the songs help incorporate those four viewpoints into the pieces?


Step 9: Pass out index cards in the last five minutes of class and ask the students to write their name and their current understanding of combining the viewpoints to make performance choices.

  • Do you feel confident in combining viewpoints to create performance choices?
  • Which viewpoint is hardest for you to incorporate into your scene?

Have students turn in the index cards on their way out the door.



Students will receive 10 participation points if they are actively engaged during the guided activities, discussion, and also turn in an exit card. Proficiency will be 8/10 participation points for activities and discussion, and the exit card will be 5 points for completeness.


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.)