Begin class by having them join in and participate with the video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvu-XUu2ytY). USE IMAGINARY SWORDS!!!! Ask students their experience with it, how would it help them in a show that includes sword fighting.
“Today we are going to hit on one last aspect of dramaturgical work, that may be a little more up your alley if you have felt uncomfortable so far. We are going to talk about actor’s workshops. Based on the word alone, what do you actor’s workshops are and how are they helpful to a production?”
“An actor’s workshop is basically a planned activity that can be used to help the actors have a better understanding of a part of the play. This can relate to a specific moment, a theme, an activity, anything that is important to the director and would help the actors get a better understanding of the world of the play.”
“I have two examples for us to discuss today. The first one is for Little Shop of Horrors. For this production the dramaturg decided to have a workshop for the actors on how to build flower arrangements. How might this be helpful to the actors for the show? What kind of background knowledge does it build for the actors? What characterization can it build for the actors?”
“With Little Shop, the workshop was mostly used to build background information in a fun way for the characters. Now let’s look at an example for Wendy & Peter Pan.”
“In this show, having a child like nature and attitude was important to the director. She wanted her actors to have a child-like behavior throughout the show in order to make sure they are having fun and help add to the light hearted spirit of the show. Here I have a short video of what the dramaturgs decided to do for the workshop. As you watch keep in mind how this activity might help the production.”
“What did you see happening in the workshop? How might this have been helpful to the actors?”
“For the dramaturg, the best way to learn to be a child was by actually working with a child. The actors could see how the child held energy and how he just followed every impulse. There was no reason to be tired, he just had the time of his life. Children have no cares in the world and the actors got to watch this first hand.”
“As you finish off your work as a dramaturg, I would like you to plan and create an activity that you could do with your actors to help them have a better understanding of the world of the play. It could be something like the flower arrangements to help gather background knowledge or it can be like the Wendy & Peter Pan workshop to help with characterization. You are the dramaturg, what do you think your actors would most benefit from?”
“On a piece of paper write out an outline of your activity, or a description of what it would be. This activity needs to be at least 15 minutes long to ensure that your actors are having enough time to get the experience you are presenting to them. Also be sure to include why you think it would be useful to the actors. When you are done put it in your manilla folder and make you also have all your other work in there. We will be presenting our casebooks to one another next time.”
Give students the rest of the class period to write their actor’s workshops. Rove around the classroom to ensure students are working and to answer questions.