Students will demonstrate understanding of the role and importance of a dramaturg to the production team by researching various topics for the play and creating a play bill for Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Computers for each student (arrange to use a computer lab for this lesson)
Copies of Dramaturg Worksheet
Research Topic Sign-Up Sheet
Sample Play Bill for Once Upon a Mattress
Other Play Bills for students perusal.
After taking roll, inform the students to gather their books, backpacks, etc. because class will not be held in the regular classroom. Have the students follow your to the computer but let them wonder where they are going and why.
Step 1— Directions: Upon arriving at the computer lab, select a specific area of computers to have students sit. Then, have them choose a computer so the students are not spread throughout the lab. (This will enable you to conduct discussions and interact with students easily.) Have students log on to the computer with their own school usernames and passwords.
Step 2—Transition: When every student is logged on, instruct the students to go to google.com. Then, tell them that they must take a spelling test. They will automatically know if they have spelled it correctly if google brings up any information. The word they must type into the search box is “dramaturg.”
Ask: How did you spell the word?
Did you spell it correctly?
NOTE: Dramaturg can be spelled d-r-a-m-a-t-u-r-g OR d-r-a-m-a-t-u-r-g-e (pronounced dramatrguh).
Ask: Why do you think there are two different spellings for this word? (dramaturge is the British spelling)
Why do you think that is important?
Explain: The British definitions and responsibilities differ from the American definitions and responsibilities.
Step 3—Distribute the dramaturg handouts. Inform the students that they must research at least three (3) sites and notate what they learn about American dramaturgs on their worksheet. Have them answer the first question only:
What is a dramaturg?
Give them approximately five (5) minutes to complete this exercise.
Step 4—Discussion: Have the students each share at least one (1) thing they learned about dramaturgs. Then, Ask: Is there anything else that you discovered about dramaturgs (responsibilities/traits, abilities)? (let students share whatever they learned)
Where did you go to find the information?
Step 5—Repeat steps 3 and 4 (research, notate, and discuss) for the other two questions on the worksheet:
What are a dramaturg's responsibilities?
What traits, talents, and/or skills does a dramaturg need?
Have them answer one question at a time, then discuss as a class before going on to the next question.
Step 6—Explain to the students that they must research at least two (2) different topics that relate to Midsummer Night’s Dream and their director’s concept. For instance: Architectural Styles of the mid-1500’s to the mid-1600’s if a student has chosen to set his scene during the Elizabethan Era and/or he is focusing on the set design.
Ask: What are some topics you might be interested in researching?
Write all topics suggested on the chalkboard. Make certain the topics are valid. (Refer to the list below for some ideas.)
Biography of William Shakespeare
History of the play: Midsummer Night's Dream
Fashion Styles of the mid-1500’s to the mid-1600’s
Architectural Styles of the mid-1500’s to the mid-1600’s
Furniture Styles of the mid-1500’s to the mid-1600’s
English History during Shakespeare’s Lifetime
The history of theatre during the Elizabethan Era
European History during this time
Step 7—Have students sign up for specific research topics that relate to Midsummer Night’s Dream and their director’s concept by using enclosed form.
Step 8—Explain what is required for the Dramaturg section of the Production Book Portfolio.
Correlating Handouts/Research 5pts
Notes 5 pts
(Title page with playwright/director/etc, cast list, two (2) different researched write-ups, pictures, bibliography)
Explanation of choices 5pts
Grading Criteria: Neatness; Creativity; Organization; Completeness; Effort.
Step 9—Discuss formatting the play bill. Show the sample play bill for Once Upon a Mattress. Also show a variety of other play bills for students’ perusal. This will help them understand how to create a program and what it entails.
Have students jot down ideas they get from the samples.
Checking for Understanding: Answer any and all of the students’ questions.
Step 10—Let the students use the remainder of time to start their research and notate information.
CLOSURE: Remind them that they need to put copies of all research in their portfolios. They will need to work on the play bill outside of class. Don’t forget to write in your Learning Log.
Research and Playbill