Students will be able demonstrate their understanding of the importance of the given circumstances by completing an character and scene analysis for their given Shakespeare scene.
NATIONAL CORE THEATRE STANDARDS
o Use script analysis to generate ideas about a character that is believable and authentic in a drama/theatre work.
• Character Analysis Worksheets - Character Analysis
• Given Circumstances in Setting Worksheet - Given Circumstances in Setting
• Romeo excerpt’s from Romeo and Juliet (copy for each group) - Romeo Cuttings
• White board
• Dry-Erase Markers
• Picture of a mountain side - Picture
• Ensure that an open space is ready and prepared for the activities.
Explain to the class that you need their help. There is a fugitive on the loose and you need their help finding him. You need them to help you profile this character for the authorities, so that we can apprehend him.
Group Practice Explain that last you heard, this fugitive (he is called Romeo) fled Verona on foot after killing a man, one Mr. Tybalt. (haha). Explain that we will work together to profile this character based on some transcribed conversations from and about this guy. Split the class into groups of 4 or 5 and give each group the #1 excerpt. Have the students read the excerpt and answer the questions at the top of the page in their group. After they have answered the questions, they should come write on the white board what they know.
Give students several minutes to complete your instructions. Then repeat with the #2 and #3 excerpts. At the conclusion of the activity, have the students look at the board. Ask them the following question:
• What do we know about this guy that we didn’t know before?
Thanks the students for their help and assure them that their work will help greatly with the investigation.
Instruction Start a short discussion about character analysis using the following questions:
• What does this have to do with our scenes?
• What is character analysis?
• Why is it important to know about our characters that we play?
• How much should we know about them?
Students should quickly begin to realize that we are talking about character analysis today. Guide them through it using those questions but make sure to explain that it’s important that as actor that we know as much about our characters as we can. We should scour the script, looking for hints and clues regarding our character, their traits, their likes, dislikes, thoughts, friends, etc. Hand out the Character Analysis worksheet, and explain that today, and for homework they should complete this profile for their own character. They should answer each question with at least 3 sentences. It should have detail. Refer to the whiteboard to remind them that there is plenty of information to be discovered in the script from the character.
Group Practice After assigning the character analysis, show the students the picture of the mountainside. Ask them the following questions:
• How would you describe this place?
• What does it feel like?
• What does it smell like?
• What do those leaves feel like?
• What can you see from there?
• What is the temperature like?
• How do you feel if you were in that space?
• What does the grass feel like?
Start the questioning broad, and then prod the students to get more and more specific. Try to get the students to continue adding detail, even after most of the easy details have been mentioned. Then ask the students what this has to do with our scenes? They should be able to guess fairly easily that this is about defining the setting. Explain that it is also very important that you are your scene partner are well aware of the space you are in. You can get as specific as we just did, in fact you should.
Ask the students to help you create a detailed setting for the Romeo and Juliet balcony scene. Verbally, have the student suggest their ideas to you. As with the picture, prod the students to get more detailed and more detailed until you have a vivid mental picture of the scene. Then ask the students the following questions:
• Now that we have this space, how does that affect Romeo?
• How does that affect Juliet?
• How might they feel about this space?
• What problems does this space pose for what they want?
• Are there people nearby? How will that affect their converstation?
Conduct the discussion and help the students understand that setting is almost another character in the scene. It can help inform what an actor does with a character. Hand out the Given Circumstances worksheet, and explain that the given circumstances are all the specifics about a location. With their scene partner, they should decide on their location and complete the worksheet regarding that location.
Work Time Explain that students now have time to meet with their scene partner(s) and swap contact information, read through their scenes, rehearse, or do whatever the need to get ahead on their scene work. This can be time to do their homework as well. Float around the room, in order to ensure that students are on task and that they continue to work.
The completion of the Character Analysis and Given Circumstances worksheets is the assessment for the day. It is worth 20 points total, 10 points for each worksheet.