Course: Introduction to Drama and Theatre

Unit: Basics of Theatre Production

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Unit: Basics of Theatre Production

Lesson: Introduction, Setting up your company.

Prior Knowledge: 8thgrade reading and writing level. History of theatre covered in last unit.

Standard Addressed:

CE 1.3.7 Participate collaboratively and productively in groups (e.g., response groups, work teams, discussion groups, and committees)—fulfilling roles and responsibilities, posing relevant questions, giving and following instructions, acknowledging and building on ideas and contributions of others to answer questions or to solve problems, and offering dissent courteously.


SWBATidentify different roles in groups and what their functions are.


Begin class by talking about the new project. Each group will be composed of 3-4 people. Each group will need a recorder, a speaker, an organizer, and an artist. If there are three people in the group the roles will overlap. Students who are one of these roles do not only have to stick to that role. They are in place to help give direction and make sure that everyone is putting in their part to this project.

Students will be designing their own theatre companies and setting up the first performance. There are many parts to this project. There will be advertisements, schedules, reading of plays to decide what one to put on, scouting for locations for the theater, and much more.

But today we are working on the basics. First thing on the agenda is getting into your groups. Once you are in your groups, you will decide who will take on what role. Make sure that everyone is happy with the group and the role they are doing, because they will be filling that role for the entire project. For instance, do not have someone who has a hard time staying organized be the organizer and clarify-er for the group, or someone with terrible handwriting be the recorder for the group. Once everyone is all set with their groups and roles we can get into today's actual assignment.

You will be starting your theatre company. It needs a name, a slogan, and a logo. You will also need to decide what type of company you will be. Are you going to be more of a community theatre group that is non-profit, a theatre school that teaches classes as well as does shows, or something like a high-end professional theatre? This will also play into what your desired audience will be. That is another thing that you as a group need to decide.

At the beginning of class tomorrow you will be presenting your companies. You will tell the class the name of your company, showing your logo and slogan, as well as telling everyone what type of theatre company you are. There will also be a brief Q&A session with the class to find out why you made the choices you did.

I will be walking around checking in with groups as we go along if anyone has any questions. You have the rest of the hour to work, there are colored pencils and paper on my desk once you get to the logo part of the assignment.
Resources: Colored pencils and paper for the students to make their logo on.

4. Lesson Plan 2 (Revised lesson in section 2.6)

Unit: Satire, from history to the Theatre

Lesson: Satire in Cartoons

Standards addressed:

ART.III.T.HS.3 Analyze a variety of dramatic texts form cultural and historical perspectives to determine production requirements

ART.III.T.HS.9 Evaluate the personal and others' collaborative efforts and artistic choices in informational and formal productions.

ART.V.T.HS.2 Determine how non-dramatic art forms are modified to enhance the expression of ideas and emotions in theatre.

ART.V.T.HS.3 Integrate several arts media in informal presentations

Major Conceptual Question: What do cartoons have to do with satire?

Cognitive objectives: TSWBAT

describe what political satires are in cartoon form.

Interpret by using the date and current events for the time what various cartoons mean.

Produce their own political cartoons

Recognize the satirical value in each cartoon

Find humor in the cartoons


4 political cartoons that are appropriate for high school students. Family Guy clip involving political satire.

Group assignments:

Students will be counted off by fours and put into groups that way.


Ask the class what a political cartoon is, and its purpose in society. Ask them how long they think political cartoons have been around. Ask them about any recent political cartoons they have seen. Set up Family Guy clip. After the clip analyze it to get the students minds thinking about the assignment.

Stated Purpose:

Inform students through a cooperative lesson the importance of political cartoons to our society and to satire as a whole.

Active Student Engagement:

Groups will be counted off. In each group students will be responsible for analyzing their assigned cartoon within the context of each time period. Students will be responsible for the following questions;

What is happening in the cartoon literally?

What is the statement the artist is trying to make?

What does this say about the culture of the time.

Teacher Monitoring:

I will rotate around the room and observe the different groups, making sure that everyone is working together and contributing equally. If any student has a question I will be available to help them arrive at an answer.

Active student engagement:

Each group will present their cartoon and answer the questions for the rest of the class.
5. Lesson Plan 3

Course: Intro to Theatre

Unit: Our Town

Lesson: Exchange of Energy

Prior Knowledge: Students will have a basic knowledge of scene work from the previous lessons. Students will have worked with the scenes they have been assigned for a few days now, and should have a grasp of characterization and the purpose of the scene to the play as a whole.

Standards Addressed:

ART.T.II.HS.2 Individually and in ensemble, create and sustain characters

that communicate with audiences.

ART.T.III.HS.9 Evaluate personal and others’ collaborative efforts and

artistic choices in informal and formal productions


SWBAT: communicate with each other through body language and energy exchange.

SWBAT: incorporate energy exchange into works of theatre


Today we are continuing to work on our scenes that you have been assigned from, Our Town. Yesterday we worked on listening to each other while we are in the scene. Can anyone tell me what that means? (not focusing on your lines, actually listening and reacting to the other characters, hearing lines for the first time) Today, we are going to take that idea and go further with it. We are going to look at our scenes as an exchange of energy. What do you think I mean by that? As people we radiate energy through our nonverbal communications. By focusing on not only what your partners are saying, but also the energy they are giving off, it helps to make the audience really engaged. This is another level of commitment that separates actors.

So we have a couple of activities and exercises to get us focused on the energy of our partners and people around us. Can I get everyone on their feet and in a circle? We will need to clear out the desks from the middle of the room.

First we are going to do a short activity to get everyone focused. Zip, Zap. What you have to do is shoot the energy across the circle to someone else like this (show hand motion) and say zip. When the energy is shot at you, you have to catch it. So you do the opposite of that motion and say zap. Once you have the energy it is your turn to shoot it back to someone else. So lets get this going, I will start.

Now what we are doing is called pass the buck. How we do this is you pass this ball of energy to the person next to you. When you are the one passing it, you decide the weight of the object. Do not say “oh man this is so heavy” do not say anything at all. You have to communicate the weight of the object through non-verbals and energy. When you take the energy from the person next to you, you need to match what they are giving you. Once you fully have the energy, you can change it or keep it the same as you pass it along.

Okay, the last thing we are going to do before we break up into scenes, is called the invisible pole. Can I get two volunteers to step into the center of the circle. Stand about five feet apart facing each other. What you have to do is move each other speaking, or giving any cues. You use your energy to move one another. You have to keep this distance between each other, do not go closer or farther away. (get all of the class to do this if time allows.)

Great work everybody. Do you feel more in tune with the energy of yourself and those around you? What I want you to do now is get into your pairs for the scenes you have been working on and take what we learned today about the exchange of energy and incorporate it into your scene. That said, keep the scene true to the nature of the play. Listen, react, feel the energy that each of you are giving off. I will be around to take a look at what you have shortly. Remember, if you are committed to your character, your audience will be as well.


As I go around the room and observe the scene work look for partners exchanging energy. Look for them listening and reacting. Help students really get into the scene and commit to the energy.


Selection of scenes from Our Town.
George- Emily, why are you mad at me?
Emily -I'm not mad at you.
George- You've been treating me so funny lately.
Emily- Well, since you ask me, I might as well say it right out, George, I don't like the

whole change that's come over you in the last year. I'm sorry if that hurts your

feelings, but I've got to—tell the truth and shame the devil.
George- A change? Wha…what do you mean?
Emily- Well, up to a year ago I used to like you a lot. And I used to watch you as you

did everything…because we'd been friends so long…and then you began

spending all your time at baseball…and you never stopped to speak to anybody

any more. Not even to your own family you didn't…and, George, it's a fact…

you've got awful conceited and stuck-up, and all the girls say so. They may not

say so to your face, but that's what they say about you behind your back, and

it hurts me to hear them say it; but I've got to agree with them a little. I'm sorry

if it hurts your feelings…but I can't be sorry I said it.
George- I…I'm glad you said it, Emily. I never thought that such a thing was happening

to me. I guess it's hard for a fella not to have faults creep into his character.
Emily- I always expect a man to be perfect and I think he should be.
George- Oh, I don't think it's possible to be perfect, Emily.
Emily- Well, my father is, and as far as I can see, your father is. There's no reason on

earth why you shouldn't be, too.
George- Well, I feel it's the other way round. That men aren't naturally good; but girls

Emily- Well, you might as well know right now that I'm not perfect. It's not as easy for

a girl to be perfect as a man, because we girls are more…more…nervous. Now

I'm sorry I said all that about you. I don't know what made me say it.
George- Emily…
Emily- Now I can see it's not the truth at all. And I suddenly feel that it isn't

important, anyway.
George- Emily…would you like an ice-cream soda, or something, before you go home?

Emily- Well, thank you…I would.
6. Assessments
Shakespeare Quiz

Standards Adressed

ART.T.III.HS.1 Analyze the physical, emotional, and social dimensions of 

 characters found in dramatic texts from various genre and 


ART.T.III.HS.7 Identify and research cultural, historical, and symbolic 

clues in dramatic texts, and evaluate the validity and 

practicality of the information to assist in making artistic 

choices for informal and formal productions.

ART.T.IV.HS.5 Analyze the effect of personal cultural experiences on their 

 dramatic work.

Learning Outcomes Assessed

SWBAT: recall vital plot elements from Macbeth

SWBAT: interpret how the culture of Shakespeare's time influenced his writing.
1) When was William Shakespeare born?
a) 23 April 1564
b) 15 July 1580
c) 25 December 1600
d) 1 January 1601

2) Where was William Shakespeare born?
a) London
b) New York
c) Paris
d) Stratford-on-Avon

3) Whom did William Shakespeare marry?
a)Anne Hathaway
b)Mary Tudor
c) Jane Grey
d) Elizabeth Newson

4) By how many years was William Shakespeare‘s wife older than William Shakespeare?
a) Five
b) Eight
c) Six
d) Nine

5) How many plays did William Shakespeare write?
a) 10
b) 15
c) 24
d) 37

6) How many Acts are in William Shakespeare’s plays?
a) Three
b) Four
c) Five
d) Six

7) Which is the last play written by William Shakespeare?
a) As you like it
b) Two Gentlemen from Verona
c) Henry V
d) The Tempest

8)When did William Shakespeare die?
a) 31 December 1707
b) 24 January 1649
c) 3 March 1626
d) 23 April 1616

9) What does Macbeth do to Macdonald after he defeats him?

a)Rips out his heart

b)He takes him prisoner and brings him to Duncan

c)Cuts off his head and places it on the battlements

d)Takes his family crest and title

10) What new title does Macbeth receive early in Act one?

a) Thane of Glamis

b) Thane of Cawdor

c) King of Scotland

d) Earl of Northumberland

11) The Weird Sisters greet Macbeth as ________________.

a) Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor, and King hereafter

b) Thane of Cawdor, Thane of Fife, and King hereafter

c) Thane of Glamis, Thane of Fife, and father of kings

d) Thane of Cawdor, Thane of Lochaber, and Thane of Glamis

12) How do the Weird Sisters greet Banquo?

a)"Thou shalt be king of Scotland!"

b)"Hail, king hereafter!"

c)"Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none."

d)"O valiant cousin!"

13) Who does Duncan name as his successor?

a) Banquo

b) Macbeth

c) Macduff

d) Malcolm

14) Who will the Macbeths frame as Duncan's murderer?

a) Duncan's bodyguards

b) Donalbain

c) Banquo

d) Macduff

15) What does Banquo think about the witches' predictions?

a) He wishes they would not come true

b) He dreams that they may come true, but he will do nothing about them

c) He doesn't believe them

d) He will try to make them come true, no matter what it takes

16) What happens to Lady Macduff?

a) She joins her husband at Dunsinane

b) Lady Macbeth kills her

c) She becomes the queen of Scotland

d) She is killed

17) What does Macbeth claim his bloody hands could do?

a) Stain all the oceans red

b) Knock on hell's gate

c) Stain all the earth red

d) Slay Malcolm and Donalbain

18) Who comes knocking on Macbeth's gates on the night of Duncan's death?

a) Macduff alone

b) Macduff and Lennox

c) Ross and Lennox

d) Macduff and Ross

19) What does Macbeth call the slave who reports that Birnam wood is moving?

a) A liar and slave

b) A prophetic man

c) A blind slave

d) An idiot and fool

20) What does Macduff call Macbeth when he sees him at the final battle?

a) A hell-hound

b) A treacherous tyrant

c) A brave idiot

d) A harbinger of death

Rubric for Performance
Standards Adressed

ART.T.I.HS.2 Communicate directorial choices to a small ensemble for 

 improvised or scripted scenes

ART.T.II.HS.2 Individually and in ensemble, create and sustain characters 

that communicate with audiences.

ART.T.III.HS.6 Articulate and justify personal aesthetic criteria for 

critiquing dramatic texts and events that compare 

perceived artistic intent with the final aesthetic 


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