|In this culminating task, students will create a polished performance from another student's monologue that was developed in Lesson 1 or 4. Through acting techniques and activities, students will make the character specific and receive feedback as they build toward a performance.||
How can you create your own character from a verbatim text?
What clues can you find in the text to help you build your character?
How can you use setting and audience as a means of creating character?
How can we as a class move forward into collective creation following this unit?
A1.2 select and use a variety of drama forms to present original drama works
A1.3 create and interpret a wide range of characters using a variety of acting approaches
A2.1 use the elements of drama to achieve specific purposes in drama works
B1.1 use the critical analysis process to reflect on and justify or revise decisions in creating drama works
C1.2 use correct terminology for the styles, components, processes, and techniques of drama in creating and critiquing drama works and theatre performances
C1.3 demonstrate an understanding of how various media can be used in the production and promotion of drama works
C3.1 identify and follow safe and ethical practices in all drama activities
At the end of this lesson, students will be able to:
Students should have prepared a polished (word processed) version of their Verbatim Theatre monologue from Lesson 1 or 4. The polished version should have incorporated teacher feedback. Students should have some familiarity with Stanislavski concepts such as objectives, tactics, etc.
The monologues generated in this culminating task could be used as the basis for a collective creation project undertaken by the class as a whole.
A Verbatim Theatre monologue for each student.
|Approximately 30 minutes
Pause and Ponder
Whole Class > Walking and Talking with the Monologue
Ensure that students have a copy of the monologue they are going to perform. Instruct them to walk around the room reading the text silently several times. Tell them to continue walking around the room and adapt their reading according to your instructions:
Individual > Character Creation Sheet
Give students BLM #6 Character Creation Sheet. Ask them to fill out the sheet, making specific choices about their character that are grounded in the text. Remind them to first search for clues about their character within the text rather than imposing a character onto the text.
Assessment for Learning (AfL)
While students are walking around the room, check in with them that they can read and understand the words in their given monologue.
Circulate and give students help and feedback on their Character Creation sheets to ensure that they are making their character as specific as possible.
Assessment as Learning (AaL)
Co-construct the criteria for the Performance Rubric with the students.
Ask student to use the Performance Rubric to peer evaluate each other before the performance.
Depending on your class, you can distribute the monologues in advance (keeping in mind what would either be a challenge or a good fit for your student) or distribute them randomly or ask each writer to suggest two actors to perform their monologue and make your decision based on their choices.
If students are struggling with the Character Creation sheet, consider partnering them with the writer who can help them make discoveries within the text.
For the performance, students can pick names from a hat to create an order or volunteer to perform. You can decide to have students perform individually, facing everyone or perform in the round, where students perform from the space they were rehearsing in the room.
Link and Layer
The techniques in the Character Creation Sheet are borrowed from the Stanislavski system (and Uta Hagen). Make this explicit to students, especially if they have already studied these techniques.
Consider using the material generated in this final task as the basis for a collective creation. The class may decide to focus their collective creation on one or a combination of the monologues performed, or may wish to choose a theme or issue from their discussions and reflections for further investigation.
Hyperlinks in the Lesson
|Approximately 200 minutes
Individual > Create Set and A Gesture
Invite students to find a spot in the room where they can work individually. Have them to create a set for their monologues using whatever is in the room (they can bring props from home as well). Ask them to begin with one line from the script that they think is the most important or most revealing for their character. Tell them to memorize the line and find an action or gesture to accompany the line.
Instruct students to rehearse their one line again and again so that they find a beginning and ending to the action and gesture as well as the line. Explain that if we were to catch this ten second glimpse into your character's world, we would learn everything we could about them through this gesture and line.
Stop the rehearsal when you think students are ready and invite each student to perform their line and gesture. Give students feedback on how strong or revealing their choices are and what they could extend further.
Repeat the above process but this time ask students to create the "moment before" and then the first line and gesture.
Paris > Creative Process
Ask students to work for at least one class in pairs with one student directing and holding the text while the other student is given (by the director) the lines and ideas for creation. Ask the director to keep these questions in mind while helping the actor:
Is the opening moment believable (where is the character coming from and what are they doing)?
How are they using their set?
Are the objectives and obstacles being played?
Can the audience hear them?
To whom are they speaking?
Can I help the actor to make this clearer?
Whole Class > Co-construct Success Criteria
Stop rehearsal at an early point in the creative process to develop the success criteria for a performance rubric. Ask students to suggest categories (like voice, movement, set, objective). For a sample performance rubric see BLM #7 Monologue Performance Rubric.
Whole Class > Performing and Evaluating
Perform the Verbatim Theatre monologues. At the end of each performance, ask students to comment on one positive aspect of the performance.
|Approximately 5 minutes
Whole Class > Discussion
After presentations have concluded, use the critical analysis process to facilitate a discussion with the class based on their observations of their peers' work.
Key Questions for Discussion:
Were there common themes running through our stories? What were they?
If you could choose a Verbatim Theatre topic that would be interest or importance to the school, what would it be and why?
How are the examples of Verbatim Theatre that you have seen in this class different from the version of 'reality' that is popular on television?
Do you think Verbatim Theatre makes for compelling theatre? Why or why not?
Whose voices get silenced in this school? In our community? In Canada? In the world? Why is it important to hear their voices and stories?
Individual > Written Reflection
Hand out BLM #8 Verbatim Theatre Reflection and ask students to begin answering the questions. Ask them to return the reflection within 3-5 days for evaluation.