Rehearsal Techniques and Strategies

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Six characterisation exercises to try

Improve your students characterisation development with these six easy to use exercises.


Rehearsing Pace of Voice

It is important that we think about manipulating our pace of voice when developing characters for a performance. A character’s pace should reflect their mental and emotional state. As your character goes through their journey in the play, the pace of your voice should change and reflect that journey. Here is a great rehearsal exercise to help achieve that. Continue reading Rehearsing Pace of Voice

Rehearsal Strategies for Use of Space

Use of Space and Proxemics are important but often underused terms. Especially when rehearsing or considering rehearsal techniques for preparing a performance. Although related to each other, they are actually two different things. The term Use of Space refers to the way in which the actor and director decides to use the space on the stage. This not only includes the positioning of the actors … Continue reading Rehearsal Strategies for Use of Space

Conscience Alley

Conscience Alley is a Drama tool that has been around for quite a long time. I suspect that it comes from Brain Way or Dorothy Heathcote and it is something that I have always associated with ‘process drama’. Drama as a pedagogy rather than Drama as a subject. It wouldn’t look out of place in a History lesson for example. Its structure is loose, which … Continue reading Conscience Alley

Four simple ways to explore Bertolt Brecht’s concept of distancing

Twenty years ago this year, I went to see what was for me, one of the most defining pieces of theatre that I have seen. I’m talking about The Caucasian Chalk Circle by Bertolt Brecht performed by Theatre de Complicite at the Royal National Theatre in London. For me it was an incredibly important performance because it came at a point when I was just beginning to define … Continue reading Four simple ways to explore Bertolt Brecht’s concept of distancing

Chair Games

Girl Guides, Scouts or Boys Brigade? A variation on the game Oranges and Lemons. Assign the students into three teams based on anything from after school clubs to football teams and then spread their chairs randomly around the room. With the chairs spread around the room the action becomes less predictive and students have to move further. There are so many different variations of this … Continue reading Chair Games

Learning Lines

I’m sure I’m not the only teacher in the world who gets frustrated when students don’t learn their lines. It is impossible to do anything more than block scenes with students who have open books in their hands. They can’t move their hands or arms, their point of focus is in the book rather than the person on stage and they stay static in the … Continue reading Learning Lines

The importance of establishing a scene

Directing notes from Proof. I’ve been working with my sixth form students today on their Unit 2 Section B group performances. Although it’s the Easter holidays it is a fantastic opportunity to spend some time with the students without the day-to-day politics of school effecting things and getting in the way. There is something lovely, relaxed and very productive about working during the holidays. One … Continue reading The importance of establishing a scene

5 Drama Games that encourage an ensemble and group mindset

Getting students to work as an ensemble can be tough. Some students find it hard to stay focused and work within a group and others find it hard not to stand out and be the star. When creating performance work, creating drama or working for a team it is important for students to know that their role, no matter how large or small, is as important as everyone else in the group. 

These five games all focus on getting students warmed up whilst working on performance focus and the concept of the ensemble.  Continue reading 5 Drama Games that encourage an ensemble and group mindset

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