Six characterisation exercises to try
Improve your students characterisation development with these six easy to use exercises.
Sidecoaching is an act through of the play rather than a read through of the play. It is a really useful way of helping students learn not just the plot of the play but also the characters, their motivations and the underlying themes of the play. Continue reading Sidecoaching with The Tempest
Find success in working with scripts by establishing and embedding routines into your Drama lessons and your students working Drama vocabulary.
This routine will help your students make stronger connections between the text they are reading and performance of it. It will help them develop a deeper and fuller understanding of the importance of text work to help them know the importance of structure, character and dialogue. Continue reading Rehearsing with a script – establishing a routine for analysing text.
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
For a long time, drama games and warm ups have been a staple of Drama. But can they justify their existence in the face of evidence supporting knowledge rich curriculum. I think metacognition can help us find a place for them in modern Drama Curriculum. Continue reading Drama Games and Metacognition
These are not massive changes and they are not about learning loads of new information about a character. But they are more subtle changes and examine how a character is developed and communicated to an audience. Experimenting like this helps students to appreciate and understand their character at far greater depth. Continue reading Using Eye and Physical Contact as a rehearsal strategy.
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 … Continue reading Rehearsal Strategies for Use of Space
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 … Continue reading Conscience Alley
Improvisation has got to be one of the most universal, accessible and immediate rehearsal and drama tool in the box. But how can you use improvisation to help students understand the structure a performance? Continue reading How improvisation can help students to understand the structure of a performance.
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 … Continue reading Four simple ways to explore Bertolt Brecht’s concept of distancing
The Monologue In the role of your character, write, rehearse and prepare a 2-3 minute monologue that accurately portrays your character at a particular point in time within the play your studying / performing. Consider what the character is thinking and feeling at that moment. What are their fears, hopes, love and hates in life … Continue reading 6 Character Development Exercises to try
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 … Continue reading Chair Games
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 … Continue reading Learning Lines
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