Six characterisation exercises to try
Improve your students characterisation development with these six easy to use exercises.
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
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, … Continue reading The importance of establishing a scene
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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