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alicetheatremagazine | 17th Sep 2006 | 戲劇教案 | (2419 Reads)

Acting Skills
Shakespeare's play The Tempest

Age Group:
Junior Secondary Level

Source:
Alice Theatre Laboratory (2003) Drama Education Trial Curriculum at Junior Secondary Level, HK ADC.

Teacher's Guide:

The main purpose of this stage is to let them understand what performance drama is and exercise the drama elements they have learnt through acting and rehearsing. The aim is to establish students' mainstream recognition and application of performing drama.

Shakespeare's play The Tempest is the text of this unit. The aim is to let students learn about the art of acting via studying a play. This can also arouse students' learning atmosphere for drama and theatre.

Given circumstances, imagination, body movement and communication are the most basic acting skills. In these few lessons, we will design a number of drama activities derived from The Tempest, for students to explore the elements of acting and to go on a new journey of Drama.

Lesson 1  Given Circumstances

Preparation:
* Tambourine
* CD (Sound effects of The Tempest)
* The extract from The Tempest's Act 1 Scene 1

Procedure:

In the middle of a storm

Focus: Basic acting skills (Given Circumstances)

Method:With the given circumstances of The Tempest's act 1 scene 1, lead the students to improvise and let them master the basic acting skills through experiencing acting and post-performance discussion.

  1. Dim the light and play the sound effect of thunder and storm
  2. Let students tell what they can hear, feel and imagine.
  3. Ask the students: If you were a sailor on board of a ship in the middle of the storm, can you imagine what would happen to you?
  4. Tell the students the story begins with a storm and the play’s title is The Tempest.
  5. Divide the class into 4 groups and ask them the stand in a triangle within their own group.
  6. The student at the apex is the captain and the rest are sailors. Ask them to come up with a focus as the direction of their voyage.

    The triangle stands for a ship. That means students are on a ship and the student in the apex position is the captain.

  7. Ask them to create 4 still images to express the way the ship fight against the storm.
  8. The first image: Students decide and express their own role and job on board in a still image, such as steering, pulling the sail rope, climbing ladder or perching.
  9. The second image: The teacher hit the tambourine once to stand for the attack of a big wave. And the position of each crew member changes due to the rocking of the ship. That means the student who was steering the ship may take up the job of pulling the sail rope then and so on.

    Change position: clockwise/anti-clockwise

  10. The third image: A hit on the tambourine again to notify the change of roles for the second time. 
  11. The fourth image: A hit on the tambourine in a countdown of 5 to stand for the arrival of a big wave. The whole crew collapses
  12. Each group performs the 4 images in sequence to create an episode. And each member has to speak a line in role.
  13. Give them 10 minutes to rehearse the episode.
  14. The 4 groups take turns to perform with the help of the sound effect.

    The teacher play the sound effect to go with students' performance

  15. Let each group lead a post-performance discussion among themselves and the students from other groups.

    Point out students' flaws in the episode and suggest ways for improvement. Encourage the students generously to enhance their self-image.

  16. Explain to students that“Given Circumstances” is one of the basic elements in acting.
    There must be a given situation in each play or scene. It provides a framed space for actors to explore, which is called“Given Circumstances”. To master and make full use of“Given Circumstances”, you need to ask:
    Who
    Where
    What
    When
    Why
    They are called“Five W”. They help the actor read and explore the given circumstances in each scene of a play.
  17. Let students tell the given circumstances of their episode with the help of the“Five W”.
    Who — Sailors
    Where — In the ocean, On board of a ship
    What — A storm is coming and the ship is sinking
    When — Twilight? Night? Winter? Summer?
    (The play does not mention these details. Actors can discuss and make their choice)
    Why — The crew has to strive to survive the adverse situation under the storm.
  18. Issue the extract from The Tempest's Act 1 Scene 1
  19. Let students observe the illustration and tell the sailors' situation, the actions of the characters and the atmosphere. Then ask them to compare all these with what they did in their episode.
  20. Ask two students to read the script with the teacher reading the Stage Direction.

Conclusion

  1. Lead students to evaluate themselves:
    1) In the episode, were you highly engaged in the situation?
    2) Why does acting require engagement?
    3) How can I be more engaged?
  2. Teacher's explanation:
    1) Acting starts with if. That means all start with“If I am somebody”
    2) With“If”, we can make ourselves more engaged.
    3) Next Lesson will begin with“If” and continue the story of The Tempest.
  3. Ask students to search in the library or from the Internet for information about Shakespeare, such as his life history and the characteristics of his works. And keep all the information in a file.