The Domiciles Project

Lesson Plans

Title: Play Analysis ~ Monologue Creation

Date: September 20, 2013

By: Kristie L. Fuller

City: Hailesboro

State: NY

Age: 43

Grade Level: 10 – 12 grade advanced Theatre students

NYS Standards:

Standard 1, Indicators: a, b, c, e

Standard 2, Indicators: b, c

Standard 3, Indicators: a, b, c

Standard 4, Indicators: c



Domiciles Display, Root Analysis worksheet, Play Analysis worksheet, Painting: The Boating Party by Mary Cassatt.



Character (protagonist, antagonist), inciting incident, conflict, rising action, climax and resolution


Essential Questions:

  • What stories can be told through visual art (specifically the Domiciles Project)?

  • How can those stories be told though creative drama?

  • What piece of the Domiciles Project inspires a story in your heart?

  • How do we use the process of play analysis to create character (protagonist, antagonist), inciting incident, conflict, rising action, climax and resolution in the development of monologue?

  • What past acting skills to we utilize when performing a monologue?


Learning Objectives: The students will be able to:

  • Tell a story based on a piece of visual art work.

  • Attend the display of the Domiciles Project installation.

  • Choose a set of doors that inspires a story in their heart.

  • Utilize the play analysis steps to create an outline for their monologue “story.”

  • Create a 2-4 minute monologue based on their play analysis work.

  • Answer the following questions about their monologue:

  • Who are you speaking to?

  • Where are you as you are speaking?

  • What has just happened to initiate your character to say those words?

  • What is your objective? (What do you hope to accomplish by speaking these words?


Present monologues to the class


Exploratory Phase


Exploratory Activity


Ask the students to do a close reading of the following quote by Louis Schmier:


We each live our stories and

we learn the most from the stories of others.

When you feel alone,

you can find community in stories;

when you weaken, you can find strength;

when you are disheartened, you can find resolve;

when you are down, you can be lifted;

when you feel pain, you can find comfort;

when you tire, you can find new energy;

when you wonder why, you can find inspiration.”


(Louis Schmier)


Journal Prompt: Do you agree with this statement? Why? Why not? Give at least 2 examples to support your opinion.



Discovery Phase




Activity 1: Day 1


  • Using the smart board, display the painting: The Boating Party by Mary Cassatt. Encourage the students to brainstorm a variety a possible story ideas to describe what is happening in the painting.

  • One-word Story: Ask the students to circle up. The students will then create a story about the painting contributing one word only as the story goes around the circle.

  • Pair-Share Story: Break the class into groups of two. Ask the pair to write a story (based on the painting) in no more than 5-8 sentences. The stories will be shared as a closure to this activity.  


Activity 2: Day 2-3

  • Students will visit the Domiciles Project display and preview all of the doors. They will bring journals and pens to start writing ideas for their monologue creation, based on the door they are most inspired by.

  • Students will attend a session with the artist the following day and then use the rest of the class writing more ideas in their journals.


Activity 3: Day 3-4

  • Students will be put into work groups of three. These work groups will be used as a sounding board for each other's analysis work; and as well as listeners for future readings of each other's monologues.

  • Students will complete a Root Action Statement for their story idea as well as a Plot Analysis worksheet.

Activity 4: Day 5-6

  • Students will spend 2 days writing the first draft of their monologue, incorporating an inciting incident, rising action, climax, and resolution in their monologue. Students should also look to answer the folllowing questions within their text or stage directions:

  • Who are you speaking to?

  • Where are you as you are speaking?

  • What has just happened to initiate your character to say those words?

  • What is your objective? (What do you hope to accomplish by speaking these words?)


Activity 5: Day 7

  • Staged readings of student's rough drafts. Audience members (classmates) will take notes on what is working in each others' monologues as well as suggestions and questions they have about each other monologues? If possible, a local playwright, Craig Thornton will be invited to the first reading.


Activity 6: Day 8-9

  • Students will use 2 days to finish their monologues based on the staged reading of their rough drafts.


Activity 7: Day 19:

  • Final Performances. 5 monologues will be chosen to be presented at our community presentation on November 14, 2013.


Assessments: (see below)

  • Root Action Statement

  • Plot Analysis worksheet

  • Monologue Performance Rubric



___________________________________ /




Protagonist motive




Protagonist act_______________________________




_____________________________ /




Antagonist motive




Antagonist act









Other questions to ponder:

What does the play make me think and feel?


What is the theme? (Are there symbols that represent the theme? Do the characters do or say anything to enhance the theme?)


What is the Plot? (Give a brief summary)


What is the setting?


Who are the characters and what is their relationship?


EXPOSITION: What happened BEFORE the first scene in the play? How are the characters introduced? What is the situation








INCITING INCIDENT: What event or conflict sets the play in motion?








RISING ACTION: List other complications that arise








CLIMAX: What is the play’s emotional peak? BE SPECIFIC and explain WHY!!!








RESOLUTION: What events occur following the climax, which resolves the climax? What is resolved?







Monologue Assessment




Name:__________________ Play: ____________________ Role:____________







Stage Presence






You notice your surroundings.

You show confidence and a positive attitude.







You clearly say only your name, character, play, and playwright if needed.






Set Up:

You ask if you need a chair.

You make a clear break between your intro and your monologue. You breathe and find your focal point before you begin.







You make a clear break between the end of your monologue and your closing.

You hold your final position for three beats.

You step out of your character. You smile, say, “Thank you,” and leave confidently.






Vocal Technique






You can be heard; your voice is at the appropriate level for the size of the space.







You vary the pace, emphasis, intensity, and volume to match the beats.







You enunciate (clearly pronounce vowels and consonants).

You avoid dialects (accents).






Movement Technique






You use different levels (standing, sitting, kneeling, etc.) and planes (US, SR, C, etc.) in the acting space.







You connect your movements to the character’s intentions.

You avoid unnecessary gestures.

You avoid pacing back and forth.










Script Analysis






You chose a role that is age and experience appropriate. Your monologue came from a play you have read.







You know what your character wants.






You determine the different actions your character takes to get what she/he wants.

You have the appropriate quantity of beats as specified by the piece.







You change your voice and movement each time the beat changes.

You take the appropriate amount of time to make transitions.











Your vocal tone fits the character’s circumstances.






You see the person to whom your character speaks.

You are aware of the character’s surroundings.

You avoid using props.






You know why the character is saying this now.

You chose material that you can connect to emotionally.






Additional Comments: ________________________________________________________________



Perform. Transform.