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Lesson Plans

Title: Theatre Fundamentals I-Focusing on Romeo and Juliet

Date: February 21, 2013

By: Martha Pfeiffer

City: Lewes

State: DE

Grade: 9-12

School: Cape Henlopen High School

Martha E. Pfeiffer-Theatre Instructor

Director of the Cape Henlopen High School Theatre Academy


Lesson Plans for Theatre Fundamentals I- Focusing on Romeo and Juliet

Big Idea:The Visual Arts have the power to enrich the lives and endeavors of humankind.  In a highly technological society such as ours, the visual arts serve as a humanizing force, giving dignity and a sense of worth to the individual.  They provide the means by which aesthetic quality and order are derived from the exercise of an individual’s creativity and critical understanding.


Know: Students will recognize that the prospective content for works of visual art come from a variety of sources.  


Understand:  Art is a living, breathing form of expression. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to interpreting art. One piece may be interpreted in a variety of ways, depending on the life experiences of both the artist and the audience.


Do:  Students will be able to

  • Identify subject matter, symbols, and ideas in works of art
  • Integrate a variety of sources for subject matter, symbols, and/or ideas which best communicate an intended meaning in works of art
  • Evaluate the sources for content to validate the manner in which subject matter, symbols, and ideas are used in works of art
  • Describe and differentiate the origins of specific subject matter, symbols, and ideas in works of art
  • Analyze how the use of subject matter, symbols, and ideas are used in works of art.

Essential Question: Why does the interpretation of art vary from person to person? What factors contribute to such different ideas?

Activating Strategy: This lesson will begin with a discussion about the underlying theme behind William Shakespeare’s, Romeo and Juliet. Ask students the following questions:

  • Is the play about love? Is the play about revenge? Is the play about death? 
  • Students will be asked to justify their decision with examples from the text and/or action.
  • Tell student that they will be observing a series of doors that have been used to display a variety of images. Choose the door that best represent what Romeo and Juliet means to you.

Activity: Students will observe a variety of doors designed by New York artist Alan Tuttle. As they walk around, students will take notes on which door best represent the theme of Romeo and Juliet. Engage in a discussion with students- guiding them to support their ideas.

  • Once students return to class, lead a class discussion about their discoveries/choices.

Follow up discussion in class after we return from the display.

Assignment: Students will choose one of the doors, and then write a monologue from the point of view of one of the characters from the play, Romeo and Juliet. The monologue must focus on the theme they have selected and how that character’s feeling/ideas support the chosen theme.


Students will read their monologues to the class- without stating the character. 

Ask the following questions- in an interview scenario- after each student has finished the reading:


1. At what moment in the story are you speaking these thoughts?

2. Where are you when you are speaking?

3. To whom are you speaking?

4. Is it a soliloquy or a monologue?


These questions will guide each student to further clarify their writing, to make their message clear to their audience.


After a few moments to think about the answers to these questions, students will perform their piece again for a final grade.