Title: Theatre: Actor\'s Workshop-Developing a Character
Date: February 21, 2013
By: Martha Pfeiffer
School: Cape Henlopen High School
Martha E. Pfeiffer-Theatre Instructor
Director of the Cape Henlopen High School Theatre Academy
The Domiciles Project: Lesson Plans for Actor’s Workshop- Developing a Character
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 class discussion about the following statement: “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.”
Ask students to explain- in their own words- what is meant by this statement.
- Encourage students to give examples to support their ideas.
- Tell student that they will be observing a series of doors that have been used to display a variety of images. Encourage students to carefully exam each door, and then choose the one that “speaks” to them or really stands out for them.
- Students will be encouraged to take notes about this particular door. These notes should support their ideas about the theme of the door or what details in the work fed their perspective.
Activity: Students will observe a variety of doors designed by New York artist Alan Tuttle.Engage in a discussion with students- guiding them to share and support their ideas.
- Once students return to class, lead a class discussion about their discoveries/choices.
Assignment: Students will think about the story that is being represented by the door they have chosen. They will imagine a character that lives within the world represented by the door and develop a monologue- from that character’s point of view- to explain what has occurred within the context of the door.
*Although this is similar to the lesson plan for Theatre Fundamentals II, this is an upper
level class. Expectations will be much higher in terms of word choice and character
- Where Theatre Fundamentals focused more on themes and a basic expression of these themes, this class will be expected to fully develop their character, as well as the environment in which they survive.
Students will read their monologues to the class- without telling us which door they have chosen to write about.
Ask the following questions- in an interview scenario- after each student has finished the reading:
1. What has just happened to inspire you to say these words?
1. Where are you when you are speaking?
2. To whom are you speaking?
3. Is this a soliloquy or a monologue?
4. What do you hope to accomplish as a result of speaking these words?
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.