If you're looking for ways to increase meaningful participation in classroom drama activities, please read this article: Getting Your Students to Work Productively in Classroom Drama
Is your child ready to attend a performance as part of an audience of adults and young people? These articles will help you decide, prepare, and enjoy a live theatre experience with children:
You may act your part well on stage, but if your character needs a costume, you'd better know how to work well with the people who dress you for your role. Here's some advice: 12 Costume Shop Survival Tips for Actors
Once students understand what a Human Slide Show is, it's time to prepare them for rehearsing and presenting drama work that is high quality. Read this article to learn how to communicate the factors that contribute to excellence in this drama strategy.
See an example of a set of Human Slide Shows prepared for Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire in this article.
To win the Pulitzer Prize, an American playwright must write a distinguished play that is preferably original in its source and deals with American life. Take a look at this article to learn more about how American authors, many of them Pulitzer Prize winners, tend to mine the same themes, motifs, and plot lines.
This article on Human Slide Shows explains how to actively involve students in examining texts of plays or other pieces of literature and using a drama strategy to present their creative interpretation of the words on the page. Human Slide Shows are a series of silent, still focused Tableaux that depict a sequence of events. The creation of the slides requires the authentic use of several reading comprehension strategies. This is a drama strategy that works with high school and college students as well as with elementary school students.
This month's focus on the site has been Educational Drama.
- Begin by considering "Is it Drama or is it Theatre?"
- Learn ways to lay the foundation for successful classroom dramas.
- Try using the drama strategy Tableau to actively engage students with the texts they read.
- Enhance your use of Tableau by further building your students' skills.
- Deepen the learning value of a Tableau by adding dialogue.
- Challenge your students to elevate the dialogue in a Tableau presentation.
- Increase acting skills with Open Scenes.
- Add some new Open Scenes and ideas to your collection.
If you have ever wandered into an empty theater, walking among the empty rows in the shadowy auditorium, you may have noticed that standing upon the bare stage is a single light, saving you from total darkness. That, my friends, is a ghost light. In practical terms, a "ghost light" is an electric light left on when the theater is empty. Generally, it is left on for safety reasons. Nobody wants to tumble into the orchestra pit.
However, there is a long standing theater superstition that a ghost light must be kept on when a theater is empty in order to keep away spirits. Others believe that a ghost light should remain illuminated to keep the creative spirits or muses within the theater. In lighting design, a "ghost" refers to a patch of light that escapes from an improperly trimmed dimmer. (Which is not nearly as exciting as the spooky version of the word!)
If you would like to learn more technical stage terminology, visit our Theater Glossary. Or, if you would rather share your stories of actual theater ghosts (of the Halloween variety) tell us about it in our "Readers' Story" section.
Pygmalion, one of most humorous plays by George Bernard Shaw, was first adapted into a film in 1938, and then into a musical in the 1950s. In each incarnation, and even during its original theatrical run, audiences fell in love with the two bombastic main characters, Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins. In fact, fans of the play enjoyed the characters so much, they wanted them to end up together. They wanted the strong willed flower girl and the erudite professor to cast aside their differences and fall head over heels in love, perhaps even marry.
Shaw had other plans, however. He envisioned that the characters remained combative friends, but that neither one would concede romantic devotion for the other. Of course, if you watch the musical version, My Fair Lady, you'll see that there are definitely romantic feelings blossoming. Pygmalion is a great example of how the audience's imagination can sometimes overthrow the intentions of the playwright. Learn more about this play by reading the summaries of Act Three and Act Four.
"Where the devil are my slippers?" -- This is the last line of the film version of Pygmalion, a line delivered by the incomparable Professor Henry Higgins, directed at Eliza Doolittle, hinting that they are meant to be together. But are they?Many directors, producers, and audience members wanted to have Pygmalion end with romantic possibilities between the two main characters. However, George Bernard Shaw firmly believed that Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle do not marry one another. To clear up any questions that readers might have, he actually wrote several pages of prose explaining what happens to the characters. According to Shaw, Pickering and Higgins remain bachelors. Eliza marries Freddy; they open up a flower shop together. She spends a good deal of time visiting both gentlemen on Wimpole Street. Best of all, Eliza and Higgins still argue with each other, keeping the fires of their turbulent friendship constantly ablaze. Read more about the fascinating conclusion of Shaw's most beloved comedy, Pygmalion.