Switching Roles – Warm Up Game

I came across this great game and thought I would share. The original article is located here. By the website: theatrefolk.com, written by Kerry Hishon. I love how it allows the students the opportunity to look at their own character, especially when they may feel stuck in the forest on a developmental point of their character.

Here’s a warm-up game you can try at your next rehearsal: Switching Roles. Students will use an improv game to take on a different part in the play you’re currently working on. 

It’s a simple enough premise: using the framework … Continue reading

Theatre vs. Drama, what’s the difference?

I’ve been in the drama education world for quite some time now, and I just figured out the actual difference between drama and theatre. So, to help clarify for anyone else, I thought I’d share the difference between theatre vs. drama.

First of all, theatRE vs. theatER, what’s the difference? Well, truthfully, nothing. The ‘er’ version is preferred with American English whereas the ‘re’ version is the British version. However, you will constantly see people referred to a building or a structure, where the art is performed, as theatER and the art form as theatRE. But, there truly is no … Continue reading

3 Quick Tips for New Drama Teachers

I am often asked by teachers, when I present to their classes, to give their kids my top two or three tips they should focus on while they rehearse. Although there are so many tips that one could give, it always comes down to the following three for me:

1) PROJECT YOUR VOICE – One of the biggest challenges I find for kids is their ability to project their voices. Some get it confused with yelling. But really, basic projection comes from the diaphragm. Projecting your voice goes for both a larger setting as well as smaller settings. … Continue reading

“SHATNER!” Drama Improv Game

Shatner over reacting

Ok, this is a REALLY FUN improv drama game that your kids will LOVE! It’s called, SHATNER! (At least the adults of the kids will surely love it!) 🙂 (I did not think of this game, and due credit goes to where I heard of it from; the Facebook group, Homeschool Snark.)

We all know Captain Kirk from the old … Continue reading

Create a Performance Playbill

This is a short post about an activity you can do with your kids as you get ready for the show.  As many of us directors know, there are an endless number of things you can do to prepare for the performance.  IN NO WAY, am I suggesting that you need to do a lot of things to have a successful performance.  ( I typically … Continue reading

Creative Performance Ideas

This is a quick post about a couple ideas that are awesome, and all credit goes to an amazing homeschool mom, Amy.

Recently Amy directed her small homeschool co-op in one of our plays, The Tempest for Kids. In doing so, she decided to perform it in their backyard, inspired by our own Backyard Shakespeare. That being said, she quickly renamed it, … Continue reading

Memes and Shakespeare – Class Project

shakespeare meme

First of all, this was not my idea! But, it’s a brilliant way to engage your kids with Shakespeare, especially high schoolers! All credit goes to Larry Reiff (@Mrreiff) – as he says, “All the world’s an e-stage”! Love it!

Now, onto the great idea… Shakespeare analyzed via memes.  I know this is not traditional, but hey, we are about engaging our kids with the wonderful language and stories of Shakespeare any way possible, and this is PERFECT!

So simply, he has the kids analyze a scene and then find photos and memes that go with specific phrases.  See examples below. … Continue reading

Environment is King for Drama

I was talking with a mom earlier this morning, and she said something very interesting. She said that her daughter loves my drama classes, and talks about me frequently when it comes to drama. Although I’m glad I inspire the kids, it’s not the point of this story. What is interesting is she followed up with a different comment, one that puts the previous … Continue reading

Character Line Quantities for Playing With Play Books

Over the years, I have taught EVERY single one of our plays, most of them multiple times, and some of them at least 20 times…. (Hamlet, Midsummer, R&J, Caesar, Macbeth…). But, one of the best tools for me to use is the Character Line Quantities spreadsheet to help me with casting.

A teacher asked me recently, “why don’t you share that?” Which I gladly did. But it hit me, why don’t I share this with EVERYONE?

There’s nothing like casting a play. Trying to figure out dynamics of who can synergize with whom; what characters will pull the most … Continue reading

Shakespeare in Mime

A theater group in India has put together a performance of The Tempest, done completely in mime.  Designed specifically for grade school kids, in the fear that Shakespeare is leaving schools, this performance relies entirely on actions. No words, which makes the story telling that much more challenging.  Read more about this impressive performance here in the New Indian Express.

As a classroom exercise, have your kids mime a short part of one of Shakespeare’s plays. You really need to be expressive and understand the language in order to deliver a mimed performance effectively.  This will be great fun!

Let me know … Continue reading