DRAMA

WORKING TOGETHER

by Vannessa Tucker

Aims of Scheme of work:

For use with any age group.

Overarching purpose = to develop collaboration and working together:

through

Ž awareness of personal space in warm-up;

Ž use of humour in warm-up - silly walks/greetings;

Ž encouraging playfulness in many tasks - warm-up; name trains; machines; melodrama;

Ž mixing groups throughout session;

Ž structured, focused tasks;

Ž non-competitive tasks - mirroring; sculpture; name trains; machines; melodrama.

Other drama issues from sessions:

Ž use of space -

Ž psychological safety -

LESSON 1

Objectives:

Warm-up:

  1. Running round the room in different directions: changing direction on instruction - being aware of personal space and others’ space - running backwards.
  2. Funny walks: walking in the manner of...someone who’s late; someone with a blistered heel; moonwalking; wet park bench...
  3. Good morning: greeting others in the manner of...someone hard of hearing; meeting someone you dislike intensely; best friend; partner morning after a big row; foreigner...
  4. Making Shapes: on instruction whole group to form shape specified, but without speaking. Shapes - triangle; question mark; wave; division sign...

Mirroring:

In pairs labelled A and B. A leads, B follows; then reverse.
Static mirrors; across planes of movement; contact mirrors - moving in synchrony.

Mood sculptures:

Individually , Sit in a circle and think of three or four words to describe your feelings over the past few days.
In groups of three , share words and discuss reasons for those feelings. One person chooses one of the words and sculpts the other two physically into a shape to represent that word. Allow opportunities for everyone to sculpt - encourage touching and physical contact.
Whole group tableaux : thinking about expressiveness of body and impact of image on stage, one person takes up a stance in centre of studio to represent given mood, then one by one others take up a position to extend and complement the tableau. Themes: celebration; betrayal.

Name trains:

In groups of five or six. Each person thinks of a gesture, the more bizarre the better, to accompany their name. The group forms a train - the first person says their name and gesture and the others copy - repeat the name and gesture about six times - then the next person comes to the front and repeats the process until everyone’s name and gesture has been done.

Machines:

In groups of four or five. Think of a machine - domestic, industrial, commercial, imaginary. As a group represent that machine with each member of the group representing its various movements.
Verbal machine: same idea, but the machine is an abstract one. A word or phrase is chosen for each group member, plus an accompanying gesture, which somehow captures the essence of something and turns it into a machine.

Warm-down:

Circle time - each person makes a statement about how he or she felt about the lesson- accentuate the positive!

LESSON 2

Objectives:

Circle time:

Introduce each other and establish expectations of drama and rules.

Warm-up:

The teacher asks the group to lay on the floor, they are asked to close their eyes and stretch every part of their body imaginable- even their tongue. They now move each part of their body slowly. This speeds up and they progress to moving around the room making as many shapes as possible.

The pig:

Everyone crawls around on their hands and knees with their eyes shut being sheep, "baaahing" at one another. The teacher taps one of them on the shoulder and they become a pig. The sheep have to find the pig, when they have been "snorted" at they go and sit at the edge of the space.

The cross and the circle:

The group is told at the beginning that this exercise is virtually impossible to do. This can be done standing or sitting. First, they are asked to make a circle in the air with their right hand- stop. Now do a cross with the left hand-stop. Now do them both at the same time-impossible! (Nearly)
Variation: make circle with right foot and continue to do this whilst attempting to write name with right hand.
The teacher explains to the group that there is no physical reason why this can’t be done it is purely psychological and so with practice should be achievable.

Hypnosis:

Label pairs A and B. A holds her hand palm forward, fingers upright, a few centimetres away from the face of B who is then as if hypnotised and must keep his face constantly the same distance from the hypnotiser, hairline level with her finger-tips, chin more level with the base of her palm. The hypnotiser starts a series of movements with her hand, up and down, right and left, etc… The partner must contort his body in every way possible to maintain the same distance between face and hand. If necessary, the hypnotic hand can be swapped; for instance, hypnotised to go between the legs of the hypnotiser. They must never do movements too rapid to be followed, nor come to a complete halt.

Pushing against one another:

Pairs: The pairs face each other and hold each other by the shoulders. They draw an imaginary line between them. They have to start pushing with all their strength. When one person feels that the other one is weaker, she backs off and vice versa. The aim is not to cross the line and not to win. Variation: back to back, bottom to bottom.

Glass Cobra:

Whole class: The whole class make a snake shape. They put their hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them and close their eyes. They feel the hair and shape of head of that person. The snake starts to move slowly until the teacher throws a stone at it and it shatters into tiny pieces. The aim is for the snake to become whole again; they have to find the person in front of them but they cannot open their eyes, they can only do it by touch; recognising the head and hair.

Circle numbers fall:

Whole class: Each person is given a number; they must not let anyone else see it. They walk around using as much space as possible, but when a number is called that person faints and the group has to catch them. This speeds up until 3 or 4 people are fainting at once.

Warm-down:

Circle time- discussion of skills learnt.

LESSON 3

Objectives:

Warm-up:
The apple dance: The class are divided into pairs an apple is placed between their foreheads and they have to dance without dropping it.

The magnet - positive and negative

The teacher asks the group to wander round the room for a few minutes, eyes shut trying not to collide with one another. They should have their hands covering their elbows, and should move slowly. In the first part of the game, whenever anyone touches anyone else, they must both immediately back off – the magnet is negative. After a few minutes, the magnet becomes positive and they stick together but still have to keep moving.

The French telephone :

A circle of people watching each other. Number 1 is Watched by number 4 who is watched by 7 who is watched by 10 and so on; 2 by 5 who is watched by 8 who is watched by 11 and so on, 3 watched by 6 who is watched by 9 who is watched by 12. The aim is to do nothing just watch carefully. But whenever our model moves the tiniest bit, we move a tiny bit more. As someone is watching us, he will move more than we did and a tiny bit more than our model. The whole thing escalates. With the instruction 'Do nothing' as the starting point, we end up with extremes of behaviour.

Atmosphere:
The teacher prepares the room by lighting candles and creating an ambient atmosphere. The group is asked to sit quietly and feel.
Circle time: The group discusses atmosphere and how it affects us. This leads on to how it affects a drama group and how it can be created- body language sound, attitude etc. Include how one person can create a negative or positive atmosphere and how this would effect a group.
In groups: Create an atmosphere of your choice with the use of bodies and space. This can be developed and experimented with to include music, objects and lighting.
Whole class: Discuss performances and feelings. Reaffirm the affect an individual has on a group and the responsibility they have to a their drama group in particular.

Warm-down:

Find someone that you haven’t spoken to yet or haven’t spoken to much and find out 5 things about them.

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