Students in Patricia’s Musical Theater class at I.S. 171 demonstrate a few of their favorite class activities through photos and descriptions!
Mirror Exercise: Students face their partner and have to mirror each other’s movements. This exercise helps to build focus, concentration as well as encourages a connection to their partner which is helpful for scene study.
Out Loud Exercise: In musicals, characters break out into song because they are experiencing an extreme circumstance or feeling an extreme emotion. Student ‘directors’ were asked to think of an extreme emotion or circumstance either from real life or their imagination. Using the remaining pool of actors, they were asked to sculpt them into a picture of this ‘out loud’ moment in life. The class then took turns guessing what the picture was describing.
Stage Game: Students learn the stage directions through a fun game. They are directed to cross to different parts of the stage (blocking). While taking their direction, they must also respond to random cues that they are given, such as “enact a tragic death scene.”
Character Analysis: Students were asked to choose a character from a suggested list from plays, movies and books. Then they wrote an in-depth character analysis, to help put the character into actable terms. They were to act as though they were cast in the role of this character, and to carry out the basic ‘homework’ that all actors must do when approaching a role. From there, the actors portrayed their characters through ‘picture day.’ They walked from point A to point B, sat for their picture, and improvisationally interacted with the photographer (the teacher) while maintaining their character.
Cold reading: As part of the audition technique unit, students were asked to perform a monologue from scripted material, with only 5 minutes to prepare. They learned to make quick acting choices and to present themselves in a professional manner.
photo credits Patricia Runcie