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Lessons in Drama: Detective Fiction and the Interactive Audience, by Paul E. Turtola

Guide Entry to 99.04.07:

Unit Synopsis:

My curriculum unit concentrates on two primary areas:

A: Creating drama lessons based on detective fiction where interaction as an audience member is a part of the educational experience.

B. An in depth study of the audience and how our aesthetic sense of culture has changed throughout our existence.

____ This unit deals with improving young people's audience skills, and particular emphasis is placed on interactivity, proper conduct and accountability. By looking into the characteristics of theatrical audiences of the ages, perhaps a clearer picture of our modern viewers can be formed.

Part 1: Detective Fiction Lessons

Some of the lesson plan strategies deal with using creative ideas to gather data, review the information and make a final statement. Most of the materials provided are art supplies and library reference tools, but theatrical activities also play a vital part with creativity. The need to act out certain cases will help the "junior detectives" work out their theories and perhaps even solve the crime.

From Lesson Plans to Research:

Why Study Interactivity and a History of the Audience?

To properly understand the concept of interactivity it becomes important to study historical aspects of groups of people (not just theatergoers) who attend artistic events.

Part 2: Studying the History of Audiences

By researching the characteristics of audiences through the ages, a picture of what attracts our audience may help determine the types of drama that work well in today's theaters.

Part 3: Interactivity

An accurate view of culture must come from people sharing their views about events with each other, by experiencing events together, and interacting to a certain degree with what they experienced.

(Recommended for English and Drama, grades 6-8.)

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