Theater touches the lives of everyone in our society, either directly through family experiences or indirectly through friends and other acquaintances.
This unit that I’m designing is to give the learners knowledge in the area of the theater, and its functions, as well as improve their reading and writing skills. This unit can be taught in part or as an on-going process throughout the school year. I will teach this unit to fifty eighth grade students for a total of twenty school days. It will be taught through English, Reading, and in conjunction with the drama teacher.
Students will become familiar with the theater through reading and writing plays as well as acting and the many components that go into the function of the theater and the number of people that are involved with the performances. Because these factors are integrated into a unit which provides necessary information for students and pleasure, it carries with easy motivation for student’s exploration and it will also allow students to relate to real life situations and different cultures. The activities in this unit cause the learner to develop objectivity, as well as improve reading and writing skills, that are related in many facets of the theater.
Mr. Ben-Israel, the drama teacher, will be working with me in implementing this unit. We will spend three fifty minute periods on the introduction of the theater. Students will be asked to go to the library within the school or to the public library to obtain books and information on the theater and do research to write a report. This research will cause the students to do some reading and writing which is what will work best to enhance the knowledge and their skills.
The history of the theater will be introduced by Ben-Israel and myself in language arts classes. Three class periods, fifty minutes each will be utilized. Homework will be assigned each class period either in the form of reading and discussing what was read, writing a report on the reading material, or reading a play in class. This will be determined by Ben-Israel. He will be working with me two to three days a week for the duration. The remaining time divided into fifty minute segments will be spent exclusively with Ben-Israel developing and putting on a play. With my assistance, the plays will be stages during one of the assemblies at our school.
Most of the lesson plans will be utilized during the introduction and the sessions focusing on the history of the theater.
Materials that will be presented are in the prose section and the lesson plans of this unit. After the presentation of the material on the theaters in the different countries listed, the students will be divided into groups. Each group will be assigned a country. They will be required to do some in-depth research and present their findings to the class. This will assist them in their understanding of the theater while it puts to use their skills in reading and writing.
It is my intent that the learner’s skills sill grow and knowledge will increase with adequate use of this unit, and the learners will become literate to some degree within the area of the theater.
The theater by its specialized characteristics, makes it relevant to a classroom composed of several ethnic groups typical in the New Haven School System. My overall strategy is to raise pertinent questions and present materials which will allow students to focus on issues dealing with the theater and its functions and performances.
Questions such as what is theater, how did the theater get started, who are the performers, how are they trained, and who are the people behind the scenes, and what are their functions will be raised.
Theater is an art form that involves the creative efforts of a large number of people. During dress-rehearsal periods the products of their combined efforts, scenery, costumes, properties, lights and sound are put together with the practiced motions and dialogue of the actors, and the result is theater art. The action and drama are carried forward by and through the characters in the play as portrayed by the actors. As the prime moving forces in the play, the actors are usually the center of attention during the performance, and all other elements of the production should aid the actors in their portrayal.
A theater is a place, indoors or outdoors where people perform before an audience. The people who perform, are called actors, they act in plays in an area called the stage. A stage can be a raised platform , or the part of a floor in a room. The audience which may be one person or thousands, is a very important part of theater because it is for the audience that the actors act and the playwright writes.
A theater can be almost anywhere, in a home, school auditorium, park, large-city auditorium, or a small town hall. Theater is applied to films and to television and it means action. It is also used in connection with performances on a stage by live actors.
The theater is one of the most complex of the arts. It requires many kinds of artists for its creation. These specialists include playwright, performers, director, scene designer, costumer, lighting designer, stage manager and various technicians. For many productions, composers, musicians, and a choreographer is needed. The theater is sometimes called a mixed art because it combines the script of the playwright, the environment created by the scene designer, and the speech and movement of the performers.
In the earliest theatrical performances, the dramatist performed all artistic functions, including acting. Gradually specialists developed and the various theater arts emerged.