Drama & Destiny sets a course of exploration for eighth grade Theatre students to learn about themselves, their country, and the possibilities that the future holds for them. The unit includes two main sections: 1)Why America?, which addresses the cosmology and geology involved in creating our world and subsequently the country we live in; 2)What is Justice?, which focuses on issues of racism, segregation, and discrimination in America and how such issues are represented in two plays To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee and A Raisin in The Sun by Lorraine Hansberry. A short concluding section follows, titled What Does The Future Hold?, which takes a look at technological advancement past, present, and future and the impact our inventiveness has had and will have with respect to progress, ethics, and survival for America and for humanity.
Given the time frame for my classes 8th grade drama students meet once per week for a 50-minute session the unit has been designed to cover the course of the first semester (approximately twenty classes). In accordance with National Arts Content Standards, classes include warm-up exercises, key questions, discussions, acting exercises, readthroughs, improvisation, scenework, and creative writing. Students will also be given the opportunity of performing selected scenes for other classes and their written work will be published in our school’s annual anthology, The Poets’ Posse. By demonstrating historical events through reading plays, discussion, analysis, acting, and playwriting, it is the intent of this unit to foster in the students an understanding of history in order to deal with the present and foresee future problems and possibilities.