In my few years of teaching drama to middle and high school students, a priority has been to provide students with a creative atmosphere so that they are able to express themselves in an informed manner. While this unit will continue to focus on this premise by creating plays from detective fiction, a new concentration towards the study of interactive audiences and cultural patterns of aesthetic tradition will begin.
I feel that the art of watching and listening to a public performance has been lost among our technology-crazed and TV-watching culture. Live theatre, it seems, has taken a back seat to television, the movies and computers in terms of appeal, and the art form seems to have less effect on people's aesthetic sense. The theatre does not stimulate or provide the same excitement or entertainment as it has in the past, and in my unit I will try to figure out why this is so and do something about rectifying it.
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.
The drama lessons begin by reading and solving a number of detective stories and puzzles, and then they will elaborate on one of those stories. A play will be made which will be performed in front of a visiting class. The unit contains a description of daily puzzles along with creative ideas for teaching each one of them, and other useful lesson plans relevant to the stories are provided. Keeping in mind the demand of meeting the needs of students, this unit gives teachers other resources to pick lessons from, and it will contain plans created by other teachers who have used this interesting genre of fiction.
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. By doing this, certain types of plays may be developed that will make public performances in schools more attractive to our young modern viewers.