How to Teach Your First Drama Class
If you are leading a drama club, or teaching your first drama class, this short intro works great! If you are doing some other project, go ahead and use this time to give a brief description of the project and what the kids will be doing.
Gather the kids in a quiet area of the room, or in the opening circle area. Ask students what they think that ‘acting’ is. There are many schools of thought, and many methods that apply here. If you have a theater background, you may have studied a particular technique. If you have no drama experience, you have almost certainly have “acted” many times in your life. For the purpose of this lesson plan, we are going to focus on embracing imagination and sense memory to teach acting. In this sense, young people are already naturally accomplished actors! All kids play make-believe and pretend.
As we grow up, most of us abandon our childhood dream-worlds in order to cope with “reality.” Any actor can put on a costume, memorize some lines, and say them loudly enough for everyone to hear. A great actor will make you believe that he is, in fact, in a saloon surrounded by ruffians, not on a hot stage in Denver. He makes you believe because he believes. He has re-entered that zone that children enter naturally.
Acting basically means playing pretend to such a degree, and involving all of the senses that you believe you are somewhere/someone else which in turns makes your audience believe.
- What are your favorite “pretend” games?
- Are you ever in one place while imagining you are somewhere else?
- How is playing pretend different from playing video games or watching TV?
- Have you ever seen a play?
- How is theater different from dance, music and visual art?
- Besides acting, what else goes into creating a play? (Set, props, costumes,
- sound, light, etc.)