Teaching Drama in 106 (Spring 2015 version)

This post is a follow-up to the workshop on teaching drama in 106 that Carrie O’Dell and I facilitated before spring break. We’d promised the participants there to share some of the material we used during the presentation so here it is. Hopefully others will find it beneficial too.

In the interests of not retreading material I’ve already posted on the blog, here’s a link to the post I’d made on the subject following my presentation on the subject last year:

Teaching Drama in 106 (Spring 2014)

And, in all-new material, here are a lot of different things from Carrie, consisting of a document on approaches and resources, a PPT to use with Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, a PDF version of a short two-person play (Executive Dance) she has used, and a modern variant ending to Ibsen’s play.

Drama in FYW Resources and Links

Doll’s House lecture

Executive Dance

Gilman dollhouse end

We’d love to hear any thoughts you have on this material, any questions you might have, and, especially, how using any of this in the classroom works for you.

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2 thoughts on “Teaching Drama in 106 (Spring 2015 version)

  1. Thank you for this, Shil and Carrie. This morning I taught the first class in our drama unit, which will be focusing on “A Doll House,” so your suggestions are very helpful. I thought I’d share a couple of things I used, in case others would like to try them.
    In introducing drama, I thought it was important to point out how much actors’ (and directors’) choices shape what the audience sees. While trying to assemble something on my own, I stumbled on this video, which offers 5 actors performing Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” soliloquy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCJ4hKJvgJw. (The actors are Kenneth Branagh, Laurence Olivier, Mel Gibson (!), Richard Burton, and David Tennant.) Whether or not you use it for teaching, it’s fascinating to watch them all and see the differences.
    I also wanted them to get a sense of where “A Doll House” fits into theatrical history – so, half as a joke, I assembled the following:
    History of World Drama in 5 Minutes or Less! (Just the highlights.)
    • Greek Tragedy: gods & men; Aristotle’s Poetics; Catharsis
    • ancient Greece: Sophocles (Oedipus)… ”Sophocles Oedipus Rex 1957”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZUCgq8LfhY – 56:14 – 56:55
    • Shakespeare: Renaissance, ca. 1600: high and low, mixed together: nobles/poetry, ordinary people, low comedy; language, psychology, ideas
    • Shakespeare (Hamlet)… “Olivier’s Hamlet film (1948): To Be Or Not To Be soliloquy”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ks-NbCHUns – 1:01 – 2:00
    • Ibsen: realism: social issues dramatized
    • Ibsen (A Doll House)… “A Doll’s House, last scene”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMa0ZARfZBM – 7:09 – 7:26
    • Brecht: Marxist, + breaking the illusion of theater: calling attention to the artifice
    • Berthold Brecht (Threepenny Opera)…
    • [Still seeking a good clip.]
    • Miller: a leftist, commenting on America, influenced by Ibsen
    • Arthur Miller (Death of a Salesman)…
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xXUp9KAlAc – 0:0 – 0:47
    • Ionesco, Pirandello, Beckett: Theater of the Absurd: breaking away from realism, trying for new effects, commentary on absurdity of existence
    • Samuel Beckett (Waiting for Godot)…
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUXtzkLTABI – 0-:14
    • David Mamet: reproducing speech of real people, with plenty of profanity & mercilessness
    • David Mamet (Glengarry Glen Ross)…
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVQPY4LlbJ4 – 0 – :30

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