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PHYSICAL THEATRE

A Scheme of Work for Year 11

Outline In this scheme of work


students have the opportunity to
explore the use of the physical
throughout drama, from concepts
such as status and body language, to
how different practitioners such as
Brecht and Berkoff have developed
forms of physical theatre in their
work.

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PHYSICAL THEATRE
A Scheme of Work for Year 11

Introduction By the end of the scheme students should be able


to;

Identify and employ the concept of status


SUPPLEMENTS
To accompany this scheme of work and tension within other people
students could watch the full film of performances and their performances.
The Trial by Steven Berkoff as an
extracurricular activity or as a cover
Be able to develop effective and
lesson and a suitable theatre visit
would be to see some physical appropriate body language for different
theatre in action. characters.

ASSESSMENT To understand and be able to manipulative


Assessment for this unit is based on their physicality to express different
an on-going assessment and a final emotions, concepts and ideas.
performance piece. The assessment
objectives for the unit are;
To understand and use Brecht's theory of
AO1 Response Gestus in both their own performances and
AO2 Development recognise it in other peoples performances.
AO3 Performance
AO4 Evaluation
To understand and use Berkoffs style of
CROSS-CURRICULAR LINKS Total Theatre in their performances.
There are opportunities within this
scheme of work to link with PE and
Dance GCSE.

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PHYSICAL THEATRE
A Scheme of Work for Year 11

Lesson 1: Status and Starter (10mins)


Introduce the topic with a discussion around the use of body
Levels of Tension language in our daily lives and in the performances the
students might have undertaken so far. Refer to the
introduction paragraph in the student workbook.
OBJECTIVES
Students will leave the classroom with
an understanding of the term Status and Stop / Start / Go (10mins)
how actors use movement, gesture and Ask the students to walk around the space, making sure they
body language to communicate their walk in straight lines, turning every time they want to change
status to an audience. direction. Explain that you are going to call out some
instructions and they are to respond quickly. You can make up
your own commands and it is often good when accompanied
ASSESSMENT OBJECTIVES by some music. As the game develops start to add emotions to
AO1 Responding to Stimuli the freeze, until that is what the game comprises of, going
from emotion to emotion.
START/STOP COMMANDS
CHANGE = Change direction Status & Levels of Tension (20mins)
HIDE = Pretend to hide in the room Go back to the workbook and read through the definition of
MODEL = Strike a model pose from a Status and Levels of Tension. Go through the 10 levels of
catalogue tension from 1 to 10, taking time to make sure they get used to
CATWALK = Strut your stuff like your on the way of walking, using their body and gestures etc for
a catwalk! each level. Go through these backwards and forwards as many
DANCE LIKE YOUR DAD = Well, dance times as it takes to make sure they understand. Once they
like your dad!
understand the movement, see if they can equate some sort of
CLEAR = Run as fast as you can to the
character to each status level.
sides of the room.
TOGETHER = Come together in one
mass in the centre of the room. Status Improvisation (10mins)
ASSEMBLY = Gather at the front of the Bring the class back into a circle and ask for five volunteers.
room, in rows, like a primary school Give each volunteer a random number between 1 and 10 as a
assembly. level of tension/status for them to take on and apply to a
FREEZE = Freeze in the shape of character. As a spontaneous improvisation exercise, give them
a scenarios to act out and react to as their character.
POSSIBLE SCENARIOS
The fire alarm goes off whilst shopping in Plenary (10mins)
ASDA Firstly ask the students to complete the levels of tension and
On a railway carriage that has broken status box in the workbook. Then, as a final activity, none of
down the students can leave the room unless they have
A bank robbery demonstrated one of the levels of tension/status effectively.

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PHYSICAL THEATRE
A Scheme of Work for Year 11

Starter (10mins)
Lesson 2: Body Place characterisation cards around the room and ask the students
Language to pick one up and on their own think about how they can use
body language alone to show the type of person that is displayed
on their character card. Give the students ten seconds to form a
OBJECTIVES freeze of that character, and then act it out in a whole class
Students will leave the classroom with improvisation. Swop the cards around and repeat twice, before
an understanding of the term Body spot-lighting and discussing different body language and what
Language and how we use movement, makes body language?
gesture, facial expressions and stance to
communicate a characters emotion.
Status Still Images (10mins)
In pairs or threes, ask students to create still images or freeze
frames of moments in which one person has authority over the
ASSESSMENT OBJECTIVES
AO1 Responding to Stimuli
other, such as teacher student, judge criminal, doctor patient.

Forum Theatre exercise (20mins)


RESOURCES Firstly ask one or two of the students to perform their still image in
You will need a set of character cards a circle in front of everyone consider if it is right, what needs
that express simple characteristics such changing or developing to communicate the right message. Then
as lonely, happy, excited etc... ask a pair of spontaneously improvise the scenario, take this
improvisation to a natural conclusion in which the person with
authority wins. Return to the starting still image and ask the other
students if they can change the appearance of the still image so
that the character without status in the previous still gains it in a
new still. Perform the scene so that the person overcomes the
authority. Comment on the differences of both the character and
the characters body language.

Paired Improvisation (15mins)


In pairs, students create a series of short improvisations involving
two people meeting for the first time; although neither of them
can actually say anything more than just make noises. Call out
freeze. When you freeze the action, partner A remains still and
partner B changes his stance to change the relationship between
the two characters and start the improvisation again. Call freeze
again and ask for B to remain still this time. Ask the students to
then develop one of these improvisations by inserting the
following two lines anywhere in the action;

A: What are you doing here?


B: You know perfectly well

Plenary (5mins)
A summary of the learning asking the students to fill in gaps.
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PHYSICAL THEATRE
A Scheme of Work for Year 11

Starter (10mins)
Lesson 3: Gestus Place in pairs at opposite sides of the room. Then ask them to shout
nursery rhymes across the room to each other all at the same time!
Can they really hear? NO! Explain that they have to rely on body /
gesture to get across the rhyme itself. Watch how the movements
OBJECTIVES become bigger. Then tell them that it is a matter of life and death
Students will leave the classroom with importance that the rhyme is communicated (e.g. secret code in war).
an understanding of the term Gestus, Then repeat the exercise and examine use of gesture how does it
how it relates to body language and convey the importance of the message? What did they do to help
how Brecht employed it in Epic Theatre. convey the meaning when words were limited? This difference is
GESTUS.

ASSESSMENT OBJECTIVES Brecht & Gestus (10mins)


AO1 Responding to Stimuli Return to the textbooks and explain about the relationship between
Bertolt Brecht and Gestus as a key part of his theories of drama.

AFL Activity The meaning behind Gestus (15mins)


Use a random number generating Ask the students to move round the room individually calling out
system or tongue depressors to choose Freeze, and when they do ask them to form an image, with a partner
students to answer questions in the near them, on the following themes;
Plenary. If the students show gaps in
their understanding of Gestus, extent Summer and winter, Cat and mouse, Sweet and sour, War and peace
the activities for a further lesson. & Rich and poor.

Look and analyse the last two and discuss how the students
portrayed them. Is there a value judgment for them (e.g. rich & war is
bad but peace & poor is good)? Then this is a meaning that you have
tried to put across and are subconsciously using GESTUS do it again
being aware of meaning. This will make the image stronger.

Gestus Still Images (15mins)


In small groups, create 2 still images (in one minute each) of the
following comparing scenarios;

Crowd at a Football match after your team has just scored a goal
Crowd at a Football match after your team has just lost

War the maker of heroes


War the taker of lives

Look and analyse how the 2 images use GESTUS to convey different
meanings.

Plenary (10mins)
Provide a summary of the learning, asking students to fill in gaps to
provide evidence of their learning suggest you use a random
numbering system to select students.
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PHYSICAL THEATRE
A Scheme of Work for Year 11

Starter: Quick Freezes & machines (10mins)


Lesson 4: Manipulating Students are to move around the room on the command of freeze,
physicality they need to stop and stay still and listen for the number to be
called they then form a group as close to this number as possible
and listen for the object given to them (church, castle, bridge,
OBJECTIVES beans on toast etc) The class then has a minute to create the
Students will leave the classroom with a given object using themselves, Count down from 10 0, all groups
greater understanding of how they can must freeze in position on 0. Teacher looks at each object created
manipulate their physicality to create and chooses a winning group for creating the most effective
objects, moving objects and how we see object. Develop the objects into moving objects.
the world around us.
The Concrete Family (10mins)
Ask the students to create a still image of what might be described
ASSESSMENT OBJECTIVES
as the ideal family. This may require some discussion beforehand.
AO1 Responding to Stimuli
AO2 Development
After the still image, ask the students to create a still image of
what they think a soap opera family looks like and discuss the
differences. Finally get the students to create a family that might
appear in an advertisement. Talk through and discuss the
differences.

The Perspective Family (10mins)


The previous three images depict a family from their knowledge;
they are concrete images the students are familiar with. This time
ask the students to create a family from the perspective of
different family members (as if the audience are that member of
the family). This might need a bit of discussion to begin with. Ask
them to do it from a five-year-olds perspective last, because we
want this one to be turned into a piece of physical theatre.

From my perspective (10mins)


Ask the students to develop the final still image into a
performance, in which the audience are watching the events of an
average family from the perspective of a 5 year old child. Perform
and respond to these pieces.

More from my perspective (15mins)


Develop the idea further and ask the students to improvise a scene
where one person or a group of people have status and authority
over another and perform it from the perspective that person, so
they have authority over the audience.

Plenary (5mins)
Perform and respond to the pieces.

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PHYSICAL THEATRE
A Scheme of Work for Year 11

Lesson 5: Berkoff and Starter: Your day so far (10mins)


On your own, starting from the moment you got out of bed,
Physical exaggeration mime everything that you have done so far up to this point. As
the student perform this, give out instructions to make the
events bigger, smaller, faster or slower. But remind them that
OBJECTIVES whatever the speed or size, they must keep the detail. Discuss
Students will leave the classroom with
how it was like to over-exaggerate certain movements or
an understanding of how Steven Berkoff
uses physical movement, body language actions. How do these over-exaggerations or over-emphasis
and movement in his theatre. communicate to the audience?

Household objects (10mins)


ASSESSMENT OBJECTIVES Quickly getting into different groups each time you undertake a
AO1 Responding to Stimuli new still image, create a new household object. As the group
get used to this, add moving parts and sound to the images.
Again, no matter how big or small the object is, they must pay
RESOURCES attention to detail.
The video/DVD version of Steven
Berkoffs The Trial
The Trial (10mins)
Show the students an extract from Steven Berkoffs The Trial,
HOMEWORK when the henchman arrive at Joseph Ks house, examines the
Go onto the following website contents of his room and eats his breakfast. There is a section
http://www.iainfisher.com/berkoff/berk of the student workbook that refers to this extract for them to
off-influences.html and write down fill in when they are watching it. Afterwards discuss how the
some notes on the key people who have actors interacted with the set, which was entirely made up of
influenced Berkoff and how. Also, have other actors and how they used body language and over-
a look around the website to find some
exaggeration.
more information on Berkoff.

Berkoff and Total Theatre (10mins)


Referring to the student workbook, give an explanation of the
work of Steven Berkoff.

Your day once again (15mins)


In fairly large groups, select a common moment in everyones
day, could be getting dressed, cooking dinner or washing your
face, and using the similar techniques employed by Berkoff,
create a Total Theatre performance of that moment.

Plenary (5mins)
Ask each student to give one important fact about either
Brechts use of Gestus or Berkoffs Total Theatre.

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PHYSICAL THEATRE
A Scheme of Work for Year 11

Lesson 6: The Trial Starter: Slow Motion Races (10mins)

The Trial (15mins)


Ask the students to start the lesson again by recreating their day
so far, but pause the activity much earlier on and consider one of
OBJECTIVES
the most interesting movements they did in that activity. Ask the
Students will leave the classroom with
an understanding of how Steven Berkoff students to recreate that movement, but this time to a beat of 8,
uses physical movement, body language which must include returning to the starting position for the first
and movement in his theatre and create beat. Once the students have this beat of 8, ask them to perform
their own piece of physical theatre the action while you call out the time (you can vary your speed to
based on Berkoffs Total Theatre vary theirs!). Then, get them into a line, do the action for 3 counts
of 8 and then ask them to scream for a burst of 4 seconds like
they did in the opening sequence of The Trial. Repeat if
ASSESSMENT OBJECTIVES necessary.
AO1 Responding to Stimuli
The Telephone (10mins)
Use the same technique to recreate the telephone sequence in
The Trial.

The Office (20mins)


Taking on the same idea as the previous exercise, ask the
students to create an office scene with the students taking on the
roles of the objects in the office. The students also should
consider what objects they need people to be and what they can
mime. Perform and respond to these pieces.

Plenary (5mins)
How does Berkoff use body language and physical theatre in his
pieces of theatre?

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PHYSICAL THEATRE
A Scheme of Work for Year 11

Lesson 7 & 8: The Metamorphosis Project


During the final two lessons (or more if needed) select an
Metamorphosis appropriate part of the play Metamorphosis for the students to
turn into performance.
OBJECTIVES Possibly one of the best pieces to perform would be when the
Students will leave the classroom with
family first see Gregor or when the family are eating and then
an understanding of how Steven Berkoff
uses physical movement, body language feed Gregor.
and movement in his theatre and create
their own piece of physical theatre Start the project off with a brief discussion of the plot of the
based on Berkoffs Total Theatre play and any sub-plots that might be relevant to the sections
you have chosen.

ASSESSMENT OBJECTIVES It would make the performance better if the students were
AO2 Development required to learn their lines in preparation for the performance,
AO3 Performance you may need to extend the scheme for this though.
AO4 Evaluation
The performances could be shared as part of an assembly
programme, another in-school related event or if the students
can remember, an end of year celebration.

Ask the students to evaluate another performance other than


their own using an evaluation template.

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ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
Band 1 (A)
RESPONSE AND DEVELOPMENT
You can clearly focus your ideas and suggestions into a performance that is well shaped and originality.
You have excellent knowledge of the explorative strategies and drama elements, and can use them confidently and without any guidance
from the teacher.
You can demonstrate an ability to explore issues and ideas in an expressive, analytical, reflective and personal way.
You work extremely well in different groups.
EVALUATION
Evaluate the effectiveness of the drama constructively and objectively making informed judgements by showing a clear and concise
understanding of how the explorative strategies, drama elements and mediums have been used by others.
PERFORMANCE
You use excellent vocal and movement skills to show a strong character that is imaginative, committed and realistic.
You can clear use your performance to communicate your characters intentions with clarity.
Band 2 (B)
RESPONSE AND DEVELOPMENT
You can clearly focus your ideas and suggestions into a performance that is well shaped.
You have a good knowledge of the explorative strategies and drama elements, and can use them confidently and with guidance from the
teacher.
You can demonstrate an ability to explore issues and ideas with some thought, imagination and understanding.
You work well in different groups.
EVALUATION
Evaluate the effectiveness of the drama with some insights and recognise and discuss how others have used the explorative strategies,
drama elements and mediums.
PERFORMANCE
You use good vocal and movements skills to show a character that is imaginative, committed and realistic.
You can use your performance to communicate your characters intentions with some success.
Band 3 (C)
RESPONSE AND DEVELOPMENT
You can focus your ideas and suggestions into a performance that is well shaped.
You have good knowledge of the explorative strategies and drama elements, and can use them with guidance from the teacher.
You can demonstrate an ability to explore issues and ideas, displaying some insight but with little depth or reflection.
You work in different groups.
EVALUATION
Evaluate the effectiveness of the drama and discuss how others have used the explorative strategies, drama elements and mediums.
PERFORMANCE
You use some vocal and movement skills to show a character that is sometimes imaginative and committed.
You can use your performance to communicate some of your characters intentions.
Band 4 (D)
RESPONCE AND DEVELOPMENT
Your ideas and suggestions are not well focused but can be made into a performance.
You have some knowledge of the explorative strategies and drama elements, and can use them with guidance from the teacher.
You can demonstrate some development of issues and ideas but with limited means of expression.
You work well with the same group each time.
EVALUATION
Attempt to evaluate the effectiveness of the drama and discuss how others have used the explorative strategies, drama elements and
mediums.
PEROFRMANCE
You use vocal and movement skills as an attempt to show a character that is sometimes imaginative.
You can use your performance to communicate your character.
Band 5 (E)
RESPONSE AND DEVELOPMENT
You have ideas and suggestions that are not easily turned into a performance.
You have little knowledge of the explorative strategies and drama elements, and need guidance from the teacher to use them in a
performance.
You can demonstrate a basic development of issues and ideas but without reflection or understanding of structure.
You work with the same group each time.
EVALUATION
Occasionally evaluate the effectiveness of the drama and describe the work of others without reference to the explorative strategies,
drama elements and mediums.
PERFORMANCE
You use vocal and movement skills in a basic way with little regard to character.
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You can use your performance to sometimes communicate your character.