Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Box Set Activity

One of my favorite activities I completed during the Teaching Shakespeare Institute was Michael Tolaydo's "Box Set" activity. During this activity, students create a stage set - in a box - of a scene from a Shakespearean play. Students are encouraged to play around with setting and context; I remember our group did the wedding scene in The Taming of the Shrew in a 1950s prim and proper American town. There has to be a reason for the setting (I honestly don't remember ours from the summer).

Then, each group member has a task. One person is on movements, and will document five movements during the scene (blocking) and discuss how the movements convey meaning. Ditto with person two, who must discuss the staging. Person three does costumes. Person four does lighting and music. And person five does props.

Students got Monday to work on it, then an unexpected extra day yesterday when I called in sick. They had a lot of freedom. Now, this can be great, full of epiphanies and creativity, but it can also bring with it some groan-worthy moments. I had some of both today during the presentations. I'm pretty sure that the group who set 1.1 with dinosaurs and 2.2 in a Fetish Club (ugh) both understood their scene pretty well, even with the groans.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Amazing! Both the lesson plan and the two weird choices you mentioned.