Upper School Drama--Curricular Goals

Detailed Outline

(Red text indicates advanced curriculum.)


Upper School Students will:



A.)  Use the body and voice expressively.

1.) Identify and understand specific movement and vocal techniques.

2.) Master pantomime skills.

3.) Develop relaxation and preparatory techniques.

4.) Practice stage movement.

B.)  Express character through movement and voice.

1.)  Develop body awareness and spatial perception.

2.) Use movement techniques to express characters and situations in improvised and scripted scenes.

3.) Create character and situation by synthesizing movement ideas.

C.) Develop sensory awareness.

1.) Interpret subtleties of sensory perception and emotional states.

2.) Recall and express personal sensory experiences.

3.) Create fully realized sensory environments through pantomime and dialogue.

4.) Use a range of emotional expression to express complex characters.

D.) Develop personal creativity.

E.) Develop the comfort necessary to take artistic and personal risks in dramatic work.



A.)  Cooperate in teams to solve problems.

1.) Understand and explain the need for ensemble in theatre.

2.) Balance personal and group needs and concerns.

3.) Explore consequences and implications of alternative solutions to dramatic problems.

4.) Consciously explore theatrical production as creative problem solving.

B.)  Place self in other contexts--walk in others' shoes.

1.) Acknowledge similarities with and differences from others in dramatic activities.

2.) Explore alternatives and problem-solving techniques through dramatization.

3.) Draw parallels between drama and life.

C.) Observe and criticize one another's work.

D.)  Improve understanding of self and others through expanding role repertoire.



A.) Develop an appreciation of the Theatre.

1.) Identify and discuss reasons for creating Theatre, including:

a.) Political tool.

b.) Religious celebration.

c.) Entertainment.

d.) Art.

2.) Identify and discuss reasons for attending theatrical performances, including:

a.) Learn about others.

b.) Participate in culture.

c.) Social concerns.

d.) Entertainment.

B.)  Attend live theatre presentations.

1.) Practice audience etiquette.

2.) Describe and discuss the relationship between audience and performing artists.

3.) Discuss and evaluate the behavior of particular audiences.

C.)  Evaluate the success of dramatic expressions both in class and in formal performances.

1.) Use articulated criteria to describe and analyze the effectiveness of artistic choices.

2.) Describe and evaluate the success of their own and others' contributions to collaborative drama work.

3.) Put forth considered suggestions for alternative courses of action.

4.) Take context into account when evaluating performances.

D.)  Construct meanings from informal and formal productions and from dramatic performances from a variety of cultures and historical periods, and relate them to current issues.

E.)  Understand elements of drama including:

1.)  Dramatic Action.

2.)  Character.

3.)  Conflict.

4.)  Resolution.

5.)  Playwright.

6.)  Director.

7.)  Designer.

8.)  Suspension of Disbelief.

9.)  Representation vs. Presentation.

F.) Use dramatic elements in a clear and controlled way.

G.) Analyze and evaluate dramatic elements in literature.

H.) Compare and contrast art forms such as theatre, music, visual art, dance, electronic media, etc, and incorporate them into classroom performances.

1.) Compare the ways ideas are expressed in various media.

2.) Illustrate differences in expression with classroom performance.

3.) Make clear choices about which media to use to express particular ideas.

4.) Describe the ways that other art forms are incorporated into theatrical presentations.

I.) Recognize, compare and contrast specialized modes of theatrical expression including:

1.) Mime.

2.) Dance drama.

3.) Theatre for Young Audiences.

4.) Puppetry.

5.) Radio/Television/Film.

J.) Articulate personal reactions to several art forms.

K.)  Respond to theatre art as an effort to interpret, intensify, and ennoble human experiences.

L.)  Compare the interpretive and expressive natures of several art forms in specific historical periods.

M.)  Integrate several art forms into coherent theatrical presentations.

N.) Construct meaning from nontraditional dramatic performances.

O.) Critique dramatic works in terms of other aesthetic philosophies, for instance:

1.) Ethos of Greek Drama.

2.) French neoclassicism.

3.) Elizabethan drama.

4.) Kabuki.

5.) Indian classical drama.

6.) Twentieth-century forms such as Absurdism, Naturalism, etc.



A.) Recognize the role of theatre, film, television and other media in daily life.

1.) Describe and analyze the effect of publicity, programs, and physical environment on audience response to theatre.

2.) Articulate the meanings of their own and others' theatrical performances.

3.) Analyze the emotional and social impact of dramatic events in their lives, in their community, and in the larger society.

4.) Explain how social concepts such as cooperation, communication, collaboration, consensus, self-esteem, risk-taking, sympathy and empathy apply in the theatre and in life.

5.) Describe how theatre reflects life.

B.) Develop awareness of multicultural concepts in the theatre.

1.) Describe and compare universal characters and situations in dramas.

2.) Discuss how theatre can reveal universal concepts and truths.

3.) Discuss how theatrical practices and specific theatrical artifacts reflect a culture, and how their own culture is reflected in their own theatrical work.

4.) Read a wide selection of culturally significant theatrical literature from various cultures.

5.) Analyze the social and aesthetic impact of underrepresented theatre and film artists.

6.) Examine the relationships among cultural values, freedom of expression, ethics, and artistic choices in various cultures and historical periods.

C.) Develop awareness of historical heritage of the theatre.

1.) Explore theatre history through dramatic literature.

2.) Identify and compare the lives and works of representative theatre artists in various cultures and historical periods.

3.) Identify cultural and historical sources of American theatre.

4.) Analyze the development of dramatic forms and practices across cultures and historical periods.

5.)  Discuss the impact that various developments in theatre history have had on contemporary theatre, film, and electronic media.

D.) Explore careers in the theatre and related fields.

1.) Explore in depth selected occupations in theatre.



A.)  Create/WRITE scripts.

1.) Participate in group play-making activities.

2.)  Collaborate to select and create characters, situations and environments.

3.) Create characters, environments and actions through improvisation.

a.) Formalize improvisations by recording and repeating them.

b.) Create fully realized characters through improvised dialogue and actions.

4.) Write scenes and monologues using proper format and containing dramatic action.

5.) Understand and use clear dramatic structure.

6.) Express meaning and character through language.

7.) Collaborate with actors to refine scripts.

8.) Write scripts in a variety of traditional and new forms.

9.) Understand and begin to attain the skills and knowledge necessary for a career as a professional writer or playwright.

B.)  ACT/role-play.

1.) Develop basic acting skills including:

a.) Sensory recall.

b.) Concentration.

c.) Diction.

d.) Breath control.

e.) Body alignment.

f.) Body control.

g.) Improvisation.

2.) Analyze the physical, emotional and social dimensions of characters found in dramatic texts.

3.) Create characters.

a.) Incorporate physical, emotional and social dimensions of characters in scenes.

b.) Analyze descriptions, dialogue and actions to justify character choices.

c.) Sustain characters in improvised and formal scenes.

d.) Make clear choices in character traits and behavior.

e.) Use improvisation in scripted and unscripted work.

4.) Compare and demonstrate various classical and contemporary acting methods and techniques.

5.) Work in performing ensembles in class or formally.

6.) Comprehend and respond to the directing process.

7.) Create clear, consistent characters in formal performance.

8.) Demonstrate the discipline necessary to create coherent ensemble in formal performance.

9.) Understand and begin to attain the skills and knowledge necessary for a career as a theatre performer.

C.)  DIRECT classroom theatre.

1.) Understand the role of the director in formal theatre.

2.) Lead small groups in planning and executing dramatic performances.

a.) Rehearse in small groups.

b.) Rehearse individual performances collaboratively.

c.) Criticize one another in partnerships.

d.) Organize rehearsals independently.

3.)  Develop multiple interpretations and visual and aural production choices and make and justify choices.

5.)  Learn and use specialized language of directing.

6.) Conduct auditions and make responsible choices in casting.

7.) Communicate effectively with performers, technicians, etc., in directing drama work.

8.) Effectively collaborate with designers and actors, etc., to create coherent theatre.

9.) Understand and begin to attain the skills and knowledge necessary for a career as a theatre director.

D.)  DESIGN environments for theatre.

1.) Explain the function of:

a.) Scenery.

b.) Properties.

c.) Lighting.

d.) Sound.

e.) Costumes.

f.) Makeup.

g.) Designer.

h.) Technical director.

2.) Explore the effect of selected technical elements in dramatic scenes.

3.) Explore visual and aural elements and principles including:

a.) Line.

b.) Texture.

c.) Color.

d.) Space.

e.) Repetition.

f.) Balance.

g.) Emphasis.

h.) Contrast.

i.) Unity.

j.) Rhythm.

k.) Tempo.

l.) Dynamics.

m.) Pitch.

4.) Make clear choices of technical elements to enhance classroom performances.

a.) Arrange room furniture to assist in presentation of scenes.

b.) Organize materials for costumes, sets, props and lighting.

c.) Select music and other aural elements for presentations.

5.) Create designs for speculative productions.

a.) Analyze a variety of dramatic texts from cultural and historic perspectives to determine production requirements.

b.) Use visual and aural elements to create environments.

6.) Explain the basic physical and chemical properties of the technical aspects of theatre.

7.) Consult on or create designs for actual productions.

a.)  Collaborate with directors, producers, etc., to create unified production concepts.

8.) Consider the aesthetic and practical requirements of movement in designs.

9.) Evaluate dramatic texts as a basis for design and technical production.

10.) Understand and use processes, techniques and materials of technical theatre.

a.)  Safely and effectively construct and use technical elements in productions.

11.) Explain how scientific and technological advances have impacted technical theatre.

12.) Understand and begin to attain the skills and knowledge necessary for a career in technical theatre.

E.)  Conduct research to support dramatic work.

1.) Apply research from print and nonprint sources to writing, acting, directing and design problems.

2.) Make formal written analysis of characters for performance.

3.) Relate specific information learned through research to specific choices in design, acting, writing or directing.

4.) Evaluate the validity and practicality of information gleaned to assist in making artistic choices for informal and formal theatre.

5.) Research and describe appropriate historical production designs and performance techniques, and apply them to theatrical work.

F.) PRODUCE/organize theatre/manage theatre.

1.) Recognize the functions of management in theatrical productions.

2.) Create coherent stage management, promotional and business plans.

3.) Perform management functions for theatre productions.

4.) Create and implement production schedules, stage management plans, promotional ideas, and front-of-house procedures for productions.

5.) Understand and begin to attain the skills and knowledge necessary for a career in theatre production and management.