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A Theater Workshop to Improve Character Development and Collaboration Skills, by Leigh Highbridge


Guide Entry to 02.04.08:

For my freshman theater students to develop their acting skills and techniques, they first must approach the development process with peace, understanding, and collaboration in mind. When they are disrespectfully disagreeing, and not embracing the diversities inherent in the group's personalities, there is no successful collaboration, and so, no great development. This unit contains exercises usually found in a vocational preparation situation, including resumé and cover letter writing, work skills assessment, and also a job classification list. The actor needs to know about people, and how most people work. What a person does for a living directly impacts his or her posture, body language, mannerisms, speech and self-conduct. This unit therefore has a two-fold objective: it asks the students to realize themselves as workers, and, using comparison and contrast to their own character make-up, create believable characters onstage. Meanwhile, the students learn to work cooperatively, and with appreciation for each other. The unit culminates in a production written, designed and performed by the class.

(Recommended for Acting, grade 9, and Technical Theatre Production, grades 9-10.)

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