Open Forum

1.  Make up Assignments for Missed Performances

Posted 04-21-2014 12:23

So here is my question. Is there a make up assignment you give from students who miss a performance due to illness?

I rarely have kids miss for a scheduled reason, but I often have kids miss final performances because they are sick. It is a tricky area for me because sometimes I feel they skip that half of the day due to performance anxiety. The school says I can excuse them as I wish. However, there is no way I can prove if they are sick or not. Also we invite another class to see the performance so letting them do the play for their own class does not really evaluate how they act in front of an audience they don't see everyday.

Shelby Burton
Chicago IL

2.  RE:Make up Assignments for Missed Performances

Posted 04-21-2014 12:36
When students miss a performance for another class, I require a doctor's note to excuse them.  They are then expected to do their scene for our class on their return so they do not get to totally avoid doing it.  Otherwise it is a zero for their performance grade. 
For class performances, they have to do it whenever they return and their partners receive the higher of the two performance grades so they are not penalized.
Still frustrating for all when someone skips, but at least there are consequences.

Cindy Kreicar
Theatre Director/Drama Instructor
Yorktown VA

3.  RE:Make up Assignments for Missed Performances

Posted 04-21-2014 15:00

Hi there,
I understand what you mean.  I definitely have a make up performance piece in place for those who miss performances. The make up performance depends on the type of performance they missed, but there is a performance aspect to it.  For example, we just did original play performances as an in school performance.   If a student misses that, they need to write a short 'sequel' to the play that they missed and then perform a selection of the sequel for us.  (like a monologue or a scene with a partner of their choice.)  I don't want acting to be a punishment, but I do want the students to understand that there is a team that is relying on them and that they are accountable for performing.  Fortunately, now that this is in place and I've been here for 10 years, the students know what to expect and the frequency of that happening is definitely less.  Hope that helps a little bit!

Lorie Baldwin
Richboro PA

4.  RE:Make up Assignments for Missed Performances

Posted 04-21-2014 12:46
I have had similar problems!  I thought that maybe if I came up with an assignment that was worse than performing they would just go ahead and do the performance. I experimented with makeup assignments of various kinds across a couple of different academic years, but finally came to the conclusion that an alternative assignment gives a reluctant actor exactly what they are looking for - a way out of performing.  

Now, no matter what, they have to perform.  My course is a semester long Acting class. Performing is at the heart of the course.  I include many strategies for memorizing, rehearsing and dealing with nerves, but still have a few each semester that freak out a bit.  Several will ask up front if they can come after school and perform for just me. And, of course, sometimes a student misses a performance because they are simply, truly sick.

If they miss your scheduled performance day, perhaps they could perform for a different class than their own to fulfill the unknown audience situation.  If not, I would still say that performing for their own class is better than something alternative that allows them not to perform.  

Amy Learn
Ballwin MO

5.  RE:Make up Assignments for Missed Performances

Posted 04-22-2014 15:26
I completely understand what you are talking about. It has always amazed me the number of students that take a drama class and do not expect to perform. To counter this I have made my grading weighted toward performance. 40% of their grade is performance based. No matter how well they do on all the other assignments they simply can't get a good grade without performing. I explain this in the first days of class.

The first assignments are short and individual or small group and rehearsed and done on the same day. If you do it you get all the points. This sets them up for success. They feel like they can do it. I work very hard for them to understand my expectations and have them rehearse in front of their peers. The first real performance they do once for critique in front of the class and then for the grade.

When I do the first scene from a script I have all the students do the exact same scene. This allows me to "sub-in" someone for the partner that is missing and there is always a volunteer to help out. When the person returns then they can do it with the partner and the partner that was there on the performance day can select the grade they want from the two.

Also I don't allow a make-up without a doctor's/AP's note to show that they were sick enough to go to the doctor and couldn't come to school. When it gets down to a one act in class a no show is a no go on the grade. If they are truly ill with a doctor's note to the one act performance and have contacted me via phone or email to let me know they will not be there (that is not texting a friend to tell me), I require two contrasting monologues of my choice done for the audience on opening night of the next show prior to the beginning of the show. Few want that to be their performance so they show up unless they truly are very sick!

Love hearing all the great ideas! Leslie

Leslie Van Leishout
Theater Education Coordinator
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Edwardsville IL