Open Forum

long distance Theatre lessons

  • 1.  long distance Theatre lessons

    Posted 03-11-2020 09:31
    Hi All, 
    My school has shut down due to the virus, possibly for two - three weeks. I teach 5 - 8 acting classes. I was wondering if any of you had any good ideas for long distance learning for acting classes. We are an ipad, google school. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. 
    Tina Tutt
    MS Theatre, 7th grade Team Leader
    To ignite and nurture student curiosity, intellect, and character
    336 Ernest Rice Lane | Franklin, TN 37069
    (615) 567-8511

  • 2.  RE: long distance Theatre lessons

    Posted 03-11-2020 12:19
    What about reading a scene or play together, analyzing the text from a performance standpoint, and then guiding your students through character analysis and creation exercises with individual characters from what you read? We do that in my regular Acting I class (juniors) with Picnic.

    Cassy Maxton-Whitacre
    Theatre Department Coordinator
    Fishersville VA

  • 3.  RE: long distance Theatre lessons

    Posted 03-11-2020 14:10
    If they all have ipads, they can also record, share and critique monologues, and maybe even do a scene that way - person 1 records their lines, person 2 plays the recording and responds.

    Ken Buswell
    Drama Teacher
    Peachtree City, GA

    Theater kills ignorance

  • 4.  RE: long distance Theatre lessons

    Posted 03-11-2020 16:34
    Hey everyone,

    My undergrad classmate (University of Northern Colorado), a thespian Alumni is actually working on this for his dissertation. I asked him if I could share and to pass along this to anyone interested.

    His name is Eric Eidson and can be contacted at

    Hey theatre friends (especially at universities forced to go online because of Covid-19)... I'm writing my dissertation on online theatre! If you need any help transitioning your classes online, let me know. I also developed a form of theatre, "Live-Stream Theatre," meant to be performed through video-chat providers like Skype. I wrote scenes specifically meant to be performed/rehearsed online, so you can still do scene work even if you're not physically in the same location. I'd be happy to share any/all of my work with you, and I may even include you in my dissertation if you decide to try some stuff out!


    Hope this helps!

    Mark Drum

  • 5.  RE: long distance Theatre lessons

    Posted 03-12-2020 08:42
    Tina, I also teach the young ones, and we also have the probability of closing after spring break! Our school is also saying "try to come up with project based learning, and activities where they are NOT on their screens for hours. I was thinking of having them play charades with their family or siblings, or play the prop game with items in their house, or choose a favorite story and act it out all by yourself and become all the characters using different voices. Then film yourself and submit it. I'm trying to think "Creative Play!"

    Suzanne "Mama" Craig
    MS/HS Theatre/Speech
    Lipscomb Academy
    Nashville, TN

  • 6.  RE: long distance Theatre lessons

    Posted 03-12-2020 09:34
    What a great opportunity to prepare an online "audition" submission.  They can watch other online auditions videos and critique what works and what doesn't.  Then they can film their own submission.  

  • 7.  RE: long distance Theatre lessons

    Posted 03-13-2020 08:42

    I turned in my two-week student learning packet on Wednesday evening.... which was just in time. We will be out from Monday through the 31st.  I teach elementary and our school-wide policy is to have *may do* and *must do* activities clearly labeled across grades and subjects.  PS, PK, and K activities are all *may do* and include things like a link to the audio for "Carnival of the Animals" and instruction to listen to two sections (two different animals) and move around a space to the music- like the animal in the title. I also have parents and students going to (a SAG/AFTRA site that has actors reading children's books), listen to the story and recreate characters at various parts of the story. (Betty White's reading of "Harry the Dirty Dog" is just delightful.)

    For my older elementary students, I have included both *may do* and *must do* activities. My third graders have been working on reading texts/scripts and identifying what set pieces would help an audience understand the setting if we were onstage. As and extension, I have them doing similar exercises with props (What props are absolutely necessary for actors to tell this story?) and costumes (Use the body outline on the page to design a costume that would best show the character to the audience.)  I am looking forward to the designs I will get.... since the text I am using is "Hey, That's My Monster!" and they have to design for one of the monsters.

    My students also perform showcases tied to core content classroom work at the end of the year. I usually hand out scripts during the time we are home. My plan is to finish and cast the scripts, get them to the classroom teachers for feedback, and then post them to my drama webpage so the kiddos (and families) can begin reading them... and maybe memorizing lines before their return.

    If my students don't have net access at home before today, the school is providing a Chromebook and working with the district to set up free wifi hotspots.  Everyone will be covered. (We also have a food plan, too. So many of our students are in need.....)


    Suzanne Katz
    Washington DC

  • 8.  RE: long distance Theatre lessons

    Posted 03-15-2020 08:47
    I'm in Atlanta.  I wish our city was doing half of what your's is.  Is there a script for Hey, That's My Monster.  I love your ideas.

    Valerie Scott
    Drama Teacher/Director
    Perimeter School
    Johns Creek, Ga

  • 9.  RE: long distance Theatre lessons

    Posted 03-18-2020 11:56
    IM a first year Theatre Elementary Teacher.  Can you send a copy of your packet.

    Donald Osborne

    Donald Osborne
    Lake Peekskill NY

  • 10.  RE: long distance Theatre lessons

    Posted 03-22-2020 19:25
    I am also a K-5 Theatre teacher.  We had to do 'choice boards' as an arts team for the first two weeks.  We had no time to really plan it out.  We were told on a Monday morning that we had until 2pm to have two weeks of work ready for the kids.  I doubt we will be back in session anytime soon.  Would you be willing to share your packet?  I am struggling to come up with things my kids can do at home that feel authentic.   My class is so hands on and interactive, mentally shifting to solo activities is throwing me for a loop.

    My choice boards included...
    K-2:  act out part of your favorite story, draw a picture of the setting of The Three Little Pigs, use a flashlight to explore shadow puppets, and make popsicle stick puppet.
    3-5:  Draw of made a 3d model of the setting of your favorite story, write a monologue for a character from one of your favorite books, create a stick or sock puppet, create a vocab tile for "acting, "stage", "character", "setting", or "audience"

    I'd love any ideas you have.  Are you connecting with your kids online or just with paper packets sent home?

    Hope you are hanging in there.

    Amanda Lane
    Charlotte NC

  • 11.  RE: long distance Theatre lessons

    Posted 03-13-2020 15:57
    Edited by Jim Hoare 04-01-2020 14:57

    To Arts educators facing the challenges of creating online lesson plans:

    Something NEW to add - for those who have downloaded the free Discovery Guide from Queen Theatrical Productions, (see below) here is a free movement-based lesson that you can share with your students:

    TOP (The Original Production) has offered a free download for their  "Radio Gaga" choreography tutorial from WE WILL ROCK YOU. It is appropriate as the choreography incorporates social distancing. Here is the link,

    Here is a link to download a complimentary copy of the QUEEN Educational Discovery Guide and a script for WE WILL ROCK YOU School Edition,

    As TRW represents the worldwide live performance rights for the musical, WE WILL ROCK YOU, Queen Theatrical Productions enlisted our assistance to create a study guide for the Oscar winning film, BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, a guide that could be translated and used worldwide. 

    On behalf of TRW, Queen Theatrical Productions Ltd. and Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, I am pleased to offer a resource that you may find beneficial during these challenging days.

    As you can see in the Index below, on page 37 you will find a series of lesson plans, including the National Standards that apply to each lesson. 

    Introduction 3

    Queen Biography 4

    Freddie Mercury Biography 7

    The Influence of Freddie Mercury 10

    The Band Biographies

    Brian May 12

    Roger Taylor 15

    John Deacon 18

    Timeline: Queen and the World 21

    The Live Aid Benefit: 1985 27

    Queen Today

    Mercury Phoenix Trust 30

    The Film: Bohemian Rhapsody 32

    The Musical: We Will Rock You 35

    Queen Live Today with Adam Lambert 36

    Lessons 37 

    Queen Discography 48

    Sources and Works Cited 49


    Writer, Copy Editor, Layout: Sal Salerno (Thespian Troupe 3311 Director)

    Photographs: TM © Queen Theatrical Productions Ltd. and © 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film

    Corporation. All rights reserved. Property of Fox.

    The information in this publication is correct at the time of going to press.

    All materials used by permission.


    Theatre teachers may also want to use the script to have your students design the post-apocalyptic world in which the show takes place.

     I hope you are all back in your classrooms and theatre spaces ASAP. 

    Jim Hoare
    Vice President, Education & Community Initiatives
    Levittown NY

  • 12.  RE: long distance Theatre lessons

    Posted 03-14-2020 10:52
    Thank you so much for this. We were at our halfway point of rehearsals  for We Will Rock You, and Friday I had to break the news to the cast and crew that our show will not go on as planned this year, but that we will continue to study the play and the music for the remainder of the semester and get our Bohemian Rhapsody next Spring. Understandably, devastating news for my Seniors, but I didn't want them to miss out on the message of the play and the power behind the music, while teaching remotely/online.
    Thank you for the support!

    Elizabeth M Aldave
    Theater Arts Teacher
    VAPA Team Leader
    PHS ComedySportzHSL Team Advisor
    Paramount High School
    Paramount, CA

  • 13.  RE: long distance Theatre lessons

    Posted 03-14-2020 14:17
    Thank you so much for this resource! Your company is awesome and we enjoy your products. We just finished a production of Addam's family! My students thoroughly enjoyed their experience.

    Amanda Dierking
    Drama Director
    Lake County Schools
    Minneola FL

  • 14.  RE: long distance Theatre lessons

    Posted 04-10-2020 12:41
    Here are more free choreography tutorials from TOP, 


    Thank you, Paul Canaan and everyone at The Original Production! @theoriginalproduction
    "We at TOP are aiming to keep people moving, motivated and inspired AT HOME. When in doubt - dance it out!"

    Jim Hoare
    Vice President, Education & Community Initiatives
    Levittown NY

  • 15.  RE: long distance Theatre lessons

    Posted 03-18-2020 14:57
    Hello Tina, it's Cory Wilkerson, EdTA's Education Manager.  We are working feverishly to get some lessons up and running that will be in place by Monday which will include online lessons for acting skills you can use with your students.  The lessons will be set up so that they are easy for students to access and use, then submit work to you for scoring.  We are also building a set of curated links and resources that you can use with your kids and pulling ideas from the Chapters to share.  For starters- here is a guide to creating online learning experiences for your kids.  Click around the guide for lots of great links.  More formalized lessons to follow!  (PS- I'm writing to you the thread with my personal email address since I've been an EdTA member for years prior to starring work here.  To reach me at work try

    Cory Wilkerson
    Education Manager
    Educational Theatre Association
    Palmyra PA

  • 16.  RE: long distance Theatre lessons

    Posted 03-23-2020 10:39

    Check out this film created by some of my alumni student artists. This group created several videos/films using improv. I'm using and Senior Prom and The Historic for my improv class and challenging my students to create single person short films (or alternatively they can use family members or pets).

    This mostly improvised mockumentary was directed by MTHS alumni Nick Terry when he was a senior at Mountlake Terrace HS (age 17). Nick was a drama student and performed in many plays at Terrace and was a member of the TheatreSports team. His mockumentary "Senior Prom" had its World Premiere at the 2010 Seattle International Film Festival!

    Senior Prom
    IMBD link (Links to an external site.)
    Vimeo video link (Links to an external site.)


    After watching "Senior Prom" brainstorm three ideas for a script you would like to see made into a short film/video. You are not writing the script yet, just coming up with some possible storylines. Once you have your ideas submit them. I would love to chat with you via Canvas about them. If we get back to school soon, we may decide to make a short video for the class! If we continue to work remotely, this may be a project we can do and upload the videos to share. At this time this is not a graded activity, however, depending on how things go it may be reassigned for credit. :)

    Keep these things in mind:

    • It must have a beginning, middle and an end.
    • It should have one main character from whose perspective we are observing the story.
    • You should consider what the main character is hoping to achieve (objective)
    • You should consider what obstacles exist that make it difficult for the main character to get what they want.
    • How will the main character get around the obstacles?
    • Decide whether the main character will achieve their goal.
      • what lesson does the main character learn?

    The Historic:
    Lesson Ideas still in progress:
    Short scene challenge:

    • I plan to give the class a list of common household items that they will be challenged to create a scene, video, and upload. 
    • Another lesson plan will include instructions to create a commercial for an item from a list of fun/wacky household items - allowing students to select something they would like to make a commercial promoting (as long as it is school appropriate. 

    Jeannie Brzovic
    Lake Forest Park WA

  • 17.  RE: long distance Theatre lessons

    Posted 03-24-2020 14:16
    My students were in the middle of filming mockumentaries they had written. Now that we are not together, they are going to create short films. I gave them similar directions; Beginning, middle, end. Conflict. Engage the audience emotionally. Show don't tell. Keep it simple. Focus on a moment and telling the story of the moment.
    We are using Zoom to communicate as a group and private youtube channels to watch our films.
    Thanks for sharing your ideas!

    Tina Tutt
    Middle School Theatre Teacher
    Middle School Theatre Director
    Battle Ground Academy
    Franklin, TN

  • 18.  RE: long distance Theatre lessons

    Posted 03-26-2020 23:25
    Hey Thespian Friends!
    Some of you may know me as that "Shakespeare Guy" or the "Moliere Guy," as I've been bringing my one-man Shakes/Moliere shows to schools for the last 20 years.
    With the collapse of my booking schedule for the remainder of the spring, I'm venturing into a new realm: Shakespeare/Moliere/Whatever Acting coaching. Given that we're all trapped at home with nothing to do, we're ALL one-person shows now, and I'm offering up my services.
    Through the month of April (while I get up to speed on technology), I'm offering this as a Pay-What-You-Will service. I'm setting up appointments at That links us up via zoom and we proceed to make theatrical magic from there...!
    See you on-line!
    Tim Mooney

    Tim Mooney