Open Forum

Scenes for High School Students That Are Relevant

  • 1.  Scenes for High School Students That Are Relevant

    Posted 12-04-2018 08:47

    Hi All, 
    I have been teaching acting for 11 years and have always struggled with finding scene study material particularly drama that is relevant, engaging and appropriate for high school students specically from published plays (not ones that are from collections for young actors.)  I recently transfered from an urban environment to a suburban one and the scenes I was teaching really don´t translate well here.I like my students to be able to research the plays and playwrights from which they acting. Anyone have a database or scenes they have collected over the years that might help? Thanks so much!

    Krista Reagan
    Performing Arts Teacher and Director of Theatre
    Advisor of The Woodington Players
    Westwood Regional Jr./Sr. High School
    701 Ridgewood Road
    Township of Washington, NJ 07676

  • 2.  RE: Scenes for High School Students That Are Relevant

    Posted 12-04-2018 10:21
    I've gotten tremendous results doing scenes from Circle Mirror Transformation, the Christians, and Bellwether (by Steve Yockey). I've done these with my Advanced Drama classes and most students enjoy and even love the plays.  There's a lot to dig into in each play, especially characterization.  The scenes from Bellwether in particular were some of the strongest I've ever seen from students - there's a lot of raw emotion in the play. CMT and Bellwether have the occasional swear word, but nothing that reasonably mature students can't handle seeing.

    And don't let the subject matter of the Christians scare you off. I think it is very even handed (and we talked about how the playwright doesn't seem to choose a side), and I told the kids before we started it that we weren't going to have any theological discussions - we would focus on the characters and the choices they make. The scenes went very well, and all of the kids, regardless of their personal beliefs, appreciated the play.

    Ken Buswell
    Drama Teacher
    Peachtree City, GA

    Theater kills ignorance

  • 3.  RE: Scenes for High School Students That Are Relevant

    Posted 12-05-2018 10:33
    For modern scenes I like to use the play I and You by Lauren Gunderson. There is a little bit of language in the play, but the author says that it can be changed or omitted based on the word. It is one of the best plays I have ever read. The play has two high school aged students who are an unlikely pair to work on a Walt Whitman project. We discover things about them and the ending is brilliant.

    Secondly, I pull monologues and scenes from Including Shooter and Subtext, both published by playscripts. They both have great material for young students. Including shooter takes place ten years after a school shooting, so the characters are in their twenties. But sometimes that is close enough for scene work.

    Christopher Dwyer
    Head of Drama
    St. Vincent Pallotti High School
    Laurel, MD 20707