Open Forum

What to do with students in class not "in" the show

  • 1.  What to do with students in class not "in" the show

    Posted 15 days ago
    Hi all! I'm relatively new to theater as far as teaching goes, and I'm wondering how you all handle students in class who are not actually "in" the show. I have 2 who are backstage assistants, and I was thinking they could be in charge of costuming, staging/ spiking, organizing dinners during Tech week, help building set pieces, building the playbill, and other odd jobs. Is there anything else I haven't thought of that I can incorporate that will keep them busy while others are learning their lines? I already have a stage manager, prop manager, and tech manager in the class as well. Thanks in advance!

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    Caroline Dill
    Medina TN
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  • 2.  RE: What to do with students in class not "in" the show

    Posted 15 days ago
    Consider having some serve as assistant directors. They could help students run lines, take notes for you, and even give students feedback on their work when working in small groups. For the latter, make sure they understand what the students are working on ( projection, blocking, use of gesture, awareness of sight lines) and have them respond based on agreed criteria of quality. If they are going to give feedback, Develop a protocol so they do it politely, mentioning positives before negatives. We used a system called "Glows and Grows". the students had to mention positive feedback before negative.

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    Ron Sopyla
    Beacon NY
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  • 3.  RE: What to do with students in class not "in" the show

    Posted 15 days ago
    I have been in a similar situation before and I had them jump into an area that was of interest to them. Some worked behind the scenes, others I had assist me with staging, running lines, dramaturgy, etc. Good luck with your year and season!

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    James Fry
    Director of Student Life and the Malvern Theatre Society
    Malvern, PA
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  • 4.  RE: What to do with students in class not "in" the show

    Posted 15 days ago
    When I have done class productions in the past, I have everyone sign up for tech positions, regardless of whether they have their eyes on a role or not. This way everyone knows in advance they will have a position either on stage or behind the scenes. Looking at your list, you could also have a student or two assume the role(s) of House Manager(s). They can also be responsible for the program, etc. Break a leg!

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    Garry Tiller
    Theatre Arts Teaching Artist
    Sidwell Friends
    Washington, DC
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  • 5.  RE: What to do with students in class not "in" the show

    Posted 12 days ago
    Caroline,

    We do something similar to Garry. Everyone has an assignment. We actually have tech auditions, just as we have actor auditions. ​

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    Crit Fisher
    Lighting/Sound Designer
    New Albany High School
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