How-to Provide Theater Opportunities for Your Homeschooler
A really fun way to introduce drama into your homeschool fine arts plan is to form a class or club with other homeschoolers and work on producing individual monologues and scenes rather than starting with a production of a play.
Click here for A Successful Approach to Teaching Acting and Directing, my 22-page manual including a syllabus (for a full year or half), reproducible resources and lots of ideas for teaching an Acting and Directing class or starting a Drama Club for homeschoolers in your community!
When I have done this in the past, I have preferred to meet weekly, but you could meet bi-weekly instead if your schedule doesn’t permit more than that. Meeting only once a month means you lose a lot of the momentum of your developing actors; it’s better than nothing, but I wouldn’t recommend a once-a-month format.
There are lots of published collections of monologues, scenes and cuttings for student actors. While many of the scenes and monologues contained in these collections would NOT be appropriate due to offensive or age-inappropriate material, the collection overall contains enough good material to make it worth my dollar. I include a list of my favorites of these collections in A Successful Approach to Teaching Acting and Directing.
An evening of scenes and monologues is a great performance alternative to the challenge of producing a full play. With simple costuming that merely suggests the characters, simple sets of chairs and a table or two, and simple props to indicate setting and time period, your actors can perform a series of unrelated scenes that thoroughly entertain your audience.
By using these “cuttings” (only a small portion of the script lifted out of the whole) you can often perform material from a show that would be inappropriate in its entirety. You can help your audience more fully appreciate the characters and stories they are watching by including a brief synopsis of the plot of the play from which the cutting was taken in their programs, or simply explained aloud by you before each scene begins.
Foundational goals to set for young actors include the following:
- Projection — Clear, loud speech
- Character research and development
- Non-verbal communication — body language and posture on stage
With only these 4 simple goals as a starting point, you can spend many rewarding hours working with young actors as they prepare their cuttings for performance.
(Be careful not to violate copyright/royalty law by charging admission to your show; as long as you perform without selling tickets, you are using the material in fair use percentages of the whole, and it is solely for educational purposes. If you sell tickets, you are in violation of the law, even though you are not performing the work in its entirety.)
Have you downloaded the FREE white papers, “Why Drama is Important in Your Homeschool” and “Introduction to Directing“? Click here to get them!