Look Matt getting ready for the first big rehearsal and blocking exercises in the Drama Club! Last week we assigned the roles to the learners and taught them vocabulary relating to the ten parts of the stage. All to prepare them for today.
Blocking exercises allow learners to transition from reading the script to being on the stage. We don’t have a stage, but since we will be performing in a classroom, we outlined the floor and made it look like a stage.
Through actors’ moving across the classroom, their characters leave the pages of the script and come to life. It is very important to add movement to any lesson for many reasons, but for our club blocking has served two purposes. First, it is helping the learners to break away from being overly attached to the pages. Second, it will encourage them to memorize the scripts faster. The idea of memorizing the play and performing it in front of an audience might be intimidating, so we are trying to set up all our activities to ensure that the learners are confident on the big day of the performance.
Another thing that Matt asked the learners to do was to read their character’s lines at home and imagine what these characters would look like: what would they be wearing, what props they would need, what emotions they would be feeling. This, we hope, will help learners be more comfortable with their roles since they will have the lead in bringing their characters to life.
In order to make the text of the play more accessible, we encourage the learners to highlight the words that seem difficult and find synonyms that they find easier to read. We are currently on the fourth version of the play and I have a feeling it will be evolving until the day of the performance. We are fine with seeing this play as a living text, because not only it will help the learners to feel more comfortable, but it also develops their reading skills and builds their vocabulary. As a language teacher, I am excited about this outcome of the Drama Club!
Next week we will continue rehearsals, hopefully with costumes this time!