[ Beginning Drama Grade 9-12 ]

AZ. ESSENTIAL STANDARD ONE OBJECTIVE: Demonstrate mental and physical attributes required to communicate characters different from themselves.

MATERIAL REQUIRED: pencils, handout of stage diagram, handout of 'Theatrical Logic"

Session Content
A. Basic stage directions
    1. Explain that stage directions arc direction given from the actor's point of view.
    2. Stage right Stage left
    3. Explain that Upstage and Down stage are called this because of the raked stage
        that was used in earlier centuries.
B. Stage area layout
    Explain that the stage is usually broken into nine different areas.
    Down stage, Upstage, Center, Up right, Up left, Right, Left, Down right. Down left.
C. Body positions
    1. Apply to the actor as he/she faces the audience.
    2. There are five basic positions.
        a. One Quarter: The body is a quarter turn from the audience. Most frequently
            used when two actor's "share" a scene. It allows the audience to see them easily.
            This is done by placing the upstage light parallel to the apron of the stage and
            the downstage foot turned toward the audience.
        b. Full Front: The actor faces directly front. This is used to deliver important lines.
        c. Profile: Two actors face each other with upstage foot advanced slightly toward
            center. This is used for intense scenes like arguing. It can be used for comic
            effect also.
        d. Three Quarter: The actor turns away from the audience so all they see is
            one quarter of their face. This is used when it is necessary to "give" a scene
            to another actor on stage. It is also used to look at another actor who is upstage
            so they may "take" the scene.
        e. Full Back: The actor turns his back to the audience. This is used only for
            special cases.
 D. Stage directions and body positions worksheet.
    1.Hand out worksheet.
    2.The purpose of this worksheet is to allow students to plot six stage crosses. They
        must indicate to what area of the stage they are going and what body position
        they will end up in when they reach that area.
    3. They begin by drawing the first body position in the stage area they are going
        to begin in. They can do this by drawing feet (like the example) or by writing which
        body position they are going to do.
    4. They do this six times.
    5. They will have to present their plots to the class when they are done.

Why is it important to understand stage directions?
Why are the body positions important?

Were students able to plot stage crosses on paper effectively so another could understand
the instructions.
Were students able to present their stage crosses correctly?
Did the other students see and recognize the Stage area and the body position?

Handout #1

Handout #2

In is down, down is front; Out is up, up is back; Off is out, on is in; and of course -
Right is left, and left is right.
A drop shouldn't and
A block and fall does neither.
A prop doesn't and
A cove has no water.

Tripping is okay;
A running crew rarely gets anywhere; A purchase line will buy you nothing;
A trap will not catch anything and
A gridiron has nothing to do with football.

Strike is work (IN FACT, A LOT OF WORK) and
A green room, thank God, usually isn't. Now you are fully versed in Theatrical Terms -
"Break A Leg..."