Friday, 1 March 2013

Selection of Monologues: Shakespearean and Contemporary Canadian

This week you have been tasked with selecting two monologues:  one Shakespearean and one from a contemporary Canadian play.

Your first challenge is to 'rewrite' the Shakespearean monologue into the language you yourself would use in the same situation/context.  Consider who you are, where you are, to whom you are speaking and your purpose in speaking.

Make sure you can answer the questions on the handout you were given.

There are some youtube sites that have recordings of Shakespearean monologues.  These are likely done by good readers who are pronouncing the words correctly and clearly for the recordings that teachers used to use as students read along.  They are not necessarily well-acted!  I encourage you to seek these and/or other sites out as you research your character.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Genre: Musical Theatre


The Mikado - Gilbert & Sullivan, 1885 

Information on the Stratford Festival production of The Mikado, directed by Norman Campbell, 1984.  We will watch portions of this in class.  Pay particular attention to the staging of this musical and the use of simple set and props.

West Side Story - Concept/Choreography by Jerome Robbins; Music by Leonard Bernstein; Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, 1957  

The photo below is from a stage production.  When we watch the 1961 film version in class, consider what choices were  made in adapting the choreography from stage to screen.  The 1961 film stars Natalie Wood as Maria.


Hair - off-Broadway, 1967; Broadway 1968; Music by Galt McDermit; Book and Lyrics by James Rado and Gerome Ragni

Les Miserables -  English production - London's West End, 1985
MusicClaude-Michel Schönberg
Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel (French lyrics)
Herbert Kretzmer (English adaptation)
BookClaude-Michel Schönberg
Alain Boublil
Trevor Nunn and John Caird (adaptation)
Basis1862 novel by Victor Hugo
Les Misérables

West Side Story - Questions and Task

The questions are due on Wednesday and you will have them back on Thursday, which is Valentine's Day.  The tasks are due on Friday, Feb. 15.

ADA 3M/4M                                                      February 8, 2013

Theatre Genres:  Reflections of Society and Culture



The example of musical theatre we are using for this unit is West Side Story, which won numerous awards as a Broadway Musical and later as a Hollywood film.  While many musicals are considered lighter entertainment, West Side Story deals with serious issues.

  1. List three of the things the opening dance sequences establish for the audience as the film version begins.  (K/U:  3 marks)

  1. Read the lyrics to “When You’re a Jet”.  According to this song, why do boys join gangs?  (K/U: 2 marks)

  1. The Puerto Ricans discuss why they came to America and whether it’s better for them in the ‘land of opportunity’ or ‘back there’.  At one point, Anita calls the leader of the Jets a ‘polack’, while her lover is a ‘spic’—and complains that people of any other ethnic background are accepted as Americans while they are not.  What does this show of American society at that time?  From you perspective and experience, has this shifted/changed?  Explain your viewpoint, citing the tv, movies, theatre and/or other media sources upon which it is based.  (I – 5 marks)

  1. “Officer Krupke”  is a favourite song from this musical.  In a few short verses, it deals with the issue and problems of juvenile delinquency.  What social agencies/services/institutions does it cover?  Does it blame, explain, or simply shine a light onto the issue to make us think?  (I – 5 marks)

  1. Creative Choices:  Pick A or B:  Rubrics for each course to follow—although you are choosing from the same options, your evaluation is based on the individual course expectations.  J

A.    Imagine you are developing a musical for a Romeo-and-Juliet story set in Dryden High School.  Write a song lyric that establishes a situation or explores a problem central to your version of the story.   (You may wish to set it to one of the West Side Story tunes for optimal effect….or another show-tune melody.)

B.     Write a script for a two character scene that could be considered ‘missing’ from West Side Story.  It can be set prior to, during, or after the events of the existing musical.  It should reveal character and/or develop situation.  Write it in proper script format.


Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Romeo and Juliet...and its Aftermath.....

With the 3M students, create a tableaux series showing us the story of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.  You may only use 15 scenes.  GO!

Full text of Romeo and Juliet, by Act

Synopsis of Plot and Dramatis Personae


Part A:

1.  What was the biggest challenge facing the group as you began this assignment?
2.  What was the biggest challenge you faced with this assignment as an individual?
3.  How were roles determined?  Were the right decisions made?  Why/why not?
4.  How were scenes decided upon?  Were the right decisions made?  Why/why not?
5.  How would having a director have changed the process/product of this assignment?  Explain.

Part B:

1.  List three works of art (music, painting, photography, sculpture, literature, film, theatre, etc.) that link to Romeo and Juliet in some way.  For example, West Side Story is a 20th century musical and film based on R & J, and musicians as diverse as Lou Reed and Taylor Swift have songs referring to the star-crossed lovers.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Welcome! Let's set the stage.....


This is ADA 4M: University/College Prep Drama. This course requires students to experiment individually and collaboratively with forms and conventions of both drama and theatre from various cultures and time periods. Students will interpret dramatic literature and other texts and media sources while learning about various theories of directing and acting. Students will examine the significance of dramatic arts in various cultures and will analyse how the knowledge and skills deeveloped in drama are related to their personal skills, social awareness, and goals beyond secondary school.

Prerequisite: ADA 3M (Grade 11 University/College Prep Drama)

As you know, attending class is a vital component of any course. Because drama is an ensemble activity, your attendance affects everyone in the class. It is your responsibility to let me (and any group members you might have) know in advance of any plans you have to be away. Because we are operating as a split class with the Gr. 11's, you must be particularly vigilant about how you use your time. Always have a pen or pencil or your laptop with you, as there is a significant amount of writing to be done in this course.

Class rules are simple: show respect for yourself, the class and for the room.

Please have your parent/guardian sign the letter dated January 29, 2013 and return it as soon as possible.

Assignment #1:

Using mime, tableau, dialogue and asides, your group will create and present a five minute skit that illustrates the class rules for drama.

The purpose of this assignment is to show me that you know and understand these basic elements of drama that you learned in Gr. 9 or 10, that you know and understand what 'respect' looks like and sounds like in our class context, and that you know and understand how to work in a group and meet a deadline.

Assigned:  Thursday, January 31, 2013
Presentation:   Friday, February 1, 2013

Monday, 11 June 2012

Last Task....

Bravo for a very interesting and thought-provoking performance! 

Please report to the classroom at the beginning of the period to make sure everything is put away, as you were the last performers of the year.  Then come to the library so that you can complete your independent study questions.  These are very important--two or three weeks of 'term work' equivalency, so do not ignore them!  They are due Wednesday.

Rachel, I said you would be performing your monologue in 119, but we are going to be in the library.  We'll sort things out when I see you in person. :)  So glad you were able to be in class today!

Friday, 8 June 2012

Two last big things....

Monday is your performance, which is based around your Canadian monologues.  I am really looking forward to seeing what you've accomplished!

Don't forget the independent study work that you were given a couple of weeks's due on'll have the library that day...make sure you e-mail it to yourself so you can easily access it.