Directing 11/12 – Week 10

June 12, 2020 |

Good afternoon everyone. Welcome to our final week of Drama! I am posting the Week 10 activity earlier as my marks are due next week on Friday, June 19th. That means that this final assignment will be due on Thursday, June 18th, so I just wanted to give you some extra time.

I know that this school semester has been incredibly different from what any of us would have thought, but I hope that you still cherish the learning and the memories we have made together as a class. 

For your final activity, I would like everyone to complete a course reflection. You can use a mixture of experiences from your online learning and your in-class learning to answer the questions, and please be honest and thoughtful.

As always, please submit the assignment by commenting below, commenting on Microsoft Teams, or by emailing me at giuliano.vigna@burnabyschools.ca.

I am really going to miss all of you. You were an incredibly fun group of kids, and I really hope you will consider continuing your journey in Theatre at Byrne Creek in the years to come. Please have a fantastic summer!


InstructionsPlease answer all the following questions thoughtfully, and in complete sentences.

SECTION A: Personal Reflection

1a) What was your favourite exercise, activity, or assignment from this course?

b) What did you learn from this exercise, activity or assignment?

2a) What do you think was your greatest achievement in this course?

b) How do you think you were able to accomplish this achievement?

3a) What do you think was your greatest challenge in this course?

b) Did you overcome this challenge? Why or why not?

4a) When was a time where you believe you displayed strong leadership in the classroom?

b) How was this achieved?

5a) When was a time where you believe you could have shown more leadership in the classroom?

b) How might you do things differently now?

SECTION B: Curriculum Reflection

6) One of the goals in this course is to learn that creative growth requires patience, readiness to take risks, and willingness to try new approaches. Describe a time when you were patient or took a creative risk.

7) Another goal in this course is that individual and collective expression can be achieved through the arts. Do you think you demonstrated a stronger ability for expression on your own or in groups? Why?

8) A final goal for this course was to understand that art requires you to explore outside your comfort zone. Can you identify a time where you explored outside of your comfort zone?

PART C: Two Stars and a Wish

Please provide two stars (two things you liked about this class) and a wish (something you wish we would have done). 

Star #1:

Star #2:

Wish:


As always, if you have any questions, please leave a comment or email me at giuliano.vigna@burnabyschools.ca.

-Mr. V

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Directing 11/12 – Week 9

June 8, 2020 |

Good morning everyone! I hope you had a wonderful week. It was so incredible to see some of you in-person last week. It reminded me of how thankful I am to have such amazing students.

We are fast-approaching the end of the school year (which I am sure is very exciting for everyone). This week, things will be a little different…

This week will be a catch-up week. What I mean by that is that there will not be a new assignment/activity posted, and instead, this week will be devoted to “catching up.” Please read the instructions below carefully:

1. If you have already completed all of the assignments, you are not expected to hand-in anything this week. Please enjoy the week off, and check back again next Monday for your final activity of the year.

2. If you have not completed all of your assignments, please do not use this week to cram and try to complete every single assignment that you missed. Instead, choose one or two activities that you missed from the past weeks, and complete and submit those. 

I would like to stress that the point of our continued learning was to give you all something to do each week. If you have amassed a large list of missing assignments, please do not stress yourselves out by trying to get them all in. I am understanding of the variety of difficulties and challenges that has arisen as a result of this new way of learning, and the last thing I would want is for you to have added stress. 

Please have a great week, and check-back next Monday for our final activity! I miss you all, and hope that I can see you all soon. 

-Mr. V

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Directing 11/12 – Week 8

June 1, 2020 |

Good morning everyone. I hope that you had a great week last week trying out some acting at home. From the sounds of it, some of you had some interesting experiences, while some of you found it a bit challenging to do from home. I appreciate the effort from every single one of you in any case.

This week will be the first week “back to school” for some of you. Just a reminder: any student who chooses to come into school will be working on the same activities that are provided online. If you choose to stay home, you are not missing anything.

Last week provided some familiarity in the aspect of performing from home, and this week I also want to offer some familiarity. During your time with me in the classroom, you had many opportunities to develop your own scenes. This week, I am challenging everyone to plan out a scene using some different things you will learn in our online lesson.

Just a reminder that your weekly activity will be due on Sunday, June 7th at 11:59pm. You can submit the assignment in the comments section below, in the comments on Microsoft Teams, or directly by email to giuliano.vigna@burnabyschools.ca.


Lesson:

Please follow the link to Artful Schools and click on the video entitled “The Who, What, Where, When + Why” by Charles Vincent Burwell. 

https://www.artfulschools.com/studentresources


Activity: 

For your activity this week, I would like you to outline a scene using some of the elements that Charles Vincent Burwell talks about in his lesson. Answer the questions below to help you develop this scene:

Step 1. Use the following scenario for your scene: two people are trapped in quarantine together.

Step 2. Decide the arch-types for these two characters: Ingenue? Rake? Hero? Vamp? (Note: Think about which combinations might create the most exciting story).

Step 3. Provide names and brief descriptions for your two characters:
Example: 
Charlie / Ingenue – Charlie is the younger brother who thinks that everything will turn out okay.
Chuck / Vamp – Chuck is the mysterious older brother who seems to have more information on the quarantine than most people.

Step 4. Come up with a setting: Where and when will your two characters be quarantined? How long?

Step 5. What is the major problem of the scene? Every good scene has a problem that the characters must overcome. Think about what makes these two characters different, and think about how the setting might create an issue between these two characters.

Step 6. Develop your “tentpoles:” The video describes your “tentpoles” as the major events of the story. Please fill in what each of the following would look like:
i) The Beginning: How did the characters come together and what put them into this setting?
ii) The Problem: What causes the problem, and what does it do to the characters?
iii) The Resolution: How does the problem ultimately get solved?

Step 7. Tell the story. Now that you have designed your characters, setting, basic plot points and your problem, it is time to sprinkle those breadcrumbs into the story. Submit a paragraph that describes what would happen in this scene from start to finish. 

**Alternatively for Step 7, you can record the scene and submit it to me via email.


I hope that you all have a great week. If you have any questions, please contact me through Microsoft Teams or by email at giuliano.vigna@burnabyschools.ca.

-Mr. V

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Directing 11/12 – Week 7

May 25, 2020 |

Good morning everyone. I hope that you enjoyed watching Hairspray. With that, we have ended our unit in Musical Theatre. I hope that you all feel as though you have learnt something, and I hope that it gives you a little bit of motivation to watch and listen to some Musical Theatre in the future.

This week, we will be beginning our final unit in Directing 11/12 which is grounded in Character Development. And, I even have a very special activity this week which will allow you to do some acting from home! 

The focus of this week’s lesson will be on something called Method Acting. I am sure some of you may have heard this term before, and some of you might even know what it is! Please follow the instructions this week carefully, as the activity will be very different from what you have done in the past.

Just a reminder, your weekly activity will be due on Sunday, May 31st at 11:59pm. You can submit the reflection questions in the comments section below, in the comments on Microsoft Teams, or by email to giuliano.vigna@burnabyschools.ca.


Lesson:

Please click on the following link to watch a video that gives a brief introduction into what Method Acting is:

Please click on the following link to watch another video that gives more insight into how different actors have used Method Acting in order to develop their characters:


Activity Instructions:

As you have learned from the videos above, Method Acting often requires the actor to play their character at all times. Even when the scene is over, they continue to act and behave like their characters in order to get a better idea of what it is like to “be” that character. 

For this activity, you will be trying out Method Acting by acting like a character at home. I suggest that you inform the residents of your household that you will be doing this activity, so that they understand why your behaviour may be changing. Please follow the instructions carefully.

1. Select a character from the list in the link below. Please select a character that is not very similar to yourself: 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MCMppibNeDLYoX_-ZvfSDSW86n2KFpgPt_4OJbNeJrQ/edit?usp=sharing

2. For one hour, you must become this character. This means that you must act like this character, interact with your family and friends as this character would, and think like this character.

If you want to take it to the next level, you could even try dressing as this character, or responding to texts like this character.

Do your very best to not break character for the entire hour. 

3. After completing the activity, respond to the reflection questions below to debrief the activity and your experiences. If you were unable to fully complete the activity, don’t stress. Do your best to respond to the questions below, and explain why you might have been unable to complete the task.


Reflection Questions:

1. Which character did you select?

2. How are you feeling about this activity? Positive or negative?

3. Were you able to remain in-character for the entire thirty minutes? Why or why not?

4. Who did you interact with while you were in-character?

5. How did other individuals react to your change in behaviour? Why do you think they reacted this way?

6. What is something you are proud of after engaging in this activity?

7. What is something that you found challenging about this activity?

8. Do you believe that engaging in Method Acting helped you to understand the experiences of your character in a deeper way? Why or why not?

9. What do you think this activity taught you about acting?

10. Do you think that Method Acting as a skill is beneficial for young actors to learn? Why or why not?

11. Do you think that teaching Method Acting to younger students would be more successful with a different type of activity? Why or why not?


I hope that you all have a great week and have a fun time exercising your performing muscles. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below or email me at giuliano.vigna@burnabyschools.ca

-Mr. V

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Directing 11/12 – Week 6

May 19, 2020 |

Good morning everyone. I hope that you all had a great long weekend. If you have not read the Week 4 post, please refer to that for your assignment that will be due on May 24th. 

Just a reminder, please check-in with me every week by email or in the comments below, as I am still taking weekly attendance. 

I will once again provide a link to the Drama 9/10 lesson if you wish to partake, but it is not required. This week, they are watching Hairspray. So, if you need some inspiration, please take some time to watch it as well!


Link to Hairspray (for your own reference on Musical Theatre):

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Soj_UpM5ZP4nvACa-z-Isx3-l_iFx0R_

**If you have trouble viewing the lesson, please let me know and I can try to find another way to get the information to you.


Musical Theatre Assignment:

For Musical Theatre, I am tasking each of you with creating a concept musical that incorporates elements of musical theatre to tell a narrative about your own life or experiences. This assignment should be deeply personal to you, and I want you all to give a lot of thought into which songs you want to represent your personal experiences as growing individuals.

By “concept musical,” what I am asking for is exactly that: a concept. I want you to outline a narrative based upon your own experiences (these can be high school experiences, life experiences, childhood experiences, or even a fictional narrative that focuses on an area of importance in your life). Within this narrative, you should be including songs that you feel express your deepest desires, goals, dreams and emotions.

I am not asking for a formal script, but rather, giving a general synopsis of the narrative, indicating the points your songs appear, and what these songs express when they appear. 

For this concept, I would like you to include at least five songs that you feel speak to your experiences as a person. While I am giving you as much choice as possible for what these fives songs are, I want you to also include the following:

  • An “I Want” song that gives an idea of what your goals or desires are in life (or what they were at one point).
  • An “11 o’ Clock Number” that responds to your “I Want” song, and expresses how those desires have been fulfilled, changed, been lost or grown in some way. 

This Concept Musical assignment will be due on Sunday, May 24th at 11:59pm. This will give you about three weeks to think about this assignment, and complete it. I will also be linking you to the Drama 9/10 lessons during those weeks in case you’d like to participate in the activities that they will be doing. Please don’t forget to check-in each week by leaving a comment below or on Microsoft Teams.


I hope that everyone gives a lot of thought to this project. If you have any questions or concerns, please email me at giuliano.vigna@burnabyschools.ca. 

Have a great week.

-Mr. V

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Directing 11/12 – Week 5

May 11, 2020 |

Good morning everyone. I hope that you all had a great week. If you have not read the Week 4 post, please refer to that for your assignment that will be due on May 24th.

Just a reminder, please check-in with me every week by email or in the comments below, as I am still taking weekly attendance.

I will once again provide a link to the Drama 9/10 lesson if you wish to partake, but it is not required.


Link to Drama 9/10 Lesson (for your own reference on Musical Theatre):

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Soj_UpM5ZP4nvACa-z-Isx3-l_iFx0R_

**If you have trouble viewing the lesson, please let me know and I can try to find another way to get the information to you.


Musical Theatre Assignment:

For Musical Theatre, I am tasking each of you with creating a concept musical that incorporates elements of musical theatre to tell a narrative about your own life or experiences. This assignment should be deeply personal to you, and I want you all to give a lot of thought into which songs you want to represent your personal experiences as growing individuals.

By “concept musical,” what I am asking for is exactly that: a concept. I want you to outline a narrative based upon your own experiences (these can be high school experiences, life experiences, childhood experiences, or even a fictional narrative that focuses on an area of importance in your life). Within this narrative, you should be including songs that you feel express your deepest desires, goals, dreams and emotions.

I am not asking for a formal script, but rather, giving a general synopsis of the narrative, indicating the points your songs appear, and what these songs express when they appear. 

For this concept, I would like you to include at least five songs that you feel speak to your experiences as a person. While I am giving you as much choice as possible for what these fives songs are, I want you to also include the following:

  • An “I Want” song that gives an idea of what your goals or desires are in life (or what they were at one point).
  • An “11 o’ Clock Number” that responds to your “I Want” song, and expresses how those desires have been fulfilled, changed, been lost or grown in some way. 

This Concept Musical assignment will be due on Sunday, May 24th at 11:59pm. This will give you about three weeks to think about this assignment, and complete it. I will also be linking you to the Drama 9/10 lessons during those weeks in case you’d like to participate in the activities that they will be doing. Please don’t forget to check-in each week by leaving a comment below or on Microsoft Teams.


I hope that everyone gives a lot of thought to this project. If you have any questions or concerns, please email me at giuliano.vigna@burnabyschools.ca. 

Have a great week.

-Mr. V

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Directing 11/12 – Week 4

May 4, 2020 |

Good morning everyone. I hope that you all had a great week. I think by now, all of us have begun to really adjust to this new way of life, although it does not necessarily make things any easier. I hope that, despite the circumstances, all of you are finding time for yourselves to take care of your personal and mental well-being. 

By now, you should be able to access your Term 3 report cards in MyEd. Be aware, you mark is based on the work we did before Spring Break. If you have any questions about your Term 3 mark, please let me know by email and I can give you more details. 

This week, our focus will be on the next unit of this course: Musical Theatre. As I know that many of you already learned about the elements of Musical Theatre in my Acting 11/12 class last semester, some of this may be repetitive. I suggest that you take a quick look at the pre-recorded lesson that I made for the Drama 9/10 class to refresh yourself on some things, but if you already feel like you understand Musical Theatre pretty well, then consider this week to be a lighter week on work.

For the next few weeks, students in the Drama 9/10 class will be learning about Musical Theatre and watching videos/films. While you are also welcome to participate in this, your focus as Directing/Scriptwriting students will be to produce your own concept musical. I will post the link to the Drama 9/10 lesson below, as well as the instructions for your assignment, which should cover multiple weeks.

As you will not have an assignment due this week, you will not have to formally submit anything. However, I would like each of you to check-in with me to let me know that you have read the assignment below by commenting below, on Microsoft Teams or by email before 11:59pm on Sunday, May 10th.


Link to Drama 9/10 Lesson (for your own reference on Musical Theatre):

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ePmOul43cG164k-Z4-1qWtLtViLIQx8p

**If you have trouble viewing the lesson, please let me know and I can try to find another way to get the information to you.


Musical Theatre Assignment:

For Musical Theatre, I am tasking each of you with creating a concept musical that incorporates elements of musical theatre to tell a narrative about your own life or experiences. This assignment should be deeply personal to you, and I want you all to give a lot of thought into which songs you want to represent your personal experiences as growing individuals.

By “concept musical,” what I am asking for is exactly that: a concept. I want you to outline a narrative based upon your own experiences (these can be high school experiences, life experiences, childhood experiences, or even a fictional narrative that focuses on an area of importance in your life). Within this narrative, you should be including songs that you feel express your deepest desires, goals, dreams and emotions.

I am not asking for a formal script, but rather, giving a general synopsis of the narrative, indicating the points your songs appear, and what these songs express when they appear.

For this concept, I would like you to include at least five songs that you feel speak to your experiences as a person. While I am giving you as much choice as possible for what these fives songs are, I want you to also include the following:

  • An “I Want” song that gives an idea of what your goals or desires are in life (or what they were at one point).
  • An “11 o’ Clock Number” that responds to your “I Want” song, and expresses how those desires have been fulfilled, changed, been lost or grown in some way.

This Concept Musical assignment will be due on Sunday, May 24th at 11:59pm. This will give you about three weeks to think about this assignment, and complete it. I will also be linking you to the Drama 9/10 lessons during those weeks in case you’d like to participate in the activities that they will be doing. Please don’t forget to check-in each week by leaving a comment below or on Microsoft Teams.


I hope that everyone gives a lot of thought to this project. If you have any questions or concerns, please email me at giuliano.vigna@burnabyschools.ca. 

Have a great week.

-Mr. V

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Directing 11/12 – Week 3

April 27, 2020 |

Good morning everyone. I hope that you’ve had a productive and relaxing week. I miss seeing all of you wonderful individuals every day. Around this time, we would have been preparing for our First Ever Improv. Olympics. I really wish that things could have been different, but I hope that you are all making the most of this time.

As a side note, I am still missing assignments from some of you. Even if you cannot finish your assignments in the designated time, please do your best to comment/email me as a check-in, so I at least know that you are able to access the material.

This week, we will be focusing on the idea of an audition. What does it look like? How do you facilitate one? What are some of the key factors when considering who to cast? ]

Just a reminder, your weekly activity this week will be due on Sunday, May 3rd at 11:59pm. It can be submitted in the comments section below, in the comments section on Microsoft Teams, or by email to giuliano.vigna@burnabyschools.ca.


Instructions:

1. Follow the link to Artful Schools: https://www.artfulschools.com/studentresources

2. Watch the video “My Best Audition Advice” by Jeff Whiting. Be sure to pay attention to the advice that he gives.

3. Respond to the reflection questions provided below in full sentences. Be as thorough as possible.


Reflection Questions:

1) Question of the Week: Once the world goes back to normal, what is the first thing you want to do?

2) Now that you have completed the video, what are your immediate thoughts? Are they positive or negative?

3) What is one aspect of the video that you think was valuable to your overall learning as a director? Why?

4) What is one aspect of the video that you found problematic or confusing? Why?

5) Jeff Whiting explains that the energy and presence of the performer are an important aspect of a good audition. Do you agree with this philosophy? Why or why not?

6) If you were to be holding an audition next week, what are some of the ideas from Jeff Whiting that you would incorporate into your casting process? Why?

7) If you were holding an audition next week, what are some aspects you would look for that Jeff Whiting does not mention in his video? Why are these things important to you as a director?

8) Jeff Whiting describes the audition process as trying to find the pieces of a puzzle. Do you believe that it is more important to try and find the perfect individual for each role, or to find a group of individuals that fit well together? Explain your answer.

9) Jeff Whiting describes the audition process to be rather harsh. Do you believe this is necessary for success? Why or why not?

10) As a follow-up to the previous question, do you believe that these same audition standards should be upheld in a secondary school level? Why or why not?


I hope that everyone feels they learned something from watching this video. If you have any questions or concerns, please email me at giuliano.vigna@burnabyschools.ca. Have a great week.

-Mr. V

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Directing 11/12 – Week 2

April 20, 2020 |

Good morning everyone. I hope that you’ve all had a wonderful week. Just a reminder, in a semestered school, teachers are allowed to assign up to three hours of content per course per week. Obviously, last week’s workload was fairly light, and many of you may have completed it in under an hour. Last week was intended to ease you back into learning, and as such, the upcoming weeks will likely require a little bit more of your time.

That being said, while you may need to spend more time engaging with course content, that does not mean it will become more difficult or stressful. For example, this week’s lesson will require you to spend much more time engaging with video material, but will include a much smaller activity afterward. While you might find yourself spending more time on this course this week, overall, the workload should actually be more relaxed than last week.

This week, you will be watching a few videos, and then completing a reflection activity afterward. Please note that the reflection questions will be due on Sunday, April 26th at 11:59pm. They can be submitted in the comments section below, in the comments section on Microsoft Teams, or by email to giuliano.vigna@burnabyschools.ca.

Our activity this week will be revisit our improvisation unit that we were exploring when we left for Spring Break. Obviously, improvisation is highly reliant on having a group of individuals to work with, and would require us to all be in the same space to perform. 

As an alternative, you will be engaging with a popular television show that is all about improvisation and theatre sports called “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” 

**IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: “Whose Line Is It Anyway” is an improvisation-based television show that is focused on comedy. It is rated 14A, and as such, can sometimes include crude humour pertaining to sexuality, drug use and violence. If you or your parent do not feel comfortable with you watching this television show for educational purposes, please send me an email at giuliano.vigna@burnabyschools.ca and we can sort out an alternative activity for you.


Instructions:

1. Before engaging with the material, make sure to read the reflection activity below so that you know what you should be thinking about when watching the videos. 

2. Watch the three episodes of “Whose Line Is It Anyway” that are assigned this week:

3. Complete the reflection activity below. Please take some time to think about each question, and then answer them in 2-3 sentences each. When you are finished, submit your answers to the questions in the comments section below, or in the comments section on Microsoft Teams. Be sure to include your name with your questions so that I know that it is you.


Reflection Questions: Week 2

**Please be aware that the comments section on this website are public. As such, avoid using names of students when you are answering these questions. Rather, speak about your group in a very general manner.

1. Question of the Week: What do you miss most about our improvisation unit?

2. What is one game in “Whose Line Is It Anyway” that you believe would have worked well with your improvisation team?

3. Why did you choose this game for your group in particular?

4. What are some of the Theatre skills necessary in order to succeed in this game?

5. Do you think any of the improvisation exercises that we did in class helped to prepare students for an activity such as this one? Which exercise(s) and why?

6. What do you think a game like this would teach your team about theatre and performance?

7. Are there any modifications you would place onto this activity to make it more accessible for the students in your group?


I hope that everyone enjoys watching these videos. I look forward to hearing from you all. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments, or email me at giuliano.vigna@burnabyschools.ca.

-Mr. Vigna

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Directing 11/12 – Week 1

April 14, 2020 |

Good morning everyone. As this will be our first official “week back” to school, I have planned something that is meant to simply ease you back in to the world of the dramatic arts, while also creating some connective tissue between our upcoming learning and the time you have spent away.

This week, you will be trying out an exercise, and answering some reflection questions about your experience with the exercise. Please note that the reflection questions will be due on Sunday, April 19th at 11:59pm. They can be submitted in the comments section below, in the comments section on Microsoft Teams, or by email to giuliano.vigna@burnabyschools.ca.

Our activity this week will be focused on the idea of theatre space. Theatre space is an important aspect to how we grow as actors, and our environment can contribute heavily to how we motivate ourselves.

“But Mr. Vigna! How could we possibly focus on theatre space from home?” 

“Well, eager student, that is a wonderful question. Simply follow the instructions below and you’ll be all set.”


Instructions:

1. Copy and paste the following link into your web browser: https://www.artfulschools.com/studentresources

2. Under the section “Theatre Classes,” please click the video entitled “Warming Up Your Actors.”

3. Find a space in your home where you can follow along with the video, and perform the 15-minute warm up that Christine Smith leads. Be sure to engage as much as possible with the warm up.

4. You will find a series of reflection questions below. Please take some time to think about each question, and then answer them in 2-3 sentences each. When you are finished, submit your answers to the questions in the comments section below, or in the comments section on Microsoft Teams. Be sure to include your name with your questions so that I know that it is you.


Reflection Questions: Week 1

1. Question of the Week: As we are all staying at home during this time, it has changed the way we are able to interact with the world. What is one thing that you miss about your old routine, and what is one thing that you like about your new routine?

2. Now that you have completed the warm up, what are your immediate thoughts? Are they mostly positive or negative?

3. What is one aspect of the exercise that you think was valuable to your overall learning? Why?

4. What is one aspect of the exercise that you found difficult, challenging or embarrassing? Why?

5. Space is an important part of the Theatre experience. How did it feel doing an activity like this from your home rather than in our Drama Room?

6. Do you think your experience would be different if you had done this activity in the Drama Room? Why or why not?

7. Connection is also an important part of the Theatre experience. How did it feel doing an activity like this by yourself?

8. Do you think your experience would be different if you had done this activity with your classmates in the same room? Why or why not?

9. What Theatre skill(s) do you think you practice/rehearse using an exercise like this?


I hope that everyone enjoys easing back into the Theatre experience. I look forward to hearing from you all. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments, or email me at giuliano.vigna@burnabyschools.ca.

-Mr. Vigna

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