• Laurie Swigart

PANTOMIME I

The Theatre Lesson Plan Exchange


Educational Objective: The students will demonstrate their ability to use their body in dramatic form by performing a non-story Pantomime.


Materials needed: Video Tapes of Pantomime (Red Skelton, Vaudeville Stars, Mr. Bean), Assignment slips for everyone.


Hook: Show the tape of Mr. Bean (having a picnic and attacked by a fly)


Step 1: Have the students stand in a circle. Stand in the middle and tell them to pick up and imaginary phone and speak into it. Now ask them all to notice how many people gave the phone actual space. Talk about giving space to objects. Even the smallest objects have

space. Have them try another object. Have them sit down.

Step 2: Have one student come forward and demonstrate brushing teeth. Most likely, the student will brush her check or down her throat. Show that it will be believable if they do it the way that they really do it. They need to practice and observe themselves and the way they do things. Tell them to be conscious of all their actions.

Step 3: Tell them that when we do a pantomime you need to face the audience and there is a big tendency to turn your back on the audience because that's how things "really" are. To show an example, set up your kitchen with chairs or blocks. Show that some things are in front and some in back. Demonstrate how easy it is to turn your back on the audience. Now rearrange the kitchen so your face can be seen by the audience no matter what appliance or counter you are working at.

Step 4: Show them the "click". Pick up an imaginary glass of water with the click and put it down likewise. Have them do it.

Step 5: Now perform a pantomime of doing a household chore (making a cake or doing dishes, etc.) Make sure it is between 1 and 2 minutes and no story.

Step 6: Give them the assignment. Next class, the students must perform a short pantomime without a story. It should be something that they are very familiar with. Remind them that there are to be no vulgarities and no going to the bathroom. The will be graded on 1) Time (1-2 min.) 2) Giving appropriate space 3) Believable actions 4) No turning back on audience 5) The click. Hand out the assignment slip.

Step 7: Let them practice with remaining time. Give individual help and answer questions.

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