Jill Bennett O’Connor



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HOW TO DO A


SCRIPTLESS DRAMA WORKSHOP

Jill Bennett O’Connor


Potter’s Publishing


NOTES FROM CLASS:



The Drama Workshop does NOT have to be:



  • a big production

  • an elaborate stage

  • memorized lines

  • based on a story (i.e. the telling of a story)




  1. Drama from a script has problems:




  1. The Drama Workshop CAN be:

  • directed “make-believe playtime with costumes and props

  • only body movement

  • narrated body movement

  • pantomime (for example, the woman who reached out and touched Jesus)

  • character analysis (for example, children “get into character” and be trusting Abraham)

  • small skits or stories
  • situation improvisation (for example, Kind or Unkind acts)


  • dance to music with teacher narrating (e.g. Israelites a the base of Mt. Sinai waiting for Moses)

  • based on a concept (e.g. kids can demonstrate verbally and through movement how they can love their neighbors




  1. What is Muscle Memory?

  • A term used by pianists, athletes, body builders

  • The body reacts because the body has done it before

  • Example: Slamming on the brakes. You don’t even need to think about it. Your muscles remember.




  1. What the point of having a drama workshop?

  • Kids experience a concept or story through body movement and verbally

  • Kids put the concept or story into their own words

  • Kids bridge concepts / stories experienced in the workshop to their own lives (e.g. talking about times in their lives when they might need to reach out in faith to Jesus like the woman in the story.)

  • Long after the drama workshop is over, kids will be able to react consciously or subconsciously to situations in their own lives because their bodies will recall movements and words from experiences in the drama workshop. “Muscle Memory” kicks in.


TO TEACH A TRADITIONAL BIBLE STORY:

In advance …


  • Determine the concept(s) you want the children to learn and be able to apply to their own lives

  • Choose story



During the workshop …


BIG PICTURE OF STORY:
  1. Give brief introduction to the kids


  2. Read the story from a Bible storybook or from Bible

  3. Check for understanding (who, what, when, where, why)


BREAK DOWN THE STORY:

  1. Do CHARACTER ATTRIBUTES

  2. Do GENERAL WARM-UPS

  3. Do STORY-SPECIFIC WARM-UPS

    • Walk, talk, move like character or element from the story (based on character attributes. E.g., Abraham was trusting. Put movements to that attribute)

    • Yes/No exercises to learn lines



KIDS PUT STORY TOGETHER AGAIN


  1. Assign parts

  2. Let kids choose their costumes. (Quickly; allow no more than 5 minutes or this could take forever!)

  3. Act out/”play” story as many times as time allows. (Switch parts each time) Teacher narrates/directs story. Teacher prompts kids when necessary.


WRAP-UP

  • Bridge concepts learned during drama to kids’ lives. Relate story or character to their lives. (Example: for Jesus calming the storm you can talk about what “storms” may be in their lives)






























© 2008 Jill O’Connor, Distributed by Potter’s Publishing, www.potters-publishing.com





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