Date of Award
The value of arts education in our schools is on the rise. Many studies have been conducted in the recent past supporting this rise. The College Board reports that students since 1999 exposed and involved with arts education score higher on the SAT. (Americans for the Arts) As a result theatre education is on the rise. Traditionally drama programs have only been established in secondary schools; however, middle and elementary schools are beginning to add drama programs to their curriculum. These programs vary from school to school. Some are very performance based using class time to choose a play, audition, rehearse, and put on a play for an audience. These classes use hands on experience to teach students the basics of drama and play production as opposed to traditional lecture classes. Other classes may combine lecture, activity, and smaller performances to cover the same material. The purpose of this thesis is to successfully produce and direct a 5'^ grade play which will give the students the opportunity to learn about theatre through hands on experience within the rehearsal process. This experience will add an additional realm to my formal education and expand my creative process by working with a class of 5"' graders instead of a traditional high school class. Directing always presents interesting challenges. First the director must choose a script suitable for the age group, the audience, and the school. Then an extensive analysis must be written and researched. This research will include past productions, outside references made in the play, other versions of the script, the playwright, and if the play is an adaptation, the original work. A concept is chosen by the director and the parts are cast in an audition. After this the director must create and give blocking, the staging, in rehearsals. Finally props, costumes, set, lights, and sound are added. In a professional setting, these last elements would be handled by another member of the production team.
Bryson, Lucy, "Directing Earth, Fire, and Water With a 5th Grade Class" (2008). Theses and Dissertations. 117.