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Book Excerpt

The Body / The Voice / The Imagination:  A Theatre Arts 1 Teacher Resource Book

Introduction

The three primary tools of an actor are the body, the voice, and the imagination. Although the script is a fourth tool, it is not a part of the individual’s person. This book breaks down actor training into specific exercises to improve and condition the body, the voice, and the imagination. The methods provided by Maestro Theatre Publications are the culmination of research and technique, including accessible language and vocabulary, which our four experienced educator-writers use to nurture young actors. The Maestro Theatre School of acting models how to become a better actor through clearly articulated expectations.  This book was designed for teachers by teachers with a dedicated understanding to the limitations of the classroom, budgets, special needs, school bureaucracy, accountability and all the obstacles which make teaching a challenge. In addition to serving as an actor’s handbook, this book also serves as a Theatre Arts 1:  Introduction to Theatre. Units provide an overview of dramatic structure, theatre terminology, Theatre History, modern trends in theatre, Technical Theatre, Playwriting, Directing, and production.

This book provides a day to day lesson plan format which can guide a novice teacher through an entire school year of instruction.  Each page is written as an independent lesson plan and is designed to serve as documentation for administrative requirements. The book labels units with the required essential knowledge skills.  It is 100% aligned with the Texas Essential Knowledge Skills (TEKS); each lesson directly satisfies state requirements. For the veteran teacher, the day to day structure also allows flexibility to incorporate Maestro Theatre methods to a veteran’s established curriculum.

In addition, this book includes a library of over 100 activities, games, and exercises which address the development of the actor and an understanding of dramatic structure.  An easy to use DVD accompanies this section to demonstrate the activities.  The DVD serves as a model featuring various activities in play.

To better serve all students, this book includes lesson plans designed for substitute teachers for when the master teacher must travel from the classroom.  Additional lesson plans also provide independent instruction for in-school suspension and home bound students.  Tests and project grading rubrics are also included in this book.  The Maestro Theatre philosophy incorporates clearly defined criteria for evaluation.  Our methods guide teachers to better articulate the criteria required for excellence.

The first three units guide the teacher through the entire process of creating theatre through a process we call TALK THEATRE:  an idea, written first draft via journal writing, revision, rehearsal, character creation, conflict, and eventually production and critique.  The “SCAFFOLD” format of the book allows the teacher to teach multiple elements within one day of activity.  For example, students may be writing a monologue, but are simultaneously being taught theatre terminology such as conflict, and rising action.  A third “scaffold” layers the learning with vocal and body exercises.  As previously mentioned, this book is both an acting book, and an introduction to theatre book. The latter units focus on Theatre History, Technical Theatre, Directing and Production.