School | Community | Professional Development | At Our Studio | Summer Camp

Curriculum Sample

The following is a sample breakdown of a ten session residency.  Child’s Play also has curriculum from as little as five days, to as many as 40 visits spread out over several months.  Our residency is flexible, but most importantly – we don’t just focus on the end result – we focus on the process, spending time on writing, adapting and creating ALL the elements of our Final Show. 

Session One: Tools of the Actor—Voice, Body and Mind
Child’s Play teaching artists introduce the tools of the actor through group games and tongue twisters.  Students learn articulation, projection, and how to use physical action to portray emotion.  Students build on this knowledge when creating an acting ensemble. Students also explore improvisational techniques through group games and role-play. 

Session Two: Introduction to Writing and Developing Characters.
Students are introduced to a writing technique, the ‘idea box’, to generate Who and Where ideas for story characters and locations.  They write a short story using their idea box using as many describe words as they wish.  The areas of Wants, But and So..(lution) are then added to the ‘idea box’ to create character motivation, internal conflict, subplot, and resolutions for their stories.

Session Three: Conflict Resolution and Problem Solving
Through group activities students explore conflict resolution skills.  They improvise a selected group ‘idea box.’  Students work together to develop different, non-violent/ confrontational strategies for characters to get what they want.

Session Four: Introducing the Poetry Formula
Using a writing formula that combines the five ‘W’s and the five senses students create original poetry.  Volunteers read their poetry aloud.  In small groups, students stage a poem.

Session Five: Talent Show/Auditions
After vocal and physical warm-ups to relax the students, teaching artists interview each student and give them several lines to perform.  Applause is encouraged after each audition.  After solo auditions, students audition with each other in a scene.  The talent show is a great way for students to share their skills and break the ice of performing jitters.

Session Six: Casting/Blocking
Teaching artists direct the students through group work and the students rehearse the blocking.

Session Seven: Music Rehearsals with Musician
Students choose a percussion instrument and experiment incorporating music into their stories. They work together to coordinate their rhythms into music and discuss where music should be used.

Session Eight: Production Rehearsals and Art Fundamentals
Students discuss symbolism, realism, stereotypes and mood, and apply these to the showcase of the group’s stories.  They then sketch a design depicting the performance before painting it onto muslin for a scenic backdrop.

Session Nine: Final Tech/Dress Rehearsal
All the details are worked through to ensure a fun performance runs smoothly.

Session Ten: Final Showcase
The group sees all the pieces come together in a World Premiere showcase. An award ceremony follows, where Certificates of Creativity are awarded to all participants.