Resources for Homeschool Drama Classes and Clubs
Acting is essentially story-telling. Good acting tells stories well!
Take a look at the excerpts from A Successful Approach to Teaching Acting and Directing, my 22-page manual including a syllabus (for a full year or half), reproducible resources and lots of ideas for teaching an Acting and Directing class or starting a Drama Club for homeschoolers in your community!
A really fun way to introduce drama into your homeschool fine arts plan is to form a class or club with other homeschoolers and work on producing individual monologues and scenes rather than starting with a production of a play.
When I have done this in the past, I have preferred to meet weekly, but you could meet bi-weekly instead if your schedule doesn’t permit more than that. Meeting only once a month means you lose a lot of the momentum of your developing actors; it’s better than nothing, but I wouldn’t recommend a once-a-month format.
Here are some of my favorite resources for finding material.
Please note that many of the scenes and monologues contained in these collections would NOT be appropriate due to offensive or age-inappropriate material, but the collection overall contains enough good material to make it worth my dollar.
- Scenes for Young Actors edited by Lorraine Cohen
- Play the Scene and
- The Actor’s Scenebook, both edited by Michael Schulman and Eva Mekler
- Neil Simon Monologues and Neil Simon Scenes edited by Roger Karshner
- The Actor’s Book of Contemporary Stage Monologues edited by Nina Shengold
- (Note: We are not affiliates with these folks, we just like their materials.)
An evening of scenes and monologues is a great performance alternative to the challenge of producing a full play. With simple costuming that merely suggests the characters, simple sets of chairs and a table or two, and simple props to indicate setting and time period, your actors can perform a series of unrelated scenes that thoroughly entertain your audience.
By using these “cuttings” (only a small portion of the script lifted out of the whole) you can often perform material from a show that would be inappropriate in its entirety. You can help your audience more fully appreciate the characters and stories they are watching by including a brief synopsis of the plot of the play from which the cutting was taken in their programs, or simply explained aloud by you before each scene begins.
Foundational goals to set for young actors include the following:
- Projection — Clear, loud speech
- Character research and development
- Non-verbal communication — body language and posture on stage
With only these 4 simple goals as a starting point, you can spend many rewarding hours working with young actors as they prepare their cuttings for performance.
(Be careful not to violate copyright/royalty law by charging admission to your show; as long as you perform without selling tickets, you are using the material in fair use percentages of the whole, and it is solely for educational purposes. If you sell tickets, you are in violation of the law, even though you are not performing the work in its entirety.)
If you decide you’d rather go for the whole play, homeschoolers can do that, too! It’s a different kind of project that I’ll address in future posts about Drama, but for now, I’ll just share this promo video for the homeschool production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat we did at Mt. Sophia Academy a couple of years ago. We had to think WAY outside the box when we decided to produce this musical…if you notice, we have a total of only 6 brothers (instead of 12), and most of them are girls! Hey, we’re homeschoolers; we make it work!
(And yes, that’s me onstage with the kids…good times!!)
What have you done to incorporate Drama into your fine arts plan for your homeschool?
Have you downloaded the FREE white papers, “Why Drama is Important in Your Homeschool” and “Introduction to Directing“? Click here to get them!