For this unit, which assesses the students' knowledge of a specific theatre form based on their ability to identify key features of that form, I have chosen to slowly build upon prior knowledge by scaffolding the lessons. Lesson one introduces the students to the concept of theatre form itself by allowing them to view five different types of theatre/drama and asks them to relate these types to TV shows, movies or characters that they recognise. We then focus on the specific form of Commedia dell'Arte. Rather than lecturing the students on Commedia dell'Arte directly, I have devised a learning activity which allows students to take control of small chunks of information and then piece them together with other chunks from other groups in order to form the Bigger Picture. They do this in a drama context, in which all information is processed and is then presented through dramatic conventions.
The main points covered in this unit are: Energy (Movement), Character, Mask, Improvisation, Plot, Lazzi, rehearse and refine, presentation and reflection. It is assumed that the students will start this unit after they have completed units on improvisations and drama techniques, elements and conventions.
Students begin to hone their newly learned skills during the rehearsal and refining process, which eventuates into a performance in front of an audience.
Students will be expected to compile their research, notes and character studies in their journals and will complete a post-performance review sheet after watching their taped performance.