This assignment has been so fun to use in my literature and drama classes! Students love it.
After reading _Our Town_, students take on the role of a theatre artist--either a costume designer, scenic designer, actor, or dramaturg. They then work toward an artistic project that helps them access and understand the play.
All of the students-as-theatrical-artists must rely on the script, the Director's Concept (included), and high quality external research. After doing research, using both the play and external sources, students acting as costume designers, for instance, design a costume for the play and then paint a costume rendering. Actors act out a monologue or scene from the script. Dramaturgs make a slide presentation to the class.
Since students can select which role they wish to do, they are more excited about and invested in the final product.
Don't worry! You don't need to be a theatrephile to help your students succeed with this project! Everything is clearly laid out for both you and your students; all you need to do is coach your students to success, usually by helping them delve into the script and find/use high quality external sources.
For me, it’s all about helping students think critically about the literature we are exploring. To make good and relevant artistic choices, students must understand and know the literature well, and this project helps them do just that, guiding them step-by-step through the critical thinking process.
I have made the various projects found in this packet as clear as possible, leading students toward understanding and toward finding and using good evidence to support their claims. If they simply follow the careful instructions, they will do well—and by “doing well,” I mean they will create a sound understanding of the play and its clouds of setting, characters, and meaning.
Everything is prepared for you in this assignment, so you don't have to prepare anything. It's all here and ready to go!
Have fun exploring Our Town!