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Ministry of Education.

Assessment Activity

  1. Form small groups which will plan and deliver a performance of a small section of the play -either chosen by the group or allocated by the teacher to ensure coverage of the play. This section should offer sufficient opportunity for each student to provide enough evidence for assessment of individual performance. You must check with your teacher before preparing and presenting a group performance. It is likely that group performances will be longer than individual ones in order to provide your teacher with sufficient opportunity to assess each student involved.

    Section for Performance: Act / Scene / Lines

  2. Read the through the section together. Discuss and note down the key ideas you think Shakespeare wanted to convey and the mood or atmosphere (e.g. tense, angry, joyful, sombre etc.) which prevails in this scene.
    • Key Idea 1:
    • Key Idea 2:
    • Key Idea 3: 

    • Mood of the section:
  3. Allocate roles so that you can become familiar with your lines.
  4. In groups you need to record the following decisions about how you are going to present your scene to ensure the key ideas are conveyed and the mood is maintained. 

    • Decide on setting for your scene which the group feels will help convey the key ideas and the mood of the scene. The setting does not have to be 15th Century Verona e.g. The Lurmann film is set in a twentieth century "Verona Beach" which looks very much like modern Los Angeles.

      Reasons for Choice of this setting:

    • Set Design: Against what sort of background will you present your scene (keeping your choice of setting in mind, as well as what is possible in a school environment?) What impression do you want the back-drop to convey to your audience? What colours will dominate and why? Will you need any furniture? Where will everything be placed and why? 

    • Lighting: What sort of lighting will you need for your scene? Remember that your choices have to be explained in terms of the ideas/mood you want to convey. You need to make choices about brightness, contrast, colour, use of spots or whole stage lighting, each of which must be justified in terms of ideas and mood. (You will probably not be able to put these ideas into action in your own production).
    • Sound. Will your scene need music? Sound effects? What sort and when? How will these contribute to the mood you are trying to establish and the ideas you are trying to convey?
  5. In groups share your ideas about the characters in the scene - what sort of person each is and how they should be played. Then, individually for the character you are to play note down:
    • their role in the play:
    • key features of their personality: 

    • some key lines which best illustrate those features: 

    • how you will deliver those lines to help convey the sort of character he/she is as well as maintain the mood your group is striving for in this scene. Here you will not only mention your use of tone, pitch, volume, pause and pace but also your use of gesture, your body language and how you move about the stage.
    • the way you would dress this character on stage (including make-up; hair style etc.) if you had unlimited access to full costume facilities.
    • how your choice of costume is appropriate for conveying the sort of person your character is and their role in the play. 

    • what you will actually wear in your performance to help capture the key characteristics. 

    • what hand prop(s) your character might need in the scene (e.g. a letter, a dagger, a handkerchief). How might these be designed to best convey ideas about your character? How will he/she handle these to help convey the sort of person he/she is?
  6. As a group you need to discuss how characters will be grouped and move in relation to each other during the scene. These are decisions which you will make as you rehearse but you need to record them to show the thinking behind you performance. 

  7. Perform the play to an audience.
  8. Individually evaluate:

    • your own performance against what you had planned to do. How well did you achieve your intentions in terms of portraying your character. What worked well and what didn't? What would you do differently next time?
    • your group performance. How well did the choice of setting and set, the use of lighting, music and character grouping help your audience understand key ideas in the scene or feel the sort of mood you were striving for?

Published on: 04 Dec 2010