Engage & Learn

Dramatic Integration Resources

Here you will find a list of resources discussed at the Spring 2013 Dramatic Integration.

Viewpoint Exercises/Games

Additional games to help you integrate theater into the classroom.

Game Purpose How to play Goal of game
Machine Focus, ensemble, listening One person at a time creates a moving shape and sound. Each ensemble member builds on the machine. To speed up; slow down; shut down as a group
Character Switch Attention to detail, character, listening Four squares with one person in each square. D & C are given a location and they have to create opposite characters. The Improv scene begins, a conflict arises (switch is called out), D moves to A; B moves to C and A moves to B, etc. Location of D and C are set characters. Only difference is the actors interpreting the characters D & C. To keep the same characters with very little adjustments.
Walk/Stop/Fall Soft focus, group awareness, following impulses Similar to “fill the space”. Mill around, and at any point anyone can stop moving. Everyone follows. Then add options of “fall” and “perimeter”. Heightened awareness, act without thinking, group decisions
Defender(Bomb & Shield, Angel & Devil) Soft focus, group awareness, spatial relationships Mill around. Each person picks another person as their defender and tries to be near them. Later, they each pick someone else as their enemy who they cannot be near. Then, try to keep defender between self and enemy Keep your peeps where you want them to be.
Tilt Spatial relationships, topography, focus Group splits into 2 lines facing one another across the space. Everyone gets a number, and the 2 lines use the same numbers. They should be given such that the “1” person in each line is across from the highest number person in the other. Tell them to think of the floor as balancing on a point at center so that if #8 moves in one line, #8 in the other line has to balance them. Maintain balance and not tip over.
Feel the Space  Spatial relationships, topography, focus, group awareness, connection  Have ensemble begin to walk around the space. Begin to have them walk at different speeds. Always reminding them to be aware of themselves and the space. Have the ensemble make eye contact with each other and to touch each other on the shoulder or hand as they pass.  Be aware and connect with those around you.
Throwing Light Script development, heightening expectations Point: 2 people to talk about something vague and then they slowly get specific; then if someone in the audience thinks they know what they’re talking about, they join in.
Say a Line, Do an Action Script development, clarity, showing Player 1 says a line and does an opposite action of the word. Player 2 does the same. Create actions for characters organically so they can show/display their feelings rather than talk about it.
Bird Talk Energy passing, self accountability, commitment Someone points across the room and says talk. And the person accepts the energy by standing on their tip toes with their hands in the air wiggling their fingers. And they receive the energy by making the sound BRRR as this occurs the person on either side leans in toward that person and puts their hand furthest from their face and wiggles the hands (fingers) and also says BRRR after all 3 people join in the person in the center passes the energy by pointing with their full body as it continues. Elimination is done by self. By knowing if you messed up. Tempo: BRRR starts sounding like bird talk. Warm up to accountability and group mind.
Mirror Focus, accountability, non-verbal communication Everyone gets into pairs. One person is the leader and one person is the follower. The leader begins with a motion and the follower mirrors it. Roles switch when directed. Communicate non-verbally and for an outsider to not know who the leader is and who the follower is.
North, South, East,& West Making choices, thinking about a choice not presented, intrapersonal intelligence,character All can play: Label four corners or sides of the room- North, South, East, and West. Dictate that each sign represents a characteristic or trait i.e. Where do you live? Do you like dogs, cats, snakes, no pets? Have everyone go to the location that defines them. Knowledge of traits and characteristics belonging to yourself, others, and the group.
 Timeline  Self-Awareness, Memory  All can play: Have the ensemble go to specific spots in their personal timelines. Call out a life event: First time you realized your parents weren’t invincible, A happy moment in childhood. Each member of the ensemble moves, at their own pace, to that spot on their timeline. Ask members where they are.  Getting to know ensemble members. Connecting events.
Bacon & Eggs Memory, Creativity, Celebration All play: can break the ensemble down into groups of 10 or 20. Everyone stands in a circle and a person starts by saying Bacon & Eggs or any 2 nouns. Continues Bacon, Eggs, and Cheese, etc. and when something is repeated correctly then everyone jumps in the middle and sizzles like bacon. Repeats.

Goodman Theatre Structural Breakdown and Common Core Standards

The link below will take you to PDFs of the large maps used to show Goodman Theatre’s structural breakdown during Dramatic Integration.
Structural Breakdown of Goodman Theatre and the satisfaction of Common Core standards

Readers Theater

Readers Theater (RT) is a teaching and theatre technique in which there is no memorization and the actors always have scripts in their hands. RT has primarily been found to increase textual understanding and fluency because it has mainly been used purely for English and Literature purposes. The trend now is to use Readers Theater in subjects such as Math and Science. The incorporation of sets, props, and costumes also provide ways to incorporate not just the English Language Arts Standards but the Mathematics Standards as well. You can also take a subject and adapt a script as a class!

Here are some Readers Theater resources.

Pioneer Drama Service

Readers Theater Scripts

Dixon, Neill. Readers Theatre: A Secondary Approach

Books On Theatre In The Classroom

Boal, Augusto. Games for Actors and Non-Actors

Boal, Augusto. Theatre of the Oppressed

Bogart, Anne and Tina Landau.  The Viewpoints Book: A Practical Guide to Viewpoints and Composition

Freire, Paulo Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Lerman, Liz Critical Response Process

Novelly, Maria C. Theatre Games for Young Performers: Improvisations and Exercises for Developing Acting Skills

Schultz, John. The Story Workshop Method: Writing from Start to Finish

Spolin, Viola. Theatre Games for the Classroom: A Teachers Handbook

Spolin, Viola. Improvisation for the Theatre : A Handbook for Teachers and Directors

Spolin,Viola. Theatre Game File

Newspaper Theater Resources

Newspaper Theater was the beginning of the Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed. Using non-dramatic texts, like but not necessarily limited to news articles, Newspaper Theater utilizes 10 techniques to question and examine information.

  1. Simple reading: the news item is read detaching it from the context of the newspaper, from the format which makes it false or tendentious.
  2. Crossed reading: two new items are read in crossed (alternating) form, one throwing light on the other, explaining it, giving it a new dimension.
  3. Complimentary reading: data and information generally omitted by the newspapers of the ruling classes are added to the news.
  4. Rhythmical reading: as a musical commentary, the news is read of the rhythm of the samba, tango, Gregorian chant, etc., so that the rhythm  functions as a critical “filter” of the news,  revealing its true content, which is obscured in the newspaper.
  5. Parallel action: the actors mime parallel actions while the news is read, showing the context in which the reported event really occurred; one hears the news and sees something else that complements it visually.
  6. Improvisation: the new is improvised on stage to exploit all its variants and possibilities.
  7. Historical: data or scenes showing the same event in other historical moments, in other countries, or in other social systems, are added to the news.
  8. Reinforcement: the news is read or sung with the aid or accompaniment of slides, jingles, songs, or publicity materials.
  9. Concretion of the abstract: that which the news often hides in its purely abstract information is made concrete on the stage: torture, hunger, unemployment, etc. are show concretely using graphic images, real or symbolic.
  10. Text out of context: the news is presented out of the context is which it was published; for example, an actor gives the speech about austerity previously delivered by the Minister of Economics while he devours and enormous dinner: the real truth behind the minister’s words becomes demystified – he wants austerity for the people but not himself.


Theatre of the Oppressed website: theatreoftheoppressed.org

CTU Strike Cross-Reading: ctustrikeplay.tumblr.com

Crossed Reading Sample Lesson Plan

Assignment Sheet


A glog is a graphics blog or an online media poster. Some of our teachers have used glogs as final products of lessons to evaluate what their students have learned. Below is a list of sites that help users produce different types of glogs:

Glogster – Glogster is perhaps the most well known type of glog. Participants sign up for free. They create online posters that can include graphics, text, video, and other interactive elements. You can see examples of glogs here.

Prezi – Prezi, another free site, is similar to PowerPoint. They are presentations, but rather than creating a linear set of slides, a prezi uses layers to investigate a topic more deeply. Here is a good example of a prezi on Martin Luther King Jr.

Wordle – A wordle is another free program that creates “word clouds” from a source text. Words that are used more often in the text are more promient in the cloud. The gallery shows various examples of word clouds.

Animoto – Animoto can be considered an animated glog. Using pictures, graphics, text and video, Animoto helps you create it into a animated presentation. You can see sample videos here. Animoto is free under limited use, however educators can apply for a free account.

Voice Thread – Voice Thread allows users to create presentations and then add audio comments to it. Multiple people can comment on one presentation, which may be ideal for group projects. Unlike the above sites, Voice Thread is not offered for free. However, their are a variety of packages that you can look at if this is a program you are interested in. To check out some examples of Voice Thread presentations, click here.