9 6 Richard III examples of drama approaches by Jeqtax

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									Richard III
Possible ways into the whole text:
     Explore the idea of tyranny. Groups to create collages of words and
      images of past tyrants.

     Group analysis of first soliloquy. Students in groups of 6 are each given
      one sixth of the initial speech. They then try to make sense of their
      chunk, silently thinking about what he seems to be saying in their lines.
      What kind of person is he? How do they feel about him? They then
      share their perceptions with the rest of their group and make a list of
      their observations together with a list of questions they’d like to ask the
      teacher and the class. This could also be set up as a jigsaw exercise,
      with home and expert groups.

     Insult activity. Give each pupil an insult which has been directed at
      Richard. Students in two lines speak these with passion to one person
      who walks between them. How do these insults make the person feel,
      especially those said by his mother?

     Put up a large family tree. Explain the key characters, the line of
      inheritance, the number of people between Richard and the throne.
      What will he have to do to become King?

     Story-telling. Teacher tells the story up to the point of Act 3 Scene 4.
      With lots of “and what do you think he did next...”

     Video watching. It’s a 15 so you can’t show several scenes. Judiciously
      intersperse the story-telling with key scenes from the video. Take
      feedback on our perceptions of Richard, Buckingham and Hastings,
      Keeping a checklist of all of Richard’s schemes.

     Use the Teachit card sort to check for understanding of the plot.
      (Students can glue it in order as they listen to the story.)
Approaches to the scenes

The SAT paper will test students using excerpts from each of the chosen
scenes. It is good if pupils can see the links between different sections of
each scene. Divide the scenes into segments. Below is one segmentation;
others are possible. This could be an initial revision exercise as students
decide on the dramatic breaks in the set scenes and track connections.



Richard pretends that witchcraft has shrivelled his arm, blaming Hastings. He
tricks Hastings into pronouncing his own death.


As he is led to his death Hastings reflects on his foolishness and England’s
sad future.


Buckingham and Richard pretend they are under attack to trick the Mayor of
London into supporting their beheading of Hastings.


Richard plots with Buckingham against the two young princes.



King Richard asks Buckingham to kill the princes, but Buckingham is
obviously unwilling to do this.


King Richard plots with Catesby to marry Elizabeth and sends Tyrell to
murder her brothers, the princes in the tower


Richard ignores Buckingham and refuses to grant him the earldom he
promised him. Buckingham flees to join Richmond’s army.



Consider which sections could be linked in some way. Which ones are similar
or show a contrast? Which ones involve the same characters, but show them
in a different light? Which ones show different characters who are faced with a
similar predicament.

Which questions could arise?
Possible drama activities to get into the key scenes

Analogies
Still images
Role on the wall
Hot seating – with champions
Reduced Shakespeare
Approaches to performance
Actioning

These are exemplified in detail for Act 3 Scene 4 and can be
used easily with the subsequent scenes.

Act 3 Scene 4
In this short extract – to forestall the planned coronation of Prince Edward –
Richard suddenly turns on Hastings who had previously considered him a
friend and ally. Richard acts the part of an aggrieved and injured party in their
relationship, playing on the current fear of witchcraft before unleashing his
venomous command for Hastings’ execution. The other nobles desert their
colleague, driven by fear and the force of Richard’s ‘logic’. Hastings goes to
his death reflecting on his foolishness and warning the audience of Richard’s
villainy.


Analogies: Students will flesh these out with details taken from their own
experience.
Learning objective: to become familiar with the broad themes and issues of
the extract.

1.
Person A does something he/she thinks his/her best friend, Person B, will like.
Person B is very annoyed by what Person A has done.
Person B persuades all other friends to turn against person A. (4 students)

2.
Your best friend turns on you for their own benefit and all your other friends
abandon you. (Groups of 3 – 5)

3.
You think someone has been very two-faced about something. To trick them
you ask them to say what they would do if a person had done something bad
to them. You turn their answer against them. (Pairs)

Now have a quick reading of the scene, making links between the actions in
the scene and the students’ scenarios.

Ask students to write a short summary of what happens in the scene.
Exploring character

Short task or starter activity

Still images
Learning objective: to understand the motivation behind the words and
actions of Richard and Hastings

Ask pupils (in groups of 5 or 6) to form still images of short extracts from the
scene (Some examples are below). Explain that one will be the person
delivering the line, one will be the person to whom the line is directed and the
rest will be bystanders. Stress the importance of gesture, expression and the
grouping of the characters.

1 “I pray you all, tell me what they deserve
That do conspire my death with devilish plots
Of damned withcraft?”

2 “Thou art a traitor! Off with his head!”

3. “The rest that love me, rise and follow me.”

4. “Come lead me to the block. Bear him my head.
They smile at me who shortly shall be dead.”
Once the images have been formed, in role use thought-tapping to establish
what the individuals in the group are feeling.
Then let them come out of role and ask them for the key words in the text
which informed their grouping, gestures and facial expressions.

Writing
Teacher models writing an answer which focuses on one or two key words
showing their effect on (a) other characters in the scene (b) an audience. Ask
students to take words or phrases from their extract and to write a short
analysis in the same way.


Longer activity
Role on the wall
Learning objective: to explore character

Teachers should have large outlines representing Richard, Hastings and
Buckingham respectively on 3 sheets of sugar-paper or wall paper ready on
display.

Inside the outline in black note down the things the class have learned about
these characters from a general understanding of the plot e.g. deformed,
desire to be king etc. Short quotations can be used to add detail if space
allows.
Outside in blue for Act 3 scenes 4 and 5 will be the responses to the
questions below which will form the basis of a hot-seating exercise.
(Information from the second scene, Act 4 Scene 2 will be in red.)

Show the first part of the scene in the Ian McKellan version up to the point
where the SAT extract begins (i.e. BEFORE Richard’s second entrance.)
Discuss what has been seen and add information to the Role-on-wall sheets
in black.

Read through the rest of the scene. Discuss

Put students into small groups to represent either Richard or Hastings and to
discuss and prepare answers to the questions below.

Hastings
Why did you trust Richard?
Why did you arrange the coronation of Prince Edward?
How did you feel when Richard turned on you?
Did you have any warning before this meeting that you were in danger?
Would you have done things differently with hindsight?

Richard
Why did you have to kill Hastings?
Did you know for sure you’d get away with it? Why? How?
Who can you trust? How do you know?
Do you believe in witchcraft?
Why do you want to stop Prince Edward from becoming King?

      After the groups have prepared their answers, put all the Richard
       groups together on one side of the room, do the same with the
       Hastings groups on the other so that they can share and refine their
       ideas and responses.
      Ask each of the large groups to elect a spokesperson who will ask and
       answer questions in role.
      At this point, depending on your students, EITHER you can allow the
       groups to act as their character’s’ advisers who can discretely feed in
       information before or during their character’s response OR you can
       keep the groups as an audience who may applaud when they feel a
       response has been particularly good, with the teacher acting as
       questioner and ‘umpire’. Focus on developed explanations which refer
       to the text and to the students’ knowledge of the play.

Writing
Using whiteboards, students in pairs scribe answers to some of the questions.
Teacher synthesises responses and enters them in blue on the outside of
the role-on-wall figures.

Reflect on the thought processes which allowed the class to come to their
findings.
Exploring Language

Short activity or starter
Learning objective: identifying the language used to explore themes in the
play

EITHER Hand out cards which say: RELIGION, WITCHCRAFT or BLOOD
AND GORE and ask pairs of pupils to underline or highlight phrases in the
scene which fit the card they have been given.
As you call out the register as pupils to respond with the word or phrase they
like best WITH FEELING!

OR Ask students to highlight their favourite dramatic words or phrases. Then
put up the three categories on the board and ask them to put their quotations
in the correct box.

Discuss their findings.


Lesson activity
Reduced Shakespeare
Learning objective: identifying the key episodes and quotations in the scene

Set up the premise that Richard III is going to be filmed. The director needs to
cut the scene to the bare bones but still wants to keep the atmosphere and
pace that we find in the language of the original scene.

Group students into threes

EITHER ask trios to lift no more than 12 lines from Shakespeare’s text to form
the script of the scene for the film. (Resource 1a)(Insist on whole lines so that
you can reinforce the importance of iambic pentameter.)

OR give out Resource 1b to cut up for a sorting and sticking exercise.
(Students can check against their scripts of the play for the order.)
You could build in difficulty by asking students to get rid of two lines from this
activity and explain what difference this would make.

(Whichever activity you choose, students must be able to justify their choices.)

OR give out Resource 1b as a script asking students to insert the name of
the character who is speaking using the original scene as a reference.
Resource 1a
Character   Lines you chose
Resource 1b
Character   Lines

           I pray you all, tell me what they deserve
           That do conspire my death with devilish plots


           I say, my lord, they have deserved death.


           See how I am bewitch'd; behold mine arm
           Is, like a blasted sapling, wither'd up:


           If they have done this thing, my gracious lord—


           Tellest thou me of 'ifs'? Thou art a traitor:
           Off with his head.


           Lovel and Ratcliff, look that it be done:
           The rest, that love me, rise and follow me.


           Woe, woe for England! not a whit for me;
           For I, too fond, might have prevented this.


           Make a short shrift; he longs to see your head.


           O momentary grace of mortal men,
           Which we more hunt for than the grace of God!


           O bloody Richard! miserable England!


           Come, lead me to the block; bear him my head.
           They smile at me that shortly shall be dead.
Pupils now have a script in front of them. This will be explored in several ways
and then prepared for a memorised? (Honest, they like it!!) performance.

Writing
Students should write the story of the extract in not more than 50 words.

Lesson activity
Explorations
Learning objective: to experiment with different ways of delivering a script

1. At first, sitting back to back in a trio, listening to the words as they are said.
2. Reading the lines (on their feet and moving as much as the space allows)
in the following ways encouraging playful extreme explorations, for example:
     Pirates of the Caribbean – (extreme characterisation)
             Jack Sparrow = Richard, Orlando = Hastings etc,
     Eastenders – (naturalistic acting)
              Phil = Richard, Hastings = Minty
     Lord of the Rings – (portentous acting)
              Orc = Richard, Frodo = Hastings)
Encourage exaggerated acting. If you wished you could give out the ideas for
the extreme explorations in sealed envelopes and the rest of the class would
have to guess the genre of the exploration at the end of the ‘performance’,
evaluating the appropriateness of that genre as an interpretation.

(Now pupils need to consider how they would actually interpret the mini-
scene. These extreme explorations will make them think of different ways the
characters could be played, but teachers will need to make the point that this
is a historical drama which has a serious message, so their final performance
needs to reflect this.)


Lesson activity
Mime
Learning objective: to understand how to write about the ways that an actor
can physically express an emotion.
Short activity or starter
Teacher expresses an emotion physically e.g. sits down, head in hands and
sighs (more than once so pupils can see it clearly.)

Students, in pairs, note down on white-boards the gestures and facial
expressions (denotation). Take feedback – stress the importance of precise
descriptions – and then ask for one or two words to describe the emotion
being expressed (connotation) e.g. despair, exasperation. Aim for precision in
denotation and vivid vocabulary for the emotions.

The teacher then acts as puppet. Using the line: “behold, mine arm is like a
blasted sapling, wither'd up’, ask for students to suggest ways to deliver the
line physically.
Discuss, then ask pairs of students to model another line for each other.
Writing
Give pupils the line, “Come, lead me to the block; bear him my head.
They smile at me that shortly shall be dead.” They should write a short
paragraph describing how Hastings should say it to his executioners.




Longer session
Actioning*
Learning objective: to understand the motivation behind a character’s words
Intentions.
 (*Actioning is a drama term describing the process by which actors unpeel
the underlying intention of the character who says the line. Through careful
study of the text, professional actors would – line by line, especially with
Shakespeare – identify their character’s key motivation for what they say.
They would then follow this with different sorts of physical explorations of the
words. It’s a useful device for preparing for writing about language in
performance. )

Looking at the lines from the last lesson…
EITHER ask students to decide on the appropriate intentions for each line
they chose (Using Resource 1c)
OR ask them to decide the intentions to the relevant line (Resource 1 d)
OR match the intentions to the relevant line (Cut up and card sort using
Resource 1e)

In either case the teacher will need to model the process

Students should practise saying their lines in such a way that this intention is
clear. The effect will not be naturalistic at first, but after one or two attempts
they should leave their prompts and run through the lines from memory.

They can then, if you wish, perform their scripts from memory for the class for
an En1 assessment. Each performance needs to be followed by some
evaluation, praising the group for their interpretation of a particular line.

If you don’t have time then listen to some readings of particular lines, asking
pupils to explain their emphasis.

Now you could watch the scene in on the Ian McKellan DVD. Ask pupils to
explain some of the director’s key decisions.

Writing:
Using the PEE structure, model writing an analysis of the language of one of
the key lines in the scene, incorporating the intention, showing how it reveals
the motivation behind it.
Ask students to choose one other line and write a similar paragraph.
Resource 1c
Character   Lines you chose from Act 3 Scene 4   Possible
speaking                                         intention
                                                 (actioning*)
Resource 1.d
Character    Lines from Act 3 Scene 4                        Possible
speaking                                                     intention
                                                             (actioning*)

           I pray you all, tell me what they deserve         TO TRICK
           That do conspire my death with devilish plots


           I say, my lord, they have deserved death.


           See how I am bewitch'd; behold mine arm
           Is, like a blasted sapling, wither'd up:


           If they have done this thing, my gracious lord
           —


           Tellest thou me of 'ifs'? Thou art a traitor:
           Off with his head.


           Lovel and Ratcliff, look that it be done:
           The rest, that love me, rise and follow me.


           Woe, woe for England! not a whit for me;
           For I, too fond, might have prevented this.


           Make a short shrift; he longs to see your head.


           O momentary grace of mortal men,
           Which we more hunt for than the grace of God!


           O bloody Richard! miserable England!


           Come, lead me to the block; bear him my head.
           They smile at me that shortly shall be dead.
Resource 1e To be cut up for card sort.
Character Lines                                                Possible
speaking                                                       intention
                                                               (actioning*)

            I pray you all, tell me what they deserve          TO TRICK
            That do conspire my death with devilish plots


            I say, my lord, they have deserved death.          TO IMPRESS



            See how I am bewitch'd; behold mine arm            TO GAIN
            Is, like a blasted sapling, wither'd up:           PITY



            If they have done this thing, my gracious lord —   TO QUERY



            Tellest thou me of 'ifs'? Thou art a traitor:      TO ACCUSE
            Off with his head.


            Lovel and Ratcliff, look that it be done:          TO
            The rest, that love me, rise and follow me.        COMMAND



            Woe, woe for England! not a whit for me;           TO BLAME
            For I, too fond, might have prevented this.        HIMSELF



            Make a short shrift; he longs to see your head.    TO HURRY
                                                               SOMEONE
                                                               ALONG

            O momentary grace of mortal men,                   TO EXPLAIN
            Which we more hunt for than the grace of God!


            O bloody Richard! miserable England!               TO CURSE



            Come, lead me to the block; bear him my head.      TO WARN
            They smile at me that shortly shall be dead.

								
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