Big changes, little changes

David Porter
Thursday, October 22, 2020

One thing the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown taught us was that big changes lead to little changes; little changes can cause big upheavals and people don't always do change well. It's a rich theme for a drama scheme. From the sweeping changes of climate change and habitat/water/food alterations to the automation of so many jobs, right down to the personal change one human being has to make to survive – all these themes feed our dramas. One tiny accident can lead to disability or death. Lives are instantly changed. Any one of these six 90-minute sessions could provide starting points for schemes going off into completely different directions. Learning objectives - To explore a wide range of ideas around the concept of change in people through drama - To work collaboratively on creating, presenting and reviewing their drama - To develop skills in the use of drama techniques and devices to strengthen character building. What's special? - The suggested warm-up and preparatory suggestions are for teachers' discretion and depend on time available over and above the 90 minutes. - A possible drama development idea for each session is outlined in the Additional Material. Teachers are free to vary them. Some scenarios may need more than one scene. - The suggested roles are open to students of any gender and as a particular KS4 challenge it's suggested that students are changed around in their parts and groups from time to time to stimulate creativity. Styles - It is a good idea to enable and encourage students to prepare and perform their devised work in a particular style. This broadens the learning. Styles could include: soap opera, Brechtian, pantomime, farce, thriller, western, circus, melodrama, agitprop or a mixture of more than one style. Drama techniques - Enable and encourage the use of as many drama techniques and devices as possible, including by stating a minimum number per devised piece. These can include: mime, gesture, still images, narration in-role and out, slo-mo, different levels, choral, cross-cutting, direct address, vocal skills, conscience tunnels, physical theatre, body props and different staging. - Encourage multi-roling to develop characterisation. Background, research, ideas - Changes in daily lives during and after the COVID-19 experience - Changes in people and relationships through human emotions, flaws and competing agendas - Consequences of changing circumstances, lifestyles and aging - Considering how one small change can lead to a much bigger one. Scheme sessions - Changes from COVID - Changes in family circumstances - Changes in image - Changes of roles - Changing the situation - Changes in loyalty Additional Material: Possible scenarios