STEP 1: Research All Three Historic Periods
Print the Theater History I-chart to use for recording your research on theater history. (See
Resource #1 below)
Click on the links below to research the following historical eras of theater: Greek Theater,
Renaissance Theater, and Asian/Kabuki Theater. How did each era impact society and
contribute to the development of theater? What are the distinguishing characteristics of each
time period? It will be important to note these distinctions in your presentation!
Checkpoint! Show your teacher your completed I-chart.
STEP 2: Research Your Chosen Time Period
Now is the time to dig deeper into your own time period. Each group member should download
the Collaborative Listening-Viewing Guide (see Resource #2 below). Click on the
YouTube video(s) for your time period. As you watch the video, take notes in the left column
of important ideas, characteristics, and vocabulary. In the right column, combine and
elaborate your notes with the help of your group. At the bottom of the guide, organize and
synthesize your notes in an idea web.
Checkpoint! Show your teacher your Collaborative Listening-Viewing Guide.
STEP 3: Research Performance Spaces For Your Era
1.) Download and print the "Theater History Graphic Organizer" to record your findings as
you research the performance spaces of your era. (See Resource #3 below)
2.) Watch the You-tube Videos below of performances and performance spaces for your time
3.) Click on the links below to explore pictures and diagrams of your performance space.
You may want to print these for references while making your puppet box.
Pictures of Greek Theater
Pictures of Renaissance Theater
Pictures of Kabuki Theater
4.) Click on the following websites to learn more about your performance spaces.
Checkpoint! Show your teacher your "Theater History Graphic Organizer"
STEP 4: Construct Your Puppet Box
You may want to start constructing your puppet box now or save this step for later and research costumes and make up first. Your puppet box must do three things: provide a stage for your puppets, show how the audience would be arranged during a performance, and include several details that are authentic to your time period. You may want to use the resources below to get you started on building, or simply be creative!
STEP 5: Research Costumes, Make-Up, and Masks
Research typical costumes, make-up, and masks from your time period. You will be making a
a sketchbook of the five main characters and how you will costume them. You may use print-
outs for this part of the assignments, but your performance costumes must be created on your
own. Please include at least 3 new vocabulary words as labels in your costume sketchbook.
Jack and the Beanstalk main characters: Jack, Mother, Stranger, Cow, Giant/Ogre
Possible Supporting characters (could also be props): Hen, Golden Harp
(Do not watch the entire video above. Skim through it to see Greek costumes and masks)
Checkpoint! Show your teacher your costume sketchbook!
STEP 6: Construct Puppets and Costumes
You may begin constructing your puppets and costumes. Remember, you are creating puppets that reflect how the actors in your time period would have interpreted these characters. Do not simply draw a cow and put it on a stick. Instead, create a human puppet decorated with a cow costume. Would the actor wear a mask? A full costume? Realistic or symbolic make-up? You decide!
STEP 7: Write Your Play!
1.) Watch a few performances below to get a sense of the actors' style.
2.) Watch the 9 minute video of Jack and the Beanstalk to become familiar with the plot.
3.) Write a Reader's Theater script for your play. Make sure there is a clear beginning, middle,
and end to your piece.
4.) Determine what props and set pieces you need to add to your stage and construct these.
Again, think about how people from your time period would have realistically added these
elements to their show.
Checkpoint! Show your script to your teacher!
STEP 8: Rehearse & Perform
Your presentation will consist of two parts:
1.) A presentation about the characteristics of your time period
2.) Your presentation of Jack and the Beanstalk
Include in your presentation:
*Distinguishing characteristics of theater in your time period
*Important contributions your time period made to theater history as a whole
*A detailed description of your performance space and seating arrangements, including
precise vocabulary for the labeling of spaces and functions.
*A detailed description with precise terminology of your costumes and make up or masks,
and how they enhance the performance.