Harvey Sadis recently retired from teaching second grade at Cascade Elementary School in Seattle, Washington
Macbeth 1.1, The Witches' Scene
What's On for Today and Why
Students, in ensembles of three, will take turns directing one another, in short takes, of the opening scene of the Scottish play. The objective is to have the students experience an introduction to directing, to taking direction, and to acting in a small ensemble. The teacher must decide whether he or she wants every student to have a hand at directing. If not, then each ensemble will only perform the scene once.
This lesson may take three 50-minute class periods.
What You Need
1. A copy of Macbeth, 1.1.1-13
2. Directing Guidelines
When Shall We Three Meet Again?
What To Do
1. Have students assemble in groups of three --- the ensembles.
2. Give each ensemble a copy of the opening scene of Macbeth, 1.1.
3. Each ensemble will have one of its members both act and direct the scene.
4. Give each ensemble 10-15 minutes to get familiar with the scene, to get it on its feet.
5. Give each ensemble a list of guiding questions to aid the student director in mounting the scene.
6. Remind each ensemble that the director has the final word on how the scene will be done. The director should ask for help/advice from the other ensemble members.
7. Remind the directors that even though they are directing the scene, they are also actors in the scene as well.
How Did It Go?
After all of the groups have performed once, ask each ensemble to evaluate their group's level of success by asking:
1. The director and the other actors if their performance successfully met the guidelines.
2. What ways could the performance have been improved.
3. How it felt being a director? An actor? Letting someone else be in charge.
If you used this lesson, we would like to hear how it went and about any adaptations you made to suit the needs of YOUR students.