Here’s another activity that will be going in ‘The Remote Theatre Handbook’ (again from the chapter on Physical Activities). We’d love to hear from you if you try it out with your own students. In the summer I ran a remote theatre taster course for English teachers from all over the world and the video below, demonstrating the activity, is from that course.
The basic procedure is that students work in groups and prepare a short piece of physical theatre around a single word (we used the words time, freedom, family, lockdown, covid, the future etc). They can say only that word during the performance but they can repeat it as many times as they like, and in as many different ways as they like.
This is a good activity for students to develop some basic remote theatre techniques like entering and leaving the stage, using their voices to convey emotion, and presenting themselves physically though a webcam. It’s also great (as you’ll see in the video) for starting a discussion about the themes presented.
The video’s quite long (almost 20 minutes) but I decided to include it all because it shows the stages we used to set it up and feed back on it (which you may want to replicate with your students) and because of the discussion it promoted – not only about remote theatre but about life in general.
This is what two of the participants (one in Venezuela and one in Italy) said at the end of the extract..
Jefferson: And I think something curious we are doing here is that we are from different countries around the world and it’s incredible how the body language is the same for all of us. We are universally connected.
Kate: Well that’s the beauty of theatre!