Bloomsbury Publishing is under contract with Miriam Chirico (Eastern Connecticut State University) and Kelly Younger (Loyola Marymount University) to publish HOW TO TEACH A PLAY.
The editors are currently seeking submissions of teaching exercises that nourish the performative imagination. Since faculty often teach a play in the same way they teach a work of fiction or poetry, this book aims to provide exercises that lead students to discover the dramatic, performative, and living qualities of this unique genre.
Grounded in research of the playwright’s work, the exercises point out the performance elements or attributes of the specific play, while indicating how that performance element illuminates the play's larger themes or significance. Thus, we are gathering exercises that connect close textual analysis with performance. If you have a classroom exercise that deepens students' understanding and experience of a particular dramatic text, please respond to the prompts below and kindly submit for consideration.
Pay special attention to how your specific exercise illuminates a thematic aspect of the specific play. We are not seeking general acting exercises or theater games, but play-specific "gimmicks" that help drive a point home to students who may otherwise have little experience with drama. In other words, how may your exercise apply only to this play, but not to others?
There are sample exercises provided at the end of this form. Please read before submitting your work.
Specific Play and Playwright (DROP DOWN MENU BELOW)
As we have collected nearly 60 exercises already, ONLY the following plays remain available. We are especially seeking exercises for more contemporary plays. Select the DROP DOWN menu to see the remaining plays. If you have an exercise for a play that is not on this list, please contact us first as we may already have a submission for that play.
Atsumori by Zeami Motokiyo
Chushingura: The Forty Seven Samurai by Nakamura Matagoro
Loa to Divine Narcissus by Sor Juana Ines
Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe
Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
Cathleen Ni Hoolihan by Lady Gregory
Riders to the Sea by John Millington Synge
The Children's Hour by Lillian Hellman
A Moon for the Misbegotten by Eugene O'Neill
The Maids by Jean Genet
A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
Equus by Peter Schaffer
Funnyhouse of a Negro by Adrienne Kennedy
And the Soul Shall Dance by Wakako Yamauchi
The Other Shore by Gao Xingjian
Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley
'night Mother by Marsha Norman
Anna in the Tropics by Nilo Cruz
Wit by Margaret Edson
Clean House by Sarah Ruhl
Ruined by Lynn Nottage
Our Country's Good by Timberlake Wertenbaker
The Heidi Chronicles by Wendy Wasserstein
The America Play by Suzan-Lori Park
Between Riverside and Crazy by Stephan Adly Guirgis
Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris
The Flick by Annie Baker
Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire
Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar
Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo by Rajiv Joseph
The Humans by Stephan Karam
Anna in the Tropics by Nilo Cruz
The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe
Everybody by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
Cost of Living by Martyna Majok
OTHER (please contact editors first before submitting a play not on this list)
Identify which specific performative element(s) this exercise illustrates.
VOICE (e.g., language, dialect, emphasis, tone, diction, etc.)
BODY (movement, gesture, identity, dance, costume, masks, etc.)
SPACE (e.g., setting, props, boundaries, etc.)
TIME (e.g., tempo, pace, rhythm, tension, etc.)
SOUND (e.g., music, effects, silence, etc.)
AUDIENCE (e.g., 4th wall, participation, reception etc.)
RITUAL (e.g., chants, processions, symbols, etc.)
In Brief (one sentence)
Describe your exercise in as few words as possible
Premise (400 characters - approx. 50 words)
What is the main idea or theme of the play that you attempting to share with your students? Please be sure to include the word "performance" in your description.
Nuts and Bolts (4000 characters - approx. 500 words)
This section is a “recipe” for the reader to follow. Detail the step-by-step process for how to begin, facilitate, and conclude your exercise. Include any specific directives, actions, spatial configuration, etc. that increase the effectiveness of the exercise. Keep in mind many faculty do not have directing experience, so keep it simple.
Putting It Together (2000 characters - approx. 250 words)
Comment upon how this exercise illustrates the Big Picture stated above, and deepens the students' performative imaginations. Offer insights gained from teaching with this exercise. Share results based upon your own experience; anecdotal examples are welcomed. The tone here should be one of sharing and mentoring rather than reporting data.
Advanced Preparation (500 characters - approx. 75 words)
Detail the specific reading, writing or research required by the students before the exercise.
Class Size (200 characters - approx. 25 words)
Give a general class size and show how it may affect the exercise, if at all.
Time Length (200 characters - approx. 25 words)
Give a general time frame for the exercise relative to the duration of your class.
Materials/Technology (200 characters - approx. 25 words)
List any specific technology needs and/or items, props, materials required for the exercise.
Resources (400 characters - approx. 50 words)
Please list the bibliographic citation for at least one academic article/essay, one professional review, and one media.
Institution or Affiliation
I understand that submitting my teaching exercise is not a guarantee of publication, and that the organizers may request revisions if selected.
Contact the Editors
SAMPLE EXERCISES BELOW
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