6th grade drama builds on previous work, with both discussion and theatre exercises highlighting how to create character. 6th graders engage in the study of character. Students are asked to observe people; to become sensitive to mannerisms, accents, quirks and body language. Through theater exercises, games, improvisations, and the use of video examples, 6th graders develop sensitivity to and appreciation of the difference between a character’s qualities [characterization] and the actual character [the sum of those qualities plus life experience] and how actors create them.
Students prepare a monologue, assigned in October, for a December performance. In addition to researching and preparing their character, 6th graders are also responsible for memorization, costumes, props, and make-up.
These activities and performances form the groundwork for the culminating synthesizing activity for the theater program, the 6th grade musical. Collaborating with peers and adults, students learn to constructively critique themselves and others throughout the production. The musical showcases students’ growth, training, and achievement in both theatrical and musical arts, giving students not only opportunities in acting singing and dancing, but also in set and costume design, stage and props management.
Below is a part of a documentary video (shot right here at PMFS) of the process of making the 6th grade musical.