How to Read a Play – Understanding and Implementing Methods of Script Analysis by Oliva Newman

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Through class discussions, large-group and solo reading, small-group activities, students will cultivate new ideas about how to read a play and that there is a purpose behind every word and moment within a given script. Students will be assessed by their participation in group discussions and their individual performance with analyzing a 10-minute play.

Grade Level: 9-12
Elements: Acting, Dramaturgy
Keywords: lesson plans, teacher tool, unit, acting, script analysis, dramaturgy
National Core Theatre Standards:
Anchor Standard: #1. Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
Grade Level Performance Standard: TH Cr1.1.I.a. Apply basic research to construct ideas about the visual      composition of a drama/theatre work.
Anchor Standard: #4. Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation.
Grade Level Performance Standard: TH Pr4.1.Ia Examine how character relationships assist in telling the story of a drama/theatre work.
Anchor Standard: #7. Perceive and analyze artistic work.
Grade Level Performance Standard: TH:Re7.1.II a. Demonstrate an understanding of multiple interpretations of artistic criteria and how each might be used to influence future artistic choices of a drama/theatre work.

National Core Arts Standards © 2015 State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE) on behalf of NCCAS. All rights reserved.

This curricular unit is one of  fourteen created by pre-service Theatre Education students in methods classes taught by Dr. Mary Schuttler, Professor of Theatre Education at the University of Northern Colorado.  All units were piloted in Colorado schools as a part of the student coursework.   The units were then adjudicated by teams of benchmarkers from EdTA–veteran teachers and troupe directors from our membership.   All curricular units are aligned to Colorado state standards for Theatre Education and all have been cross mapped to the National Core Theatre Standards. Each unit contains the following sections:

  • Map & Calendar showing required time for instruction
  • Detailed demographics for the piloting school
  • Unit goals, standards and lesson objectives
  • Day to day lesson plans
  • Suggested supporting materials
  • Pre and Post Assessments
  • Analysis of Assessment results from pilot
  • Additional guided activities and connections

Click on any of the links to the right to see each curricular unit in its entirety.

Teacher Tools

EdTA Teacher Tool 20: How to Read a Play--Understanding and Implementing Methods of Script Analysis by Oliva Newman

Download this document to access all items included in this curriculum unit.