Week 8: Viewing and Discussing Theatre

4 Min Read  •  Arts Appreciation

Welcome to The Art of Curriculum Design: Viewing and Discussing Theatre

In this six month series we explore the fundamentals of curriculum design, via an Arts Appreciation course created through an arts collaboration.

The first few weeks were devoted to the “how and why” of the curriculum design process.
The Art of Curriculum Design
The Art of Curriculum Design: The “Why”
The Art of Curriculum Design: The “How”

-We then looked at applying the Plan Like an Artist method of Curriculum Design to create a secondary level Arts Appreciation course.
Arts Appreciation: Planned Like an Artist

-During the current portion of the series, we are looking at weekly objectives, outcomes, and assessments designed for the Arts Appreciation course (links to the entire series can be found below) The full curriculum, including daily lesson plans, handouts, and assessments, will be available at the completion of the series.


-When Planning Like an Artist, everything is designed with the end performance in mind. So, as the course was designed, we remained focused on the ultimate aim of the course and the final assessment/performance task; how the students are going to demonstrate the aim.
-Aim: After this course, it is our hope that students have the ability to articulate an appreciation of all art forms, while defending artistic preferences.
-Final Assessment/Performance Task: Students will design an arts company, and create a performance season utilizing a common theme based on their personal artistic preference. Then, they will present their performance season to a board in the form of a proposal for funding as a way to articulate an appreciation of all art forms.

Arts Appreciation Weeks 1-5

The first 5 weeks of the Arts Appreciation course provided the foundational information for students to participate in viewing and discussing art in preparation for building their own arts organization. For instance, Week one built a class definition of art, while the second week focused on applying the class definition to artistic work. Then, the third week helped students to identify artist intent. Students should be able to identify the intent, defend the intent, and determine the effect of artist intent on the emotional landscape of the art as viewed by an audience, and as viewed through the lens of the class definition of art.

Through the viewing of controversial art, students are continue to defend what they believe art “is” and “is not,” and acknowledge the emotion behind the art as well as identifying the artist’s intent. By viewing a theme, students will conclude the fourth week with the foundational information needed to actively view art.  The ability to identify the theme behind the art will help students create their final project.

Finally, the goal of the fifth week was to start helping the students to profile their arts advocacy, by brainstorming the ways in which they want to showcase art for their final assessment. This involved composing an artist statement, determining the theme of their performance season, developing their artistic brand, and drafting the mission and vision for their arts organization.

-The next portion of the Arts Appreciation course will take an in-depth look at discussing Theatre, Dance, and Music. Through analyzing these three performance arts, students will begin to develop their final project, which is a theme-based performance season for their arts organization.

-Theatre Unit Links
Introduction to Theatre Arts
Understanding Theatre Through Scripts and Structure

So far, we have introduced students to Theatre by way of looking at the history of the art, as well as how to understand in discussing theatre based on the structure and scripts.  Now, we will discuss!  Based on the knowledge students gained through the introductory units, students have defined art and have used that definition to begin making personal preferences as well as determining artists’ intent.

Also, students should be knowledgeable on how to actively view art, and acknowledge the theme being represented.  While keeping in mind their final product is a thematic performance season for the arts organization they create, this week dives into viewing theatre performances, discussing the artists’ intent and themes, and developing personal preferences about the theatre work they view.

Week 8: Viewing & Discussing Theatre

At the completion of week 8, students will be able to:

  • Identify the main eras of theatre
  • Compare/Contrast the eras
  • Identify the elements of Greek theare
  • Identify the stock characters represented indifferent eras
  • Determine themes and intent of various viewed pieces
  • Articulate elements of design and how they impact the work
  • Determine essential parts of  a theatre review

Week 8: Viewing & Discussing Theatre

At the completion of week 8, students will demonstrate:

  • Similarities and differences of theatre eras
  • Determination of themes and artists’ intent
  • Proper discussion decorum while presenting various opinions of the theatre viewed
  • Clear articulation of a theatre review

Week 8: Viewing & Discussing Theatre

At the completion of week 8, students will be evaluated on:

  • Discussion of theatre viewed, incorporating class definition of art, personal preferences, themes, and artists’ intent
  • Written reviews of each theatre piece viewed

Series Links
The Art of Curriculum Design
The Art of Curriculum Design: The “Why”
The Art of Curriculum Design: The “How”
Arts Appreciation: Planned Like an Artist
Week 1: What is Art?
Week 2: Talking Art
Week 3: Artist Intent
Week 4: What is Theme?
Week 5: Profiling Yourself as an Arts Advocate
Week 6: Introduction to Theatre Arts
Week 7: Understanding Theatre through Scripts and Structure

Next Week: Week 9 Designing a Theatre Arts Performance Season

Week 9 of the Arts Appreciation course, including lesson plan objectives, outcomes, and assessments.