Lifelong Learning Programme

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Teachers’ Guidelines

Homepage > Teachers’ Guidelines > Theatre as Experiential Learning Tool

The role of theatre as a site for learning in a community context and how it can provide informal learning opportunities for young people experiencing social difficulty

Theatre as Experiential Learning Tool:
Step by Step Process to Implement Theatrical Laboratories in Classroom

Table of Content

5.2 Techniques to be used to free the group and its emotions
To reach the individual's openness towards the group and the group towards the individual there are some techniques to be used. The individual components solicited by the techniques during OFF-book Theatre Lab are:
  • Cognitive: this represents our thoughts, beliefs and ideas about something.
  • Affective: this component deals with feelings or emotions that are brought to the surface about something, such as fear or hate.
  • Conative: this can also be called the behavioural component and centres on individuals acting in a certain way towards something.

Each one of these components is very different from the other, and they can build upon one another to form our attitudes and, therefore, affect the way we relate to the world.

The techniques used by the trainer during OFF-book Theatre Lab can be summarized as follows:
  • Techniques related to physical movement: observation and concentration, tensions and stasis, posture, gait, a perception of one's body and body in the scenic space, work on individual rhythm and common rhythm, relationship with partners, action and reaction, intention and motivation of actions.
  • Vocal techniques: sound emission linked to the body resonance boxes, breathing techniques and diaphragmatic breathing, articulation, elements of acting, pronunciation and diction.
  • Techniques related to listening: the creation of body and voice in harmony with the others without direction, development of internal listening skills, scenic presence, improvisation techniques.
  • Techniques related to actor training: improvisation, acting and choice of styles, interpretation techniques.
  • Techniques relevant to the work on texts: re-reading and rewriting, processing. Writing one’s own text, writing in team, writing on stage.

Preference is also given to improvisation techniques to encourage the expression of one's own emotions, to learn to manage it and to use its emotional resources.

During the OFF-book Theatre Lab the students are therefore called to work:
  1. On the body, through relaxation techniques and body perception.
  2. On space, to become aware of oneself and the environment.
  3. On emotions, to get in touch with your emotions and recognize them.
  4. On the group, through exercises of trust and courage.
  5. On the relationship, with the monologue and the dialogue.
  6. On the creation of the environment in the scenic space.
  7. On time, with the story of a story on the scene.

It is, in fact, a long path, divided into several stages that correspond to the same number of work phases. In these phases the students are called to work on several levels, to eventually arrive at the realization of a final performance.
After the first phase of mutual knowledge and investigation of needs, students are invited to reflect on the conscious use of their body, gestures and facial expressions. Through this type of training, based on psychomotricity and the basic principles of theatrical animation, students can learn the language of the body, improving the relationship with their corporeity and enhancing their full potential. Knowing your body, learning to dominate it and giving it a voice also means acquiring a greater awareness of the spatial dimension and, consequently, being able to move within it with more confidence, with advantages also in terms of the relationship with oneself and with the other. To deal with particular the students’ problematic behaviour we suggest to use proper exercises described in the section dedicated to Tabs.
Online Resources
  • Social Emotional Teaching Strategies The script topic is about the need of teaching social-emotional skills. Teachers should be able to better define emotional literacy and identify activities that build “feeling vocabularies.” Teachers should improve the importance of providing opportunities for students to begin to understand their own, as well as the others’ emotions.
  • Teachers’ emotional intelligence: The impact of the training A growing number of studies have suggested that teachers' personal competencies and more specifically Emotional Intelligence (EI) are particularly important for teacher effectiveness. Recently, there has also been a growing recognition of the importance of social-emotional competencies to students' learning and academic achievement.

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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.