Please share the following points with your group of students. Encourage the students to practice these points throughout the workshop. Going to see a play is very different from going to the movies. During live theater, the audience is as important a part of the experience as the actors.
- Live response is good! If you’re telling a story to a friend, and they really respond or listen, it makes you want to tell the story better—to keep telling the story. So, the better an audience listens, laughs and responds, the more the actors want to tell the story. In this way, the audience (as well as the actors) can make a performance great.
- The actors can hear you talking. If an audience member is not paying attention, the actors know it. Have you ever had a conversation with someone and felt that they’d rather be someplace else? This is the EXACT feeling actors get when people in the audience are talking.
- The actors can see you. Even though the actors are pretending to be other characters, it is their job to “check in” with the audience in order to tell the story better. This is another way in which theater greatly differs from the movies. Film actors can do a take over and over to try to get it right. Theater actors have one chance with an audience and want to make sure they are communicating clearly. Imagine trying to tell a group of fellow students something only to see them slouching, pretending to be bored, or sitting with their eyes closed in an attempt to seem disinterested and “too cool” for what you had to say. Think about it.
- No cell phones, candy wrappers, gum, etc. Please turn off all cell phones and put th em away. Do not eat or chew gum inside the theater. These things disturb the people around you as well as the actors. As much as you might be tempted to text a friend how cool the play you're watching is, please wait until after it is over to send any texts.
- Be mindful of other patrons, both in the theater and in the lobbies. Please don't run in the lobby area, and help us take care of our elderly patrons by opening a door for them or helping them get by. They will be so appreciative! Keep in mind that Portland Center Stage at The Armory is welcoming you into our home on this field trip. Please treat our home with respect.
*Thank you to Montana Shakespeare in the Parks for these excellent etiquette suggestions.*
Student Matinee Curriculum
Portland Center Stage’s Student Matinee Program seeks to provide all young people with opportunities to experience and directly participate in the art of high-quality, professional theater in a context that supports their education. The following is designed to help students explore themes found in our production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. We encourage you to choose the most appropriate activities for your group and adapt as needed.
- To encourage personal connections between the students and the major themes of the play.
- To excite students about the story and introduce the theatrical elements of the production.
- To engage students using the actors’ tools (body, voice, imagination).
(Shared with permission by Milwaukee Repertory Theater Education Department)
1. How do you express your identity to the world? What misperceptions or assumptions do people sometimes have about you based on how you present yourself in the world?
2. What are your beliefs about gender? Is it a social construct or something that is innately part of your biology? How does society define, limit, or expand on your personal thoughts about gender?
3. Who should decide aspects of your identity or how you present yourself? Parents, spouse, teachers, employers, only you? Why?