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Name: __________________________ Subject: Narrative Pantomime
Teacher Name: ___________________ Date: ___________________

 

Ancient Pantomimes

 

Introduction:  
  Shhhhh! Dont speak, but tell me a story. Seems impossible? Maybe not. Humans and animals use the power of body language and non-verbal communication to express feelings and emotions every day. In prehistoric times before the invention of spoken language tribes had to communicate with each other to survive. The campfire became the first stage and their fellow tribe members the first audience. With an effective performance the tribe could learn about their food supply, approaching weather, or even the fierce battle that is about to ensue. Lets transport back to the time before spoken language was invented and become storytellers. The problems and issues we deal with today may not be the same, but we can still use the power of non-verbal communication to share and solve them. Prepare to gather the tribe around the campfire and tell a story through narrative pantomime.
Task:  
  You will be exploring the narrative pantomime and its uses in storytelling and communication. You and your tribe members must agree on a problem or conflict and then develop a story to address the problem. You will design, rehearse and perform a narrative pantomime for the class to tell your story.
Process:  
  1. Define narrative pantomime and find examples of them.
Use the listed electronic and print resources to define what a narrative pantomime is and record your findings in your group journal. You should also record any examples of pantomime and non-verbal communication used in historical/real world situations. All information should be listed in your group journal with resources.
2. Brainstorm ideas for the subject of your tribes narrative pantomime.
This is an extremely important step and should not be skipped by your tribe. In your tribes journal make a list of possible topics for your pantomime. You should get input from all tribe members and discuss the positive and negative aspects of each topic until one is agreed on by the tribe.
3. Script your narrative pantomime.
A script for a narrative pantomime does not include any dialogue, but still follows the traditional script format. The characters should be centered on the page followed by a series of stage directions. Be as detailed as you possibly can in your stage directions and include information about emotions and feelings that should be conveyed to the audience. Use traditional stage directions (i.e. Stage Right, Down Stage) in your script. Your script must be typed and a final copy must be submitted at the time of your performance.
4. Rehearsal
Once your script has been created you must rehearse your performance with your tribe. Decide who in your tribe will play what character in your pantomime and rehearse your pantomime. After each rehearsal you should share ideas on how to make it better and improve your pantomime. Remember you cannot use any vocalization in your presentation, but the message and story should be clear to the audience.
5. Performance
After ample rehearsal time your tribe will share their story with the group. You performance should be professional and well thought out. You group should stay focused and not break character. Evaluation sheets will be given to the class to evaluate each group based on set criteria.
Resources:  
  Internet:
1. Title: Drama
URL: http://www.suu.edu/faculty/ellington/3900/Drama.pdf
2. Title: Creative Drama.org/Pantomime
URL: http://digitaldjs.info/joomla/index.php/pantomime
3. Title: Creative Drama Lesson Plans
URL: http://www.childdrama.com/lessons.html
4. Title: Books for Creative Drama Lessons
URL: http://www.childdrama.com/picturebooklist.html
5. Title: Pantomime: Definition from Answers.com
URL: http://www.answers.com/topic/pantomime
6. Title: History of Theatre
URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_theatre
7. Title: Tribal masks of the Himalayas
URL: http://www.mikalina.com/Texts/masks_of_himalayas.htm
Print:
1. Book - Exploring Theatre by: Nancy Prince and Jeanie Jackson
2. Book - Artstarts: drama, music, movement, puppetry, and storytelling activities By: Martha Brady, Patsy Timmerman Gleason
Evaluation:  
  1. The chief of the tribe (aka your teacher) and your fellow tribe members will evaluate the team on the preparedness, delivery, and focus of your pantomime performance.
2. Your fellow tribe members will evaluate each of their tribe members on participation.
Conclusion:  
  Is it possible to communicate without saying a word? Hopefully you have found the answer to that question is yes. You cooperation as a tribe has saved all of tribe from an approaching storm or a imminent famine. What you have to say is always important even if you dont know how to put it into words. Your ability to convey thoughts and ideas without speaking will help in your spoken presentations as well. You will be able to use gestures and movements to more accurately share your thoughts and ideas. What were some things that you found were valuable in your narrative pantomime? Was there any one part of the process that gave your tribe trouble? What did you like about working as a tribe? What problems of difficulties arose within your tribe?

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