Any Drama teachers here?

Discussion in 'Special Subjects' started by JesusIsMyTeach, Jan 2, 2020.

  1. JesusIsMyTeach

    JesusIsMyTeach Rookie

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    Jan 2, 2020

    Happy new year!!
    Background:
    I teach theatre in a Middle School.

    Question
    How do you deal with cast members arguing with each other? Some are wanting to kick one kid out because he is constantly interrupting and picking fights with other kids in the play. I've talked to him already.

    I have clear expectations but this student is very entitled and denies when he does something.

    I feel like the kids are putting me in a spot because they got together and told me about how they feel (they mentioned all of the above). They requested he be out of the play.

    Any tips? I appreciate it! Thank you!
     
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  3. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Jan 2, 2020

    Did they sign a contract before the show? Did their parents sign? Is it part of a class or extracurricular?
     
  4. JesusIsMyTeach

    JesusIsMyTeach Rookie

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    Jan 2, 2020

    It's extracurricular but the admin made it clear that the drama program is to help kids who have a hard time in class. This is my first year at this school so there's already a lot of things that are pushing me towards not continuing there next year. I get all the kids that the other teachers don't want in their electives.

    As to my OP, I think I'm going to have an all cast meeting and another adult who is on staff sit in on it. I'm going to go over our rules and expectations since we are going back to school in a week. I think another thing that would help is if I don't have everyone at every single rehearsal because some are just sitting there waiting for their scene.
     
  5. tchr4vr

    tchr4vr Companion

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    Jan 3, 2020

    You need to get to the root of the problem. Why is he picking fights? I've taught theatre for many years, and generally, if a kid is picking fights, there's something else going on. Most kids who are doing a play after school, and not just part of a class assignment, want to be there. If you haven't had them sign a contract, do it when you get back from break. Make sure to include the issues that have been discussed.

    Another thing that I have done is cast venting session. It does sometimes depend on maturity, and I've never done it with middle schoolers, but it can help. You sit in a circle as a cast and crew and each person gets that opportunity to speak about issues they are having with cast members, the director, the crew, the play, whatever. Rules are put in place--no foul language, no rebuttals, no arguing--simple statement of facts. Sometimes, it helps to get it all out--you learn what's bothering them, so you can address it, and sometimes, just saying it and acknowledging it helps them get over the issues. The closest casts I've had have been those that had to go through a session.
     
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