Dada Theater

I received this story from a theater professor. I wanted to share it with you.

I used Dada Theater in a UNI course, Theatre in Education.  This course also serves as a Capstone course SO…I have 26 students in the class; 13 or 14 are theatre majors and the rest are from majors across campus.

We are creating work in support of the department’s April production of Romeo and Juliet in three ways:  creating a pre-show workshop; creating a study guide AND creating an APP that will be used by audiences before and DURING the show.

Anyway, the first step in all of this is getting them comfortable working with a text that uses language that is “different” from their own.  They recognize the words but not always the meaning of those words.  I wanted to do an activity that would force them to use “language they know” but in a context that would require them to add some physical work to have their language choices make sense to someone watching.  
Dada Theatre helped me do just that!  They were limited by the words in their groups (4 to a group).  They were required to make sure that they established characters, location and a “relationship” between characters and each character had to speak 2 lines of dialogue.  

It was great fun and successfully got at the ‘thing’ I wanted them to discover…that making language come to life is at the heart of exploring Shakespeare 🙂

Dada Theater can be a little intimidating to suggest to a group, but it is amazing fun, and if you teach theater, you should try it with your students!