1 hour lesson, ages 5 and up.
My emphasis was on the introduction of Meisner, and acting skill/behaviour “to internalise action”, but the lesson has proved useful for a number of other emerging reasons.
IN PAIRS, A interviews B about their week. A shares B’s story with class. Swap roles and repeat. Teacher emphasises acting skills: “listening”, “reacting”, “being open”.
IN TRIOS, improvise a scene where A’s hook is always “That’s nothing, I…”; B’s hook is “That reminds me of the time…”; C’s hook is “Don’t talk to me about…” If different numbers, drop a role or double up (or create a new dialogue hook!) Teacher draws attention to the characters “not listening” to each other; however, the actor must listen (for when to give/take the creative responsibility.)
IN SMALL GROUPS, improvise a suspect interview. Rehearse a little, before teacher introduces “Meisner Repetition” as a means to initiate listening to (internally processing) each other, in role. We repeated any given line maximum of 4 times before moving on.
WATCH OUT FOR students using repetition simply to bounce back dialogue, rather than internalise what their partner is saying. “Where were you last night” may usefully be repeated as “Me? Last night?” but not “No, where were YOU last night?”.
SPOTLIGHT WORK to your own preference, and have fun!