Pre Performance Teaching Resource

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Pre Performance Teaching Resource
‘CONVERSATION STARTERS’
A PRE-SHOW TEACHING RESOURCE
FOR KEY STAGE 3 & 4
This series of ‘conversation starters’ and
activities aim to introduce students to
the major themes and ideas present in
Waiting Game and link directly to the
National Curriculum in areas of English
(Dramatic Approaches and Techniques),
PSHEE (Personal, Social Health and
Economic Education) and Citizenship for
Key Stage 3 & 4.
These activities can be presented by the
teacher as a starting point for group
discussion, or you may seize these
conversation starters as an opportunity
for students to improve their free writing
skills by responding to the questions,
concepts and practical exercises in 15-20
minute intervals of writing.
1
DISCUSSION 1:
SITE-SPECIFIC THEATRE AND IMMERSIVE PERFORMANCE STYLES
WHAT DO YOU UNDERSTAND ABOUT THE FOLLOWING TERMS?
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Site-Specific Theatre
Immersive
Promenade
Site-Responsive
Discuss and feed in knowledge to the students.
Site-Specific theatre is any theatrical production designed to exist in a specific environment that
is not a standard theatre space. These spaces may be unconventional or not previous intended to
house a performance (such as a hotel, historical landmark, or public park).
Immersive theatre is a broadly used term for performances which use expansive environments
that invite audience participation, from moving around and through the space to taking on a ‘role’
in the performance environment.
Promenade theatre involves audience members standing or walking from space to space,
watching the action happen around them and possibly following the performers around the space
rather than sitting and watching.
Site-Responsive theatre is a form of site-specific uses site as a resource for the performance
material.
HAVE THE STUDENTS SEEN ANY SITE- SPECIFIC OR IMMERSIVE PERFORMANCES?
What details can they recall about the environment the performance took place in and how it
may have informed their experience and the content of the performance?
Can the students identify and research productions by companies creating site-specific or
immersive work, such as the UK’s Punchdrunk, Shunt, or Secret Cinema? Ask the students to
research one of these companies and make a mind map or poster showing what they have found.
They might want to include the company members, the type of work they make, and an
explanation of 1-2 recent productions. Are there any similar characteristics amongst their
productions? How does each company manage and navigate the audience experience?
Kazzum Oxford House, Derbyshire Street, Bethnal Green, London E2 6HG
2 number 2447000, Registered Charity Number 802941
Registered in England and Wales
This project has been funded by Arts Council England, City Bridge Trust & Tower Hamlets Arts and Events
DISCUSSION 2:
REFUGEES AND ASYLUM SEEKERS IN THE UK
Start with a short writing exercise. Giving the students only 10-15 minutes to brainstorm, ask
them to make a list based on the following instructions:
For unexpected reasons you must leave your home immediately and do not know if and
when you may ever return. You have exactly one hour to prep a backpack that will carry
all of your personal belongings when you leave. What will you pack in your backpack to
help you feel safe? Remember, you have only one hour to fill no more than one small bag.
How will you decide what to bring with you?
Ask the students to share what they put on their list and how they made their decisions about
what to bring with them. How did making this list make them feel?
WHAT DO YOU UNDERSTAND ABOUT THE FOLLOWING TERMS?
 Refugee
 Asylum Seeker
Ask the students if they know any facts or policies about refugees or asylum seekers in the UK.
Can they make a list of all of the facts they think they know or of some of the statements they
have heard?
Refugees are people who have been forced to flee or leave their own country because of war,
violence, persecution, or natural disaster. Most often they cannot return home and may be
afraid to do so.
Asylum Seekers are people who flee their own country and seek sanctuary in another country.
They apply for asylum – the right to be identified as a refugee and receive legal protection.
Kazzum Oxford House, Derbyshire Street, Bethnal Green, London E2 6HG
Registered in England and Wales 3
number 2447000, Registered Charity Number 802941
This project has been funded by Arts Council England, City Bridge Trust & Tower Hamlets Arts and Events
FACTS ABOUT REFUGEES AND ASYLUM SEEKERS IN TH UK:
In the UK a person is officially a refugee when they have had their claim for asylum accepted by
the government.
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Asylum seekers and refugees do not get large hand-outs. Most asylum seekers live in
poverty and are not allowed to work, existing on as little as £5 a day in government
support. They cannot choose where they live and they do not ‘jump the queue’ for
council housing as their accommodation is not paid for by the local council and they most
frequently live in ‘hard to let’ properties. (Refugee Council)
Asylum seekers and refugees are law abiding citizens. In international and national law,
distinctions are made between refugees, asylum seekers, legal and illegal migrants, and
others. These differences are often misunderstood by the general public and not
represented in the media.
It is very difficult to get asylum in the UK and many people’s claims are rejected. Since
2005, most refugees have only been granted asylum in the UK for 5 years and their case
can be reviewed at any time. This can make it challenging to find work or make plans for
the future. (Refugee Council)
In 2011, there were 19,804 applications for asylum in the UK – the second lowest level in
10 years. There are also particular problems with women’s claims and a 2011 study
showed that 50% of the negative decisions by the Home Office were eventually
overturned. (Home Office Asylum Statistics 2011)
The UK is home to less than 2% of the world’s refugees and only 15% of the world refugee
population lives in Europe. About 80% of the world’s refugees live in developing
countries in Africa and Asia. (UNHRC Global Trends 2011)
Further facts for teaching support and student research including terms and definitions, policy
briefings and parliamentary work can be found at the Refugee Council and their website
www.refugeecouncil.org.uk.
Kazzum Oxford House, Derbyshire Street, Bethnal Green, London E2 6HG
4 number 2447000, Registered Charity Number 802941
Registered in England and Wales
This project has been funded by Arts Council England, City Bridge Trust & Tower Hamlets Arts and Events
DISCUSSION 3:
DEVISED THEATRE
‘How do you create something from nothing?’
Devised theatre is made collaborative settings using the sharing of ideas, games and
improvisation to develop the performance.
The following exercise will teach students one technique for generating themes and ideas for a
devised performance.
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First, ask all of the students to collect and bring in national and local newspapers as well
as any council or neighbourhood newsletters or flyers – any print media that is
representative of issues within their communities on a local, national or international
level.
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Ask the students to look through these materials and search for stories or themes that
stand out to them as interesting. They might want to look for stories with the biggest
global impact, stories where they empathize with another person, and stories that they
think will still be relevant and important in 5-10 years. Have the students cut out these
stories and any related headlines and images.
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Now ask the students to look through all of the articles, headlines and images they have
collected to see what they have in common. Are they all similar or is there a common
theme amongst the different stories?
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Ask the students to group some common headlines and articles together on a sheet of
paper into a collage. Invite them to ‘fill in the blanks’ with their own ideas and start to
consider if a theme or narrative is emerging.
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What type of stories were the students drawn to? How did they make their choice? Do
they have any ideas about how these themes and narratives might translate to the stage?

Do any of these stories seem like a good starting point for developing site-specific,
immersive or promenade performance (as introduced in Discussion 1)? How would you
want to present these stories or ideas to your audience in a performance setting?
Kazzum Oxford House, Derbyshire Street, Bethnal Green, London E2 6HG
Registered in England and Wales5 number 2447000, Registered Charity Number 802941
This project has been funded by Arts Council England, City Bridge Trust & Tower Hamlets Arts and Events

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