yogi – theatre artist – mom

Week 4: A Lesson Plan on Interpretation

I’m a little late posting this, but such is life. Everyone who teaches knows there’s an art to creating a lesson plan that “lands” with students. This is my second semester to teach an Introduction to Theatre class at Eastfield College. Some of the students have never been to the theatre (we’re going tonight for the first time this semester). So, when teaching about the various aspects of what a director does, I wanted them to practice stepping outside of the literal and think creatively.

In the interest of starting small, I gave them the assignment of reading, interpreting, and “staging” with found objects 3-4 “scenes” from William Blake’s poem The Angel. Since their final project later in the semester is to read a play, write a paper and create a Cornell Box inspired by it, this is good practice. As anticipated, most created literal interpretations of the poem, bringing in their best angel ornaments and doll figurines. I then pulled out my bag of stuff, dumped it on the table, showed them mine and then, as a class we staged and re-staged with a combination of the various objects people had brought. Of course, I don’t have any photos of those (sigh) but here is mine:

The Angel by William Blake

I dreamt a dream! What can it mean?
And that I was a maiden Queen
Guarded by an Angel mild:
Witless woe was ne’er beguiled!

And I wept both night and day,
And he wiped my tears away;
And I wept both day and night,
And hid from him my heart’s delight.

So he took his wings, and fled;
Then the morn blushed rosy red.
I dried my tears, and armed my fears
With ten thousand shields and spears.

Soon my Angel came again;
I was armed, he came in vain;
For the time of youth was fled,
And grey hairs were on my head.

“And that I was a maiden Queen
Guarded by an Angel mild”

 

“I dried my tears, and armed my fears
With ten thousand shields and spears.”

 

“Soon my Angel came again;
I was armed, he came in vain;
For the time of youth was fled,
And grey hairs were on my head.”

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