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Arts Toolkit

Arts Toolkit: Drama Video Clips

Controlling Creative Energy



Host Curt Tofteland leads students in exploring how actors use energy. In the activity “Passing Energy,” students pass an imaginary ball of energy to one another. Then Jean St. John and Steve Roenker of the My Nose Turns Red theater company give background information on commedia dell’arte, discussing and showing how actors control energy to perform their commedia-inspired physical comedy.

Suggested Uses:

  • Watch as a guide to leading your students in this exercise or similar activities.
  • Show the commedia dell’arte segment to introduce or explore this type of theater.
  • Show the commedia dell’arte segment to inspire students to create and perform physical comedy routines in the spirit of commedia dell’arte.
  • Show this segment, then show a segment from the Performance Excerpts tape/DVD and discuss how the actors use and control energy.
  • Explore variations on the “Passing Energy” activity. For example, have students pass different types of objects, concentrating on how the object is passed (passing a kitten vs. passing a heavy jug of water).

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