Saturday, December 20, 2014

A character is questioned by the group about his or her background, behaviour and motivation. The method may be used for developing a role in the drama lesson or rehearsals, or analysing a play post-performance. Even done without preparation, it is an excellent way of fleshing out a character. Characters may be hot-seated individually, in pairs or small groups. The technique is additionally useful for developing questioning skills with the rest of the group.

Hot Seating Illustration by David Hurtado

How to do it

The traditional approach is for the pupil playing the character to sit on a chair in front of the group (arranged in a semi-circle), although characters may be hot-seated in pairs or groups. It is helpful if the teacher takes on the role of facilitator to guide the questioning in constructive directions.To help students begin you can try hot-seating children in pairs (e.g. a pair of street urchins) or in groups (e.g. environmental protesters, refugees).

If the background of the character is familiar to the pupils, then it may not be necessary for those playing the characters to do much preparation. Although some roles obviously require research you may be surprised at how much detail students can add from their own imaginations. It is important that the rest of the group are primed to ask pertinent questions. Don’t get bogged down in facts during hot seating, but concentrate on personal feelings and observations instead.

Examples

Characters to hot seat include famous people such as Florence Nightingale, President Kennedy or Tutankhamen as well as ordinary people like a chimney sweep, a Roman soldier or a Saxon farmer. Students can be asked to research historical characters with opposing points of view and then be hot-seated by the class as part of a debate.

Directing Plays with Children and Young People

Saturday 7th February 2015 
10:30am - 4:30pm at Toynbee Studios, 28 Commercial Street, London E1

playful-workshop

A stimulating one-day workshop with author and director David Farmer exploring a playful approach to directing with children and young people, using drama games to develop characters, extend acting skills and create imaginative stagings of scenes. Read More >

Primary Drama Across The Curriculum - Spring 2015

Wednesday 28th January 2015 >> Details
10:30am - 4:30pm at Toynbee Studios, 28 Commercial Street, London E1

Wednesday 25th February 2015 >> Details
10:00am - 4:00pm at Contact Theatre, Oxford Road, Manchester M15 6JA

peacock-sm

This one-day drama INSET course immerses you in activities and ideas which you can take back and use immediately in the primary school classroom or drama club. The drama strategies can be used across the curriculum and are designed to meet statutory drama and literacy objectives.

Primary Drama Across The Curriculum - Summer 2015

Wednesday 10th June 2015 >> Details
10:30am - 4:30pm at Toynbee Studios, 28 Commercial Street, London E1

peacock-sm

This one-day drama INSET course immerses you in activities and ideas which you can take back and use immediately in the primary school classroom or drama club. The drama strategies can be used across the curriculum and are designed to meet statutory drama and literacy objectives.

Drama Books by David Farmer

101-shad1

101 Drama Games and Activities is packed with tried and tested ideas for drama lessons, workshops or rehearsals. Sections include improvisation, mime, ice-breakers, group dynamics, rehearsal, storytelling, voice and warm-ups. 

“One of the handiest things to have around.” - Teaching Drama magazine

Published by Lulu (2007) ISBN 978-1-8475-3841-3
Buy now from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

101-More-Drama-Games-138

101 MORE Drama Games and Activities contains inspirational and engaging games and exercises suitable for children, young people and adults. The activities can be used in drama lessons and workshops as well as during rehearsal and devising periods.

“...bubbles over with imaginative ideas which could be used to good effect by non-specialist as well as seasoned drama teachers.” - Teaching Drama Magazine

Published by Drama Resource (2012) ISBN 978-1-2910-2516-3
Buy now from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

Learning-Through-Drama-shad1

Learning Through Drama in the Primary Years describes 36 drama strategies in full detail along with over 250 cross-curricular activities and three extended lesson plans.

“A must-have for those serious about the teaching of drama in primary school settings” - Teaching Drama magazine

Published by Drama Resource (2011) ISBN 978-1-4478-7732-5
Buy now from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Playful-Plays-shd

Playful Plays Volume 1 is a brand new collection of eight short plays for children and young people as well as inspirational drama games designed to bring creativity and fun to the rehearsal room!

Published by CreateSpace (2014) ISBN 978-1-5006-3061-4
Buy now from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com