These specially commissioned short scripts (average length 15 minutes) are a great way to engage young people in different topics relating to the overarching theme ‘our food, our health and our planet’, while also exploring new writing. Although the format allows for delivery of the play in one day, there are many different ways you can run this project: it works really well delivered over half a term as part of students’ regular drama lessons, with a performance at the end. The scripts have roles for everyone in the class and not only explore key topics but develop transferrable skills e.g. teamwork, creativity and leadership. There are plenty of ways to build a whole half term of lessons from this script with ease. However, should you choose to do the play in one day the resources will support you in that.
But - I’m not a drama teacher
Don’t worry if you’re not an expert at directing or doing movement – we are offering you lots of support. Each script comes with:
- one or two short films (of no more than 5 minutes) produced by professional Movement Director Robin Guiver illustrating how to use movement in your production.
- specially composed music and sound effects created by Composer Alex Parsons to download and use in your production.
- Director’s Notes which include learning outcomes, links to the curriculum, more in depth information about the theme of your chosen play, along with hints and tips on how stage the play for a workshop performance.
Choosing the right play for your class
Read the short briefs below and choose a play that you think best suits your students or what it is you want them to learn from working on the play. This could be a specific topic you want to look at or simply because that play looks the most fun for your students. Each play has plenty of roles for the whole class and allows for creative input from both the teacher and the students.
The Super Safe Environment Compound by Elinor Cook
Choose this script if you have several strong students keen for speaking roles and a creative group of young people that want to explore staging and transitioning between multiple locations. The play introduces them to a world in the not too distant future and really gets them thinking about the choices they make about food.
Casting: 8 key lead roles representing modern day teenagers and those in the future with approx. 5 or 6 supporting roles that can be adapted. All students can be involved in the performance through soundscaping and physical theatre.
Drama Skills: Soundscaping, split scene, physical theatre, ensemble work and complex staging.
Fat of the Land by Adam Hughes
Choose this script if you have strong male actors that can carry the play and a group of creative students who would benefit from working as an ensemble to present a piece of theatre. The play explores undernutrition and overnutrition and contains a lot of information to spark discussion and split opinion.
Casting: 2 male key speaking roles with 2 female supporting roles make up the main bulk of the play. There are flexible roles for the rest of the class that can be made as little or as much of as you see fit. The playwright has suggested between 8-20 roles where the lines can be divided up in any way that works for your interpretation.
Drama Skills: Staging in the round, ensemble work, soundscaping.
Feed Me by Rhiannon Tise
Choose this play if you have several strong actors that would like key roles and a group of students willing to try multi-roling to tell the story. The play explores two very different worlds exploring the impact of food consumption on the planets resources and provides a great basis for discussion and further exploration into the topic.
Casting: 9 main speaking roles that are reasonably equally divided, 3 further roles central to the story and an ensemble needed for several other roles throughout the play.
Drama Skills: Physical theatre, multi-roling, soundscaping, ensemble work.
Fields and Fields and Fields by Jonathan Hall
Choose this play if you have a smaller group of students who all want a speaking role. (The play can lend itself to a cast of 30.) The play explores agro-biodiversity in different cultures and countries throughout so gives students an opportunity to learn information through playing a role. Lots of freedom in this script to put your own spin on how it is performed.
Casting: Flexibility within the casting except for 2 of the roles which need to be played by the same actors throughout. Can work with groups of students from 8-30 depending on how you want to stage it.
Drama Skills: Ensemble work, multi-roling, interesting ways of staging, movement.
The Chicken Temptation by Judith Johnson
Choose this script if you have some strong actors who would like to take on lead roles. The play demands a lot from the ensemble which is a great skill for students to develop. Exploring the impact of the obesogenic environment, this play also creates key discussion triggers and will spark debate and difference of opinion. Some really great roles for students to play and flexibility in the way it is staged could be an exciting project for students to tackle.
Casting: 8 larger speaking roles, 1 female lead who is telling her story. Several other supporting roles with speaking parts and enough parts for up to 30 students as part of an ensemble that plays school students, people at the summer fayre etc.
Drama Skills: Multi-roling, ensemble work, direct address, movement.