Learning is best when it is fun, right? We agree about that. I am still exploring in this field, but I can tell you one for sure, theatre plays are connected to the excitement which may be even more important than just having fun. If you are lucky to have an inspiration and write a simple scenario for a theatre play, then you are OK. However, if you are searching for good texts, you may find it difficult. I know that from my experience. There are some experiences that I would like to share with you:
- Guidelines as a free PDF file (Abgedreht! Die Klasse als Filmteam. Ein leitfaden für den Deutschunterricht) provided by Goethe Institut can help you to familiarize yourself with the procedure of making a film with your class – starting with the first idea and finishing with the editing of the filmed material.
- I have worked only with other people’s texts so far (the picture above shows one of my favourite groups – we worked with a text from Planetino 1 – see below). However, people who are much more experienced in this field than me claim that you don’t have to have a text at the beginning at all. You and your class could start with one general theme (for example: love, friendship) and then express the idea (plot) with just one sentence (for example: Lügen haben kurze Beine). You could then come up with one interesting protagonist and one clear goal. You also need a conflict because there is no plot without a conflict, a dilemma or consequences of one’s acts. At the end you need to figure out whether the main protagonist has achieved his/her goal or not.
- You should pay attention to the sound and light. In order to make a film you will have to provide: a camera (ensure that the camera is stable), microphone, video editing program, light (artificial or shoot by daylight).
- When you are done, you could upload your film in YouTube or even send it to some competitions (Abgedreht, Gesehen-Gefilmt-Gelernt). Your students will just love that idea.
- You can delegate students for as many things as possible and engage parents related to costumes and scene requisites.
- If you still wish to work with finished texts, there is a Theatre Verlag (publishing house) that sells their plays for amateur theatres. Those are severe texts and you will need to spend a lot of money if you wish to buy a play. However, you can download parts of the plays and use them either as they are or as an inspiration. Keep it as simple as possible.
- If you need a play for kids, you may use the scenarios which can be found at the end of Hueber’s Planetino 1 and Planetino 2. Those are good texts for sure.