The Ensemble

Feature Image from: A4A4647.jpg

 Theater participation where students recreate stories may strengthen memory and verbal skills and, because it involves role playing with others, may help in understanding the viewpoints of others in real life.

Ideas for the performance

  1. An interactive performance that makes the target audience feel confident and excited about being involved in the performance
  2. Create a tension by giving the audience some missions
  3. The audience is the one sculpts the performance.
    1. Inspired from the movie ‘Inside Out’ : Each performer represents one emotion and do an impromptu performance
    2. The audience is given a remote control so that the can play, pause and reside the scenes that they want to re-watch.

Skills we need for TIE (Theatre in Education)

1. Improvisational skill

Whose line is it anyway?

2. Interacting skills

3. Expressing emotions

4. Ensemble Acting


Skill-builders (Incorporate Exercises)

  • Manhole Cover
  1. The group stands in a circle, bend down and picks up an imaginary manhole cover and raises it above their heads.
  2. Everyone has to communicate and keep consistent the shape of the manhole cover, the size of the manhole cover, the weight.
  3. Everyone has to work together to make that happen. Again once they accomplish it, have them repeat the exercise without talking.
  • The group circle jump
  1. Everyone has to jump up at the same time and land without making little noise as best as they can.
  2. Once they get that under their belts repeat the exercise without that verbal communication.
  • Practive unison speaking (Listening activity & Vocal Exercise)
  1. Recite a poem or a tongue twister as a group.
  • Perfect Circle
  1. Stand in a perfect circle as a group – a circle without any kinks.
  2. Spread out and re-form the circle without verbal communication.

Research on Ensemble acting

People usually view ensemble as a wallpaper that supports the lead casts in the play. Students argue that ensemble gives an impression of being alienated from the play. Especially, students tend to degrade the value that ensemble has, and if they get to ensemble, they interpret that they get to ensemble because they considered not qualified to be the lead group.

On the contrary, according to the TFP, the origin of the word ‘Ensemble’ comes from the exact opposite place. It comes from Latin through French, and the word itself means “At the same time”. The word ‘ensemble’ in theatre,therefore, originates with the concept of all the parts working together for the good of the play. 

Quotes on Ensemble Acting

  • Ensemble helps create the world of the play. (The theatre folk podcast)
  • Geoffrey Streatfeild, one of the members of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Histories ensemble (2006-2008), describes working in the ensemble in this way:

    Our ever growing trust enables us to experiment, improvise and rework on the floor with an astonishing freedom and confidence. This ensemble is a secure environment without ever being a comfort zone. All of us are continually challenging ourselves and being inspired by those around us to reach new levels in all aspects of our work. (Cited in RSC Histories Cycle Programme Notes 2007)

  • In the many lessons observed inspectors saw good relationships between students and adults, and students co-operating with one another productively… They move around the college sensibly and respond positively when given demanding work to do. Although a significant minority of parents expressed concerns about behaviour, the inspectors saw little that was untoward and these incidents were invariably the result of teaching that did not sufficiently engage students in their studies. (OfSTED2 Report 11/07) 

  • Theatre does have a very important role because it is such a quintessentially collaborative art form. That gift of collaboration to the audience – and (potentially, yes) to the outside world – is a very precious one. (Michael Boyd, Artistic Director Royal Shakespeare Company – RSC 

  • Theatre personnel’s comments from Quora

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