The English-Speaking Union

The English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition

Theater Education Standards

The National Standards for Theatre Education were developed by the American Alliance for Theatre and Education in cooperation with the Education Theatre Association.  They are part of the National Standards for Arts Education, a product of the Consortium of National Arts Education Associations.  They have been widely accepted across the country as standards for theatre education.  These standards are also designed to complement other state and local standards.

The English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition fulfills the following National Standards for Theatre Education (Grades 9-12):  2, 4, 5 and 7

Standard #2:

In preparation for their monologue performance, students analyze the physical, emotional, and social dimensions of their character.

Students compare and demonstrate various classical and contemporary acting techniques and methods (through experimentation with interpretive techniques) and determine which method(s) are best suited to their personal interpretation.

Students in an ensemble (the competition) create and sustain characters that communicate with various audiences at different stages of competition: school, Branch (community) and National.

Standard #4:

Students explore and develop multiple interpretations of their monologues, exploring various visual and aural production choices for the text.  They ultimately choose those ideas that are appropriate to the dramatic text (Shakespeare's play). 

In discussions with teachers and their fellow students, contestants must justify their selections of text (ex. why they picked a certain monologue or why they cut certain lines from this piece) as well as their selections of interpretation and visual/aural artistic choices. 

Students effectively communicate these directorial choices to their teacher and/or classmates.

Standard #5:

Students identify and research cultural, historical and symbolic clues in their dramatic text (Shakespeare's play).  They then evaluate the validity and practicality of this discovered information for use in their performance.  Students ultimately employ any useful information to help them make artistic choices about their chosen monologue.

Standard #7:

Students construct social meanings from their own performances and their classmates' performances.  They relate them to the current times, including their own lives. 

In the classroom, students articulate and justify their personal aesthetic criteria to analyze their own and their fellow classmates' performances.  They compare their own or their classmates' perceived artistic intent/choices in relation to the final aesthetic product of their monologue.

Students analyze and critique the whole and the parts of their classmates' performances.  They take into account the context of the piece and constructively suggest alternative artistic choices to them. 

Students constructively evaluate their own work and their fellow students' artistic choices both in the informal preparation stage and then formal school competition.

See the Teacher Handbook for lesson plans.

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