|King Richard II
||An Introduction to Status
Submitted by: Amy Ulen
Date: February 15, 1999
Using a scene from King Richard II, students will be
introduced to the concepts of status. They will play two status games, and then use what
they have learned about status in a scene from the play.
Materials: Open space and III.iv
Push all the desks and chairs
against the walls, and place a single chair in the center of the room.
Begin class with a vocal and physical
Have the students begin milling & seething. Remind them to avoid making a circle and
that they can't touch the chair in the middle of the room.
As they mill about the room, begin
the introduction to the six physical types of status by asking the students to make their
bodies as wide as possible. Ask them how it feels to be wide. What kind of people
are wide? Where is their center of gravity when they are wide? Stop. Have
students shake off that physical type and continue milling &
Ask the students to make themselves
as narrow as possible. Continue the line of questioning from above. Do this for all
six status types: wide, narrow, high, low, forward, and
back. Make sure that you ask the students where their center of gravity is for each
Ask the students to choose a status
type, and walk around the room greeting other members of the class. Ask them how their
attitude changes by the way they carry their bodies. Are they happy? Sad? Angry? Shy? Have
the students explore two or three status types in this way before moving to the next
When the students are
comfortable with each status type, have them choose a number from a hat. Make sure that
they don't show their number to anyone else.
Have them sit in a circle on the
floor. Explain that the chair in the middle of the room is a sacred chair and each of them
desperately wants to sit in that chair. Ask two volunteers to approach the chair. Remind
them that the number on their card determines their status (10 = high, 1 = low). Ask the
class to guess the status of each person who tries to sit in the chair. What do they
notice about the physical qualities of each person? After several groups have an
opportunity to possess the chair, move on to the next activity.
Have the class pair off, and
hand out the following photocopies of III.iv:
lines 1-28 -- Queen and Lady
lines 29-71 -- Gardener and Man
lines 72-107 -- Queen and Gardener
Allow the pairs 15
minutes to rehearse their scenes. They should each determine their status number, and then
choose a status body type for each character. Allow the students to perform their scenes.
If time permits, discuss
how status was used in each of the scenes. How did the gardeners status change between his
The students should all be
aware of the six status types now and be able to use those types in a given scene. The
lesson was a success if each student was aware of the role status played in the scene.
Continue to look at the role status plays in other
scenes of the play. Pay particular attention to the Richard/Bolingbroke scenes.
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