Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Justine Jones and Mary Ann Kelley
Publisher: Meriwether Publishing Ltd.
Does your school need a solid fundraiser? Would you like your theater students to immerse themselves in all aspects of a production? Does your school have a very limited budget but enthusiastic students and a supportive community? If you answered yes, then this book is for you! This handbook is filled with meticulous lesson plans, sample sheets, and plans for a step-by-step guide to creating a murder mystery play with a junior high or high school drama class. A six-week plan with lesson plans for each week takes the classroom director from creating the spark of an idea for the play through to character development, script writing, technical development, publicity (including prize canvassing and ticket sales,) to a finished and polished performance. Best of all, the work is completed almost exclusively by the students in the class.
The authors have made the process of creating and presenting a mystery play as simple as possible for the classroom teacher. Lesson plans are complete and include troubleshooting, lists, variations, and rubrics for each week. Charts are included at the end of the book that align each lesson to National Standards for Theatre Education. Sample sheets are included for everything from in-class worksheets to rehearsal and technical schedules, sample prize solicitation interviews, thank-you notes for those prizes, program and ticket samples, and a sample show breakdown, saving hours of work for the teacher or director. In addition to performance and technical theater skills, students will learn budgeting, social skills, and team work. A lovely opportunity for building community is present not only among the students but in other levels of involvement with parents, families and local businesses and town members.