The teachers and pupils involved in the Building a City of Literature project began by exploring some of the resources which have been developed as part of CRACL’s long-standing research partnership with community arts company Excavate. These include the scripts of two community plays, written by local playwright Andy Barrett. You can find out more about these plays, and the work we have done in CRACL in the Our Research section of this site.

The creative writing that was produced by pupils who took part in the project can be seen in the Play Scripts section.

The teachers involved in the project share their own ideas about how you could use these community-based playscripts in your own classroom. These make great resources for teaching and learning in lots of different contexts. The scripts can be used to illustrate particular concepts related to drama and creative writing. They can be the focus for one-off lessons, for example, and are ideal for cover work.

Ideas For Writing

Write about a section of the play, in detail, from one of the characters' points of view in first person.

This section uses the Dende, Fairytail and Zombies Playscripts.

Think about Dende’s perspective when he first sees the humans. Remember to describe the humans and surrounding in detail. Think about the senses and what Dende would be experiencing.

Sentence starter: Where am I? Ouch, my head is still hurting from the crash landing. I wonder where I am. All that I can see is…

Pick a key emotion from a part of the play e.g. chaos. Write your own poem about chaos.

Some writers are able to successful create six word stories. (For Sale. Child’s shoes. Never worn. http://www.sixwordstories.net/about/) Are you able to create your own six word story based on one of the plays?

Create a poster/ leaflet advertising either the allotments or Planet Bounce (Need hyperlink to relevant scripts). Students would need to use persuasive language that would encourage people to visit.

From Maleficent’s perspective as she is preparing the trap to capture Rosabell.

Sentence starter: Could this be the day? Finally, the time is near. I have been preparing for this moment for many years. I look around and see…

From Billy and Bobby’s Mum’s perspective as the zombies are beginning to surround them.

Sentence Starter: How did this happen? It had seemed like a normal day when I woke up. Where are they? All that I can see is…

The poster (in the play) must include details as to where they were last seen, a photo of the character, details of their physical appearance and who to contact if they are found including making reference to a reward (if there is one).

Where did the zombies come from? Create a story explaining where the zombies came from and why they were in Victoria Centre (Need hyperlink to relevant script).

Write about ‘a day in the life of’ a character.

Set out their day by the hour and explain what they would do.
E.g. 6.00 am – Wake up and eat snails.
7.00am – Go out foraging for …

Create a Haiku about one of the characters. Remember that it is a three line poem with five syllables on the first line, seven on the second, five again on the third.

You are stranded on a desert island with one of the characters. What are your thoughts towards them? What are you planning to do?

Read through the script with your students. Discuss the main characters and ask your students to produce a new adventure for the characters. It may be produced in the form of a written piece of work or a storyboard with accompanying pictures. It could even take the form of a poster or animation.

This section uses the Zombies Playscripts.

Create a Haiku about one of the characters. Remember that it is a three line poem with five syllables on the first line, seven on the second, five again on the third.

You are stranded on a desert island with one of the characters

What are your thoughts towards them? What are you planning to do?

What do you think will happen to the characters after the play? Write about them returning to their homes. Draw and label what you think their homes would be like. Where would they live? Why? What would it be like? Would they enjoy it there?

Write about ‘a day in the life of’ a character.

Set out their day by the hour and explain what they would do.

E.g. 6.00 am – Wake up and eat snails.
7.00am – Go out foraging for …

What do you think will happen to the characters after the play?

Write about them returning to their homes. Draw and label what you think their homes would be like. Where would they live? Why? What would it be like? Would they enjoy it there?

Different genre: summarise the events of the play as bullet points and rewrite the events in a different genre e.g. newspaper report, fairy story.

Take a line from the script and use it as a title for a poem or short story.

Write the scene that happened before the opening scene of the play. Write the scene that happens after the play ends.

Turn one of the plays into a poem – summarising the key ideas and incidents that occur within the plays.

Create an acrostic poem based on one of the play’s titles or the character’s name.

In another dimension two of the characters, from different plays, are stranded together on a desert island. Write about what would happen. Would they get on or would there be tension?

• Create a fact file based on one of the characters
• Create a poster/ leaflet advertising either the allotments or Planet Bounce (Need hyperlink to relevant scripts). Students would need to use persuasive language that would encourage people to visit.

Ideas For Drama

We have outlined seven key ideas here that we feel will help form the basis for your own activities. Feel free to bend and shape these activities to your own requirements.

This section applies to all PlayScripts.

Before each run through of a scene, ask students to answer one of the following questions:

Where has your character been directly before this scene?

Where is your character going directly after this scene?

What time of day is it?

Is there anyone else around who could see or hear this scene? What can you see around you?

What can you hear around you?

What can you smell around you?

When an answer to the question has been decided on, ask students to consider this in the way they play the scene. Build in as many answer as possible.

Take a brief exchange between two characters which might be pleasant on the surface – what are they saying underneath?

Create a back story for a character of your choice.

Create a Facebook profile for a character of your choice

What do other characters say about a character of your choice?

How might this help you play your character?

This exercise may help to establish power and status in a scene but can also help with ideas for blocking and movement.

1) Start with the students standing 2 to 3 paces apart.

2) With each line they say they must make a choice, to move towards their scene partner, away from their scene partner or to stay where they are. Students may only move on their line.

3) Students should reflect on their decisions at the end of the scene. Why did they choose to move in the way they did? Where did they end up in the room? (This will say a lot about the amount of power their character has in the scene).

1) Students should choose a line from the text and consider to whom this line is delivered.

2) First, ask the actors to repeat their line as if it’s being said to candle they are holding in their hands. Reflect on the change in voice in physicality that this causes.

3) Then ask the pupils to choose one other person in the room, and direct the line to them.

4) Next, ask them to deliver the line as if it is being said to every person in the room.

5) Lastly, ask them to imagine that they are delivering the line to the audience.

6) Reflect on the changes. Now that they have experimented, how do they feel this line should be said?

Once a scene has been rehearsed and actors are comfortable with their parts, place everyone’s name in a hat and re-cast for one run through only.

After this run-through reflect on how the scene changed. Are there any developments or decisions other students made that could work for the final product?

1) Have each student choose one word to reflect an emotion their character feels during the scene. This may be anger, frustration, guilt, shock, boredom, jealousy etc.


2) Ask students to rehearse the scene playing their emotion ‘turned up to 11’ as extreme and exaggerated as possible. This will almost always result in an unrealistic or comic version of the script but students can use this as a reference point for experimenting with playing their emotion at other notches on the 1-11 scale and deciding to what extent this emotion should drive their performance in the scene.

Ideas For Speaking & Listening

This section is currently a work in progress and we are actively seeking contributions. If you have any ideas on how our playscripts can be used in speaking and listening exercises - please tell us.

This section applies to all PlayScripts.

Take ten lines from a scene and mix them. Students have to work in groups to put them into a ‘correct’ order using the internal logic of a text to help them justify their ideas.

Ten years pass from the end of the play and the characters meet up again. What do they have to say to each other and why.

Ideas For Other Subjects

Place-based projects are ideal for cross-curricular work. You can use the scripts as a stimulus for a range of creative work across the school. This section is currently a work in progress and we are actively seeking contributions. If you have any ideas on how our playscripts can be used in other subjects - please let us know.

This section applies to all PlayScripts.

Design the set for a scene– label it carefully and ensure that you are justifying your ideas.

Design the props that are used in the play– label carefully and ensure that you are justifying your ideas.

Design the make up for a character – label it carefully and ensure that you are justifying your ideas.

Design the costume for a character– label it carefully and ensure that you are justifying your ideas

Take a short extract from one of the scenes and storyboard it to allow the focus on particular camera angles.

Create a storyboard with the main six points of the scripts.

WikiHow have an excellent article covering how to create a storyboard.