How to Stage the Play

A stage plan is shown below to give you an idea for staging the play “Hansel & Gretel” and the General Stage Directions that follow are based on this plan. These directions can be easily adapted to suit the space and facilities available to you. If there is no stage at your school, you can chalk a stage area on your classroom floor.

We have also included some suggestions for Scenery, Set Arrangement and Props which should be simple enough to find or make. It would be a good idea to involve the students in designing/making/finding sets and props, either as a whole class activity, or as a task for any students who do not wish to perform in the play.

Once you have an idea of how you want to stage the play, start assigning roles. The number of roles in this play can be adapted to fit the number of students you have available or who are willing to perform. For example, the role of the narrator could be performed by one student or split into parts to be performed by several students.

It is advisable to assign the narration to the older students in the class, and the non-speaking parts to younger or shyer students. The narrator(s) may stand to the right or left of the stage so as not to be in the way of the action, and may be dressed as forest animals or woodcutters to add to the atmosphere on stage.

Additionally, students who like to sing may perform in the choir. Depending on the number of students you have available, the choir can be separate from the cast, or, if necessary, members of the cast dressed as forest animals or woodcutters can serve as the choir.

As well as working on sets and props, students who do not wish to perform may work backstage on sound, lighting, makeup and prompting or as stagehands. In this way they will feel like an important part of the production, even if they are not acting on stage.

A very important part of any production is the rehearsal period, so you should start rehearsing the play well in advance of the actual performance. After completing all the lessons in “Hansel & Gretel”, students should have a clear idea of the story and should be ready to start working on the production.

Included in this book are some Drama Activities which can be used at the beginning of each rehearsal to relax and motivate students and give them a greater understanding of the skills which are used in acting. Students can use our audio recording to practise their lines at home. In class, details such as
the way actors move, speak, enter or exit, etc, should be discussed at the beginning of each rehearsal.Then the actors can rehearse and get feedback from you on their performances.

Finally, before the actual performance it is essential to have one full dress and technical rehearsal with lighting and sound, etc, so that everybody knows exactly what to do in the actual performance.