Status

From concepts developed by Keith Johnstone, Augusto Boal, and others. Lesson: 4 minutes Age group: !" and up #aterials: $ec% o& cards, enough chairs &or every person in class, t'o tables, tape, chal% board, chal% Session (b)ective: !. Students 'ill identi&y 'ays in 'hich status is conveyed physically. *. Student 'ill e+amine and identi&y di&&erent status roles that he,she plays in o'n li&e. -. Student 'ill e+plore 'ays in 'hich manipulation o& status a&&ects situations. 4. Student 'ill e+amine ho' %no'ledge and manipulation o& status applies to di&&erent conte+ts in o'n li&e. .ote: /lassroom preparation: For a class o& t'elve students, t'o tables and si+ chairs should be grouped chaotically on each side o& the room. Session /ontent: !. Status in Space 0 $ivide class into t'o groups o& si+ students &or a class o& t'elve1. 2ach group should assemble by one o& the chair,table groupings. 2+plain that one at a time each person should arrange the chairs and table so as to ma%e one chair the most po'er&ul ob)ect, in relation to the other chairs and the table. Any ob)ects can be moved or placed on top o& each other, or on their sides, or 'hatever, but nothing can be removed altogether. A&ter each person has had a chance to try, the group 'ill select the arrangement they &eel is the most po'er&ul. At this time, one person in the group 'ill enter the space and ta%e the po'er&ul position 'ithout moving anything. (nce they have done so, the others may move into the space and try to place themselves in even more po'er&ul positions, and ta%e a'ay the po'er o& the &irst. 34his game is &rom Boal5s 6ames &or Actors and .on0Actors. 7t is under the name o& 84he 6reat 6ame o& 9o'er8 on page ! ".1 Assess: $iscuss 'hat the spatial arrangements revealed about po'er. $iscuss ho' this po'er 'as conveyed. $iscuss strategies people employed to lessen the po'er o& others. $iscuss concepts o& status and ho' status is conveyed. :o' space is manipulated to reveal status, ho' physical mannerisms convey status, ho' status can be consciously lo'ered or raised given the intent and needs o& a given situation. Brainstorm physical indicators o& status and 'rite on the board. 34hese can be ta%ing up a lot o& physical space, invading another5s space, eye contact 0 holding it or brea%ing it, ignoring, silence 3stone'alling1, physical levels in relation to others, posture, etc.1

hat are you reading>8. past graduate students 'ho are no' employed. and ho' their behavior changes. As% students to 'rite a philosophy statement about ho' they use status throughout the day. 4ell them that the ob)ect o& the game is to guess your status in relation to the others based on ho' they relate to you.. this 'ill be three groups o& . that it is a catered a&&air. each 'ith a piece o& tape on the bac%. tell them that there 'ill be all sorts o& re&reshments at this party.A: .1 Assessment: $iscuss ho' the concepts o& status developed during this session may in&luence decisions people ma%e daily about ho' they relate to people. :aving pre0selected t'elve dec% cards o& assorted value. 4ools &or playing 'ith status 0 $irect students to select &rom the 8tools8 on the board one or t'o physical traits they 'ill play 'ith in the &ollo'ing scenes. they may say 8(h. 7 read that a long time ago8. 7& raise.on0Actors. 34he setting may be adapted to &it the group. the 9resident o& the ?niversity. Status 9arty 0 2+plain that everyone has been invited to an end0o&0the0year party &or the /ollege o& Fine Arts.. A&ter players have interacted &or a 'hile. and ho' this a&&ects their status. 4he tas%s are: < All lo'er status < All raise status < (ne raises 'hile the others lo'er All e+change 4hese scenes can be very short.and one o& 41: 2ach 'ill be given a di&&erent tas% relating to status to create a scene around. 34his should elicit some interesting observations 'hich 'ill allo' a nice segue into assessment. 4he person reading says 8. .. and so on. =Johnstone gives as an e+ample a scene in 'hich one person enters a room 'here another is reading.*. including the $ean. 4he other groups 'ill not %no' 'hat the tas%s are. $esignate one end as highest. . as% people 'hat made them pic% their position. they may say they5ve never read it. as% them to line up in the relative order o& their status. place the cards on the &oreheads o& all the players. there is &ree &ood and drin%. etc. As you do so. the other as lo'est. As% them to imagine themselves going through their day and thin% about ho' many times they change roles. @esources: Boal. Augusto.ar and 9eace8. 4he person entering as%s 8. 6ames &or Actors and . 7t may be any'here the group 'ill e+perience signi&icant status levels1 2+plain that everyone has been invited. -. they 'ill present to the class and class 'ill guess 'hich tas% they 'ere given. particularly ho' they envision using status in their teaching. $ivide class into &our groups 3&or a class o& t'elve. ho' they respond.hen groups have decided. 4rans. A&ter they have done so. Adrian Jac%son. 'hat about ho' the others related to them indicated to them their status. 4o lo'er. 4he response determines 'hether the respondent 'ants to raise or lo'er their o'n status.

brea%ing 'ithout loo%ing bac%1E silence 3stone'alling1E ignoringE physical levels in relation to othersE movement o& the head 3less movement. !BB*. 7mpro: 7mprovisation and the 4heatre. 2verybody moves up a step as a conseDuence. Johnstone. Status 4ools: eye contact 3holding.@outledge. /reated by Lori :ager . Keith. Addendum: Status concepts developed by Johnstone: < Status is something one does < Aou can be lo' status but play high < A comedian is paid to lo'er their status < 4ragedy is the ousting o& the high status person &rom the group. < A teacher is an e+pert status player < Friends agree to play status games together. !BCB. 9eople play the status they are com&ortable 'ith.A: 4heatre Arts Boo%s. higher statusE postureE space 3ho' much space you ta%e up personally1. < 4he shape o& the space you are in a&&ects status. .

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