Theatre Lesson Plan for High School

Instructor: John Hamilton

John has tutored algebra and SAT Prep and has a B.A. degree with a major in psychology and a minor in mathematics from Christopher Newport University.

Educate your students about the theatre with this lesson plan. They will study a text lesson, take a helpful follow-up quiz, and participate in hands-on activities that will solidify newly learned core concepts.

Learning Objectives

After studying this lesson, your students will be able to:

  • Describe in detail the different areas of a stage
  • Explain the purpose of these different areas of the stage
  • Name various crew members and review what their jobs entail


1-1.5 Hours


Key Vocabulary

  • Apron
  • Box set
  • Broadway
  • Crews
  • Ground plan
  • Masking
  • Props
  • Proscenium arch
  • Stage direction
  • Wings

Curriculum Standards


Analyze how a particular sentence, chapter, scene, or stanza fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the theme, setting, or plot.


Compare and contrast the experience of reading a story, drama, or poem to listening to or viewing an audio, video, or live version of the text, including contrasting what they 'see' and 'hear' when reading the text to what they perceive when they listen or watch.


  • Inform your students they will be learning about the theatre with this lesson plan.
  • Ask them if anyone has been to a theatre presentation or even acted in a play.
  • Review the key vocabulary terms.
  • Pass out copies of the text lesson Aspects of Theatre: Set, Stage & Crew.
  • Read the introduction and the first section 'The Making of a Hit.'
    • In addition to the stars of a show, what other groups of people work on a production?
  • Now read the section 'The World is a Stage.'
    • To what does the term stage direction refer?
    • What is center stage?
    • What is downstage?
    • What is upstage?
    • What are stage left and house right?
    • What are stage right and house left?
    • To what does the proscenium arch refer?
    • What is the apron?
    • What are the wings?
  • Next read the section 'The Stage is Set.'
    • What is a set?
    • For what does the word props mean?
    • How do crews utilize masking?
    • What are flats?
    • How do crews use a ground plan?
    • What are wagons and how are they a benefit?
    • How are revolves used by the crew?
  • Now read the section 'There are no Small Parts.'
    • For what is the scene crew responsible?
    • What are the jobs of the lighting and sound crew?
    • What are the tasks of the costuming and makeup crew?
    • What are the jobs of the props crew?
    • What functions does a stage manager serve?
    • Does a stage manager have assistants?
  • Lastly, read the section 'Lesson Summary', recap the completed text lesson, and go over any questions your students have posed to you.
  • Have your students take the lesson quiz to demonstrate understanding.

Matching Worksheet

  • Let your students know they are going to be participating in a fun 'Matching' competition to win a small prize.
  • Divide your students up into pairs.
  • Pass out two preprinted worksheets, one with the following 20 terms, and the other with the corresponding 20 definitions, but not in the correct order.

1) Apron - part of stage in front of closed curtains

2) Wings - to the side of stage, and are hidden

3) Proscenium arch - all of the stage seen by the patrons

4) Stage manager - in charge of all the crews

5) Upstage - farther from the audience than center stage

6) Downstage - closer to the audience than center stage

7) Center stage - the site of most of the show's action

8) Set - creates an illusion of reality

9) Flats - wood painted like city buildings or other items

10) Wagons - these can wheel flats offstage in a hurry

11) Stage left - the opposite of house left

12) Stage right - the opposite of house right

13) Stage direction - this determines where stage items should be located

14) Masking - prevents the audience from seeing off-stage

15) Ground plan - a helpful tool used by crews to set up the stage

16) Ad lib - an actress or actor may do this if a line has been forgotten

17) Exeunt omnes - everyone leaves the stage

18) Protagonist - the heroine or hero of a story

19) Antagonist - battles the protagonist

20) Understudy - may fill in for the star

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