Original Monologue Inspired by A CHRISTMAS CAROL

CCSS for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Scocial Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects p.41
College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing
Text Types and Purposes

3.  Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

GSE:  Theater GSET 4 (9-12) Ext -1a  Students reflect upon, analyze and evaluate the work of self and others by researching and evaluating two or more plays or  performances that share a common theme, playwright or other aspect, based on analysis of what is seen, heard, and known, to judge its value to humanity and contribution to the theater arts.

GSE:  Theatre GSE HS Extensions T1 (9-12) Ext -1a,b,c,d:  Students show skill development in acting, directing, designing, and scriptwriting.

GSE:  Written and Oral Communication  Reading-Writing Connection:  Showing Understanding of Ideas in text (End of Grade 12 - Local) *W-12-2.3 Connecting what has been read [viewed in drama] (plot, ideas, concepts) to prior knowledge, other texts, or the broader worlds of ideas, by referring to, explaining, relevant ideas, themes, motifs, or archetypes.
 

Rationale: 

Attendance at productions of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol is often the highlight of the field trip year, and professional, collegiate, and community performances abound.  A Rhode Island production of A Christmas Carol observed that by the end of the story, “though it may have only been a dream, Ebenezer Scrooge is a changed man.” Set as the old year hurries to become the new year, and as late night becomes early morning...this drama of transformation offers a happy ending by promising a new beginning. 

However, contemporary drama often stops short of Scrooge's hopeful dawn of a new day.  For example, The Gamm Theatre's recent production of British playwright Sarah Kane’s final play 4:48 Psychosis dealing with depression and “…named for the time in the early morning when Kane regularly awoke to a brief period of clarity amid her despair…” represents a haunting night passage far from a return to a world made right by ghostly visits and good intentions.

The theme of transformation through trial and suffering is frequent in the arts, especially the dramatic and literary arts.  Use of this task is appropriate for performances of A Christmas Carol and other events that employ this theme in theatre and the arts.

Methods / Materials: 

Attend a production of A Christmas Carol and another Big Yellow Bus Plus play where transformation is a significant theme.   Reflect on how the work of actors regarding delivery of lines and movement on stage (and the work of artists from the other event) advance audience understanding of how “dark night of the soul” experiences can lead to a second chance for “a wonderful life” or to a descent into despair.

Compare and contrast the productions in regard to the strong central character of Scrooge in A Christmas Carol whose harrowing midnight experiences are the path to transformation and well-being, with a character from a different production who also experiences transformation, and keep notes about any similarities or differences in characterization methods (what characters say and do and how they interact with other characters) and character outcomes.

  1. Use these notes to create a composite character for a new "Scrooge" character for an original dramatic piece inspired by Dicken's novella.
  2. Compose a one minute monologue for the composite "Scrooge" to deliver on stage that references "transformation."
  3. Save the monologue or a performance of the monologue for your graduation portfolio.
Time to Complete: 

Approximately 6 hours, as needed.

Task Type:

Depth of Knowledge: