Learning Resource Type

Learning Activity

Open Scene(s)

Subject Area

Arts Education




The students will work in pairs for this activity. Each student will receive the same open scene to memorize, evaluate, and determine the given circumstances for. The students will use Uta Hagen's Six Steps to create the given circumstances for the open scene. The students will perform the open scene with the given circumstances that they developed together.

This activity was created as a result of the Arts COS Resource Development Summit. 

    Arts Education (2017) Grade(s): 8 - Theatre


    Develop a scripted or improvised character by articulating the character’s inner thoughts, objectives, and motivations in a drama/theatre work.

    Unpacked Content



    Theatrical production

    Skills Assessed
    • Determine staging requirements and technical requirements.
    • Arrange the performance space, and theoretically coordinate the technical design of the production.
    • Research the cultural and historical background of a specific play to inform the ground plan.

    Essential Questions

    EU: Theatre artists work to discover different ways of communicating meaning.
    EQ: How, when, and why do theatre artists' choices change?

    Skills Examples

    • Each student is a Theatre Technician and/or Designer, who is applying for an Internship at a local theatre company. Present evidence of your previous understanding of the art form in a group portfolio that will highlight your comprehensive knowledge of stage norms, collaboration and/or design/ production process in order to highlight your comprehensive knowledge and ability within the realm of technical theatre. (This project is comprehensive and could take a full quarter or semester of instructional practice and work). This assignment will be completed on a long-term basis.
    Resources for Technical Production and Building a Tech Crew

    Anchor Standards

    Anchor Standard 2: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.


    Learning Objectives

    Learning Objectives

    The students will develop a character and circumstances using Uta Hagen's Six Steps and open scenes for their script(s). 



    Activity Details

    The students will be given an open scene.


    A: Hi.

    B: Hello.

    A: How's everything?

    B: Fine, I guess.

    A: Do you know what time it is?

    B: No, not exactly.

    A: Don't you have a watch?

    B: No, not on me.

    A: Well.

    B: Well what?

    A: What did you do last night?

    B: What do you mean?

    A: What did you do last night?

    B: Nothing.

    A: Nothing?

    B: I said nothing.

    A: Sorry I asked.

    B: That's alright.

    The students will fold a paper lengthwise and list the circumstances for character A and character B, using Uta Hagen's 6 Steps.

    Use the link from the digital resource to introduce/review Uta Hagagen's Six Steps.

    The students will memorize and rehearse their scenes.

    Lastly, the students will perform their scenes. 


    Assessment Strategies

    Assessment Strategies

    Informal assessment: Did the partners work together to devise the given circumstances using Uta Hagan's Six Steps?

    Formal assessment: Have each pair of students perform their scenes in front of the class. Are the students using the circumstances noted in their Uta Hagen's Six Steps document?

    Variation Tips

    Explore Uta Hagen's work and career.

    Background and Preparation

    Background / Preparation

    Have copies or a digital format of the open scene ready for your students.

    Have copies or a digital format of The Six Steps prepared for your students.

    Review Uta Hagen's Six Steps. 

    Digital Tools / Resources