If you are going to introduce comedic silent films and slapstick features in your college theater course, you may be looking for an interesting way to teach your students about the work that goes on behind the scenes, prior to the release of a feature film. Comedy actors from the past should be noted for their upbringings, personal goals, and individual methods of intertwining animate and inanimate objects with a comedy routine. A stand up comedy documentary will be appreciated by acting enthusiasts and may provide inspiration.
Choose A Documentary That Involves A Bit Of History
Some stand up comedy documentaries focus on a group of performers who have predecessors who were in the entertainment business several decades earlier. A comedian or a comedienne, with comedic roots that date back to the silent film era or to a time when slapstick was popular, may have learned about the film industry through one of their elders.
A vaudeville performer or someone who was a movie star with a knack for making people laugh could have inspired a loved one from a future generation, resulting in the decision to become a stand up performer.
There are some stand up performers who are in the business merely because they enjoy entertaining others. These people may have been encouraged to follow their dreams, through the insight that they acquired when watching one of their idols perform. A documentary may contain clips of performers from the past, interviews with people who were or currently are acquainted with a performer, and information about how various productions were made.
Use The Documentary As The Basis For A Project
After your students watch a stand up comedy documentary, assign a project that relates to the material. Request that each theater student puts on an act that pertains to silent films, slapstick, or modern stand up routines. Tell your students that they will need to each identify one of the performers who was featured in the documentary, as the person who influenced them to prepare their unique performance.
If any of your students wish to work together and have chosen a similar acting style and comedy performers who are from the same era, allow them to plan a joint performance, which highlights certain aspects from each real comedian's or comedienne's life. Once ample time has been given to planning the performances, set up a day in which your students can act out their respective roles. To learn more information about stand up comedy documentaries, reach out to a company such as Cooperstown Properties, LLC.