Brief Lives and Power Plays

These plays are to be performed or read around the class within a single lesson. Includes assignments and activities, e.g. character profiles, writing/improvising extra scenes, discussion ideas. Plays cover significant events, issues or periods in history, encouraging an interesting and active approach to learning.

Key features of the plays:
  • 30 minutes runtime for each play (approx.)
  • Designed for average cast of 20 people
  • Range of roles varying in importance and difficulty
  • Tackle complex subjects and issues from history in an interesting and engaging manner
  • Plenty of scope for further work and discussion - up to the teacher how much time is spent on the play and its related topics/activities.

Brief Lives

The 4 Plays cover the following topics:
  • The Pankhursts
  • Al Capone
  • Marilyn Monroe
  • Malcolm X


Power Plays

The 2 Plays cover the following topics:
  • The English Civil War (1638-1653)
  • The Pit Strike (1984-1985)

What do teachers have to say about this resource? (1714)
'Although similar each [play] had a unique narrative style which I thought was a strength and could lead to learning. My favourite was Malcolm X. There was a sense of foreboding throughout, a mood of suspense (created by the narrator, the scene with Archie and then the doubts about Elijah the detail of which was cleverly not revealed. I know significantly less about him than the other three (Monroe, Capone, Pankhursts) and immediately wanted to go and read some more. They promote the idea of precis - often dramas created by students (written or devised) are too long and detailed and these four are fine examples of how not to do this.' N Phillips, Drama HoD, Independent Reviewer
'A very accessible collections of play scripts. Each play could stimulate discussion from students and could be used in a cross curricular way e.g. History, English, Drama, PSHE, RE and Citizenship. Excellent presentation and layout. The scripts were short, to the point and as there were no long speeches, would appeal to Key Stage 2 and 3 students if read aloud in class.'
'A good resource for any Drama department. I could see us using it as part of Year Nine's preparation for GCSE work, with the assignments suitable for written assessments and as homework tasks. [They are] interesting and fun to do; students would begin to see the need for written work in Drama. By using the assignments in line with the plays, students begin to look at Drama from more angles than they may have done before. They could also be used with G&T students further down the school as extension work. Also useful if you have to leave cover lessons as can be followed by a non specialist. Everything you need in one pack!' R Farish, Drama Teacher and Independent Reviewer
What do teachers have to say about this resource? (2100)
'An excellent collection of plays, with various and stimulating activities, which allow students to explore important events throughout history. The learning potential in this scheme is immense — it can capture the imagination of so many students. I've been looking for suitable plays to use with Year 9, in preparation for GCSE drama study, for a long time. I think I have found my solution!' P Russell, English Teacher and Independent Reviewer
'I thought that this resource was fantastic, well thought out and well presented. It gives learners a strong foundation... The groups are able to work automonously and build their own ideas about presenting characters, helping them to become self managing with their work. Great for self management; the resource and character sheets enable the learners to work together in their peer groups without being interupted continuously by the teacher, this helps to build confidence and automonous learning. It matches the BTEC perfectly and I feel that it speaks to learners on their level.' J Gillespie, HoD and Independent Reviewer