Darius Purnell Capstone


In this project, I would like to provide students of SLA with several aspects of theater. I would like to gather the students and supply them with workshops throughout the year, weekly- every Wednesday. The workshops would count as an ILP for sophomores and Juniors. It would first start as classes on the history of plays. Eventually we will dissect the different play formats. By this point, we have reached the end of quarter two and will begin to study the stories for plays. The students in the workshop would have different activities where they find the conflict and relationship of characters in different play excerpts. As we progress, the students will then have drills where they construct 2 minute plays with random bits in and pieces of required info they have to put in. By this point we are halfway through quarter 3. The students will then begin to write their own plays and each workshop we will read over two students plays constructively and give feedback. The capstone will reach its end a month before keystones due to the students consisting of sophomores. However, the learning doesn't end here for the students who which to continue their plays, they can choose to have public readings for the plays.

Play Excerpt written by Nicholas Ryan

The Vase


-Timmy(younger brother)

-Tommy(older brother)


(Scene starts with Timmy and Tommy horseplaying, then Timmy knocks over a very expensive vase that has lived in their family for generations.)

Timmy, Oh shit Tommy what we’re gonna do?!?!?!?!?!

Tommy, I dunno, but I wasn’t the one who broke it, hahaha.

Timmy, Dude! You helped break it though. Ohh this is bad…

Tommy, Uh oh, look outside.

(A car pulls up and Mom gets out and walks in the house.)


Timmy, Mom! It was an-

Tommy, I broke it, it was an accident

Mom, I expected this from Timmy, but you? I’m disappointed...

Tommy, I really am sorry.

(Mom pulls out a cigarette, lights it and smokes it for a bit.)

Mom, You, (points at Tommy) come here.

(Mom takes her cigarette and puts it on Tommy’s forehead. Tommy screams in pain.)

Timmy, (In his head) Oh god, why did you do that Tommy? You didn’t have to take the bullet for me. What should I do?

Tommy, It’s okay,(wipes away tears) let’s just go to bed.

(Scene Ends)

Scene 2:

(The boys wake up and go downstairs. The mother is sitting in her seat in the kitchen, silently.)


Scene 3:

Timmy, I’m sick of her. I’m sick of her always hurting us. We’re like her punching bags, objects for her to take her anger out on.

Tommy, Just forget about it, she’s our mother.

Timmy, Mothers don’t put their cigarettes out on their kids! Mothers don’t constantly abuse their children! She isn’t a mother!

Tommy, Then what do you suggest we do?

Timmy, Run away.

Tommy, Huh? Run away? That’s the stupidest idea I’ve heard. Where would we go?

Timmy, I don’t know but anywhere is better than here. We could scrape up some money and get bus tickets. Then, from there we could figure out what to do.

Tommy, That’s actually not that bad of an idea.

Mom, Tommy! Come here!

Tommy, Oh shit.

Timmy, What does she want now?

(Tommy goes to Mom. Timmy follows behind, hiding.)

Tommy, Yes, mother?

Mom, You didn’t do the dishes.

Tommy, Huh?

Mom, I said, you didn’t do the dishes!

Tommy, I’m sorry! I was-(stutters)

Mom, I don’t care what you were doing! (Stands up and slaps Tommy. Tommy falls down, crying.)

Tommy, (sobs) Oww…

(Timmy rushes in, pushes the mother down. He takes her pocketbook, and pulls Tommy up.)

Timmy, Come on, Tommy! We’re getting out of here!


(Timmy and Tommy leave the stage, running away.

Capstone Bibliography

Fortier, Mark. Theory/Theatre: An Introduction. London: Routledge, 1997. Print.

This book gives an in depth introduction to the connections of literary theory to theatre and performance. The author roots from examples such as Shakespeare, Aphra Behn, Chekhov Artaud, Cixous, and Churchill. The author unites theatre to the cultural principles that lay in literature. This book benefits my project by directing me to what makes literature and theatre so unique separate and when put together, what makes them one of the best ways intellectual methods of learning. My capstone was made to use these elements to unite the SLA community through theater by allowing students to express themselves on a stage.

Rohd, Michael. Theatre for Community, Conflict & Dialogue: The Hope Is Vital Training Manual. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 1998. Print.

Theatre for Community gives a reading that explains one of the most important things a teacher must master; communication. Theatre is used as a way of expression and only by allowing the children to open themselves creatively and emotionally will they ever fully experience the art of theater. The book gives a proper guide to demonstrate the proper way to allow the students to feel comfortable expressing themselves in a deep level with their teacher. I can use this source as a practice to ensure i can gain a trust with the students involved in my capstone and to allow the students to feel that they don't need to hold back when writing about emotional topics.

Kachur, Donald S., Judith A. Stout, and Claudia L. Edwards. Engaging Teachers in Classroom Walkthroughs. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2013. Print.

Engaging Teachers in Classroom Walkthroughs provides learning and teaching experiences from actual teachers. The book focuses on the observations made when implementing different activities in lessons. Reading this guide with supply me the means of knowledge of what exactly works best in a classroom and what gets the best outcome when used in a classroom of student who are both completely uninterested and completely interested. I can also gain ideas for lesson plans and activities I myself could use in my classroom when teaching my workshops. The use of walkthroughs will allow me to answer my what if scenarios for when I do something correctly by eliminating the chance of flaw by follow the detailed steps.

DiYanni, Robert, and Pat C. Hoy. Occasions for Writing: Evidence, Idea, Essay. Boston, MA: Thomson Heinle, 2008. Print.

Occasions for Writing sets me on the write path of understanding how to encourage my students how to grow accustomed to impulses of writing. The book gives exercises to expand the idea of writing in different and new places. I want to get my students in my workshop to spontaneously write for the class. The book speaks on how the different things around us can act as muses for us to write for any style. I want to use this source to teach my students that they could write about the simplest things such as sitting in a cafe writing down dialogue they hear.

Neumann, Bonnie H., and Helen M. McDonnell. Teaching the Short Story: A Guide to Using Stories from around the World. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English, 1996. Print.

The practice of examining short stories will be strengthened from reading this source. After writing our own stories, what follows should be a thorough examination of is in order. This source explains the proper way to discuss stories after reading. It speaks on the topics that should be brought up to fully understand the main themes and what could make the stories better when corrected. In my workshop we began the year with examining works of art, this source could have allowed a longer discussion that could have helped the students full grasp the concept of what makes a great play.

Landay, Eileen, and Kurt Wootton. "The ArtsLiteracy Project - The Handbook." The ArtsLiteracy Project - The Handbook. Education Department at Brown University, 2014. Web. 01 Feb. 2017. <http://www.artslit.org/handbook.php>.

The handbook provides a collection of ideas and activities that were developed and learned by teachers and teaching artists. The activities were made to work on the different educational contexts that are used for theater and writing. The handbook evolves around a circle called The Performance Cycle. Each activity is part of the simple process represented by the Performance Cycle. The website also provides links to other books by the team. The book A Reason to Read: Linking Literacy and the Arts that could be found on another section of the website, offers new activities and the the purposes behind them. Both of these texts mentioned and others that I could find on the site could provide for me a new perception of the activities I’ll use in my workshop.

​Moses, Alexandra R. "Writing Aloud: Staging Plays for Active Learning." Edutopia. Edutopia, 06 Aug. 2008. Web. 02 Feb. 2017. <https://www.edutopia.org/student-playwrights-project-playwriting>.

This is an article on a recent project where middle school students took part in a year long project that resulted in a performance at the end of the year. This article allows me to see people’s reaction to a project such as the one written due to the similarities of my project. I can use this source as a sneak peek to what my audience will think at the end of the year when my students do their performance. It lets me into their process of getting to the success end of their project. I also get to look at what people tend to react to when watching student led performances.

MindShift. "How Theater Can Offer Students New Perspectives On History." MindShift. MindShift, 23 June 2013. Web. 02 Feb. 2017. <https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2016/06/23/how-theater-can-offer-students-new-perspectives-on-history/>.

The article speaks on how teachers are trying to add a creative aspect to teaching. They try to incorporate things you wouldn't think of when you're studying something in for example a history class. The article can give me advice when it comes to ensuring that the students in my workshop on task and interested. I can look at different subjects that could be written for a play in a new perspective and teach it to the students.

Gresock, Mary, and Lisette Steinwald. "Rainstorms and Symphonies: Performing Arts Bring Abstract Concepts to Life." Edutopia. Edutopia, 05 Oct. 2016. Web. 02 Feb. 2017. <https://www.edutopia.org/blog/performing-arts-abstract-concepts-lisette-steinwald-mary-gresock>.

Rainstorms and Symphonies speaks on the effect of learning when early elementary teachers integrate music and theater, student learning improves in reading, math, and science as they become better critical thinkers and problem solvers. I can use this for my capstone by helping my students prepare for the worse when it comes to the performance where we could work around any complications. On performance night, a lot of unexpected things could occur and after reading this article I can learn how to prepare my students to problem solve.

Korbey, Holly. "How Performing in Theater Can Help Build Empathy in Students." MindShift. MindShift, 22 Aug. 2016. Web. 02 Feb. 2017. <https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2016/08/22/how-performing-in-theater-can-build-empathy-in-students/>.

This source focuses on the study of enhancing empathy in students through theater performances. This fits for my capstone because in my workshop we will be writing pieces that relate back to our struggles in our personal lives. By performing these pieces we can learn to understand each other and build empathy for the people around us because we now know what they  been through. WE can provide support for each other especially for those with stage fright. In the beginning of the year we looked at old plays and just like in the article, the students had a connection with what the characters were going through.