Welcome To Blair's Page

Blair Cadden is a Boston-based director, theatre-maker and teaching artist. She holds a BA in Theatre from Wofford College and an MFA in Directing from Boston University. Blair is originally from Charleston, SC, where she was the co-founding Artistic Director of the theatre company 5th Wall Productions. Blair has taught acting and public speaking to students of all ages, from kindergarteners to young adults, at Lexington Children's Theatre, Spartanburg Youth Theatre, Boston University, and more. Whether it sparks a lifelong love of theatre, or simply brings more confidence and creativity to their everyday lives, Blair is so excited to share her experience and passion with the young people here at WhizKid.me!

Contact Me

my Classes

class plan

Public Speaking

Fall Semester

Week 

Session Topic/Theme

Course Structure

Students will do &  learn: 

Materials needed 

1

Speaking with Confidence 

Intro: Introduce ourselves to our classmates. Warm-ups for diction, projection, and movement


Content: Practice techniques for calming nerves, confident posture, and clear speech. Put all of these tools to use in a short speech introducing yourself to the class.


Closing: Review and recap – Why is confidence important? What can we do to feel confident next time we speak in front of a group? 

Paper and a writing utensil

2

Speaking with Expression 

Intro: Introduce ourselves to our classmates. Warm-ups for diction, projection, and movement


Content: Practice techniques for adding vocal and physical expression to your speech. Students will explore pitch, tone, volume, and tempo as ways of adding vocal expression; they will also explore gesture as a way of adding physical expression. Students will revisit their introductory speeches, looking for opportunities to add more expression. 


Closing: Review and recap – Why is expression important? What are some tools we can use to add expression with our body and voice? 

Paper and a writing utensil

Adding Detail and Examples

Intro: Introduce ourselves to our classmates. Warm-ups for diction, projection, and movement


Content: Students will discuss the importance of adding detail and supporting examples to a speech. They will revisit their introductory speeches, looking for opportunities to add more detail and provide examples. 


Closing: Review and recap – Why is it important to make our speeches detailed? Why is it helpful to use examples? 

Paper and a writing utensil

4

Speech to Teach: Organizing Your Speech

Intro: Introduce ourselves to our classmates. Warm-ups for diction, projection, and movement


Content: Students will prepare and share a speech teaching the class about one of their favorite topics. We will pay special attention to the best way to organize information to make sure our audience can understand and learn. 


Closing: Review and recap – Why is it important to carefully organize a speech? What are some of the different ways information can be organized? 

Paper and a writing utensil

5

Speech to Teach: Visual Helpers 

Intro: Introduce ourselves to our classmates. Warm-ups for diction, projection, and movement


Content: Discuss and brainstorm visual tools (pictures, props, illustrations, graphs, etc) that can be used along with a speech to help our listeners follow along and understand. Students will revisit their teaching speeches and create three images to use as visual helpers.


Closing: Review and recap – What are some different kinds of visual helpers we can use? How did your classmates’ images help you understand more about their topic? 

Paper and something to draw and color with 

6

Speech to Teach: Q&A

Intro: Introduce ourselves to our classmates. Warm-ups for diction, projection, and movement


Content: Students will re-share their teaching speeches, then their classmates and instructor will ask questions about that subject for them to answer off-the-cuff. Speakers will focus on answering clearly and confidently. We will discuss and practice techniques for remaining calm, composed, and confident even when we might be surprised by a question. 


Closing: Review and recap – What was challenging about answering questions without being able to prepare first? What tactics helped overcome that challenge? 

Optional: Bring back the images you created last week as visual helpers for your teaching speech

7

Speaking with Enthusiasm

Intro:  Introduce ourselves to our classmates. Warm-ups for voice and movement. 


Content: No matter the subject, a speaker should also appear enthusiastic in order to engage their audience. Students will practice speaking with enthusiasm and excitement by giving a speech “advertising” a boring household object, using vocal and physical expression to convince their listeners that this is an exciting object they can’t live without! 


Closing: Review and recap – What did you see or hear a classmate do that helped show their enthusiasm? Why is it important to be enthusiastic when we speak? 

A simple household object. The more “boring,” the better. 

8

Storytelling: Adding Expression

Intro:  Introduce ourselves to our classmates. Warm-ups for voice and movement. 


Content: Students will discuss and review techniques for speaking clearly, and for expressive voice and movement. Then, they will put these tools to use by telling their version of a fairytale or folktale.  Students will focus on making the story as exciting as possible for your listeners by using their voice and body to show emotion and characters. 


Closing: Review and recap – What tools did we find for making our speech exciting and engaging? 

Paper and a writing utensil

9

Speech to Persuade: Convincing Tactics 

Intro: Introduce ourselves to our classmates. Warm-ups for voice and movement.


Content: Discuss strong tactics for persuasive speeches: what makes a speaker convincing? Students will use those tactics to create a short speech with the goal to persuade or convince your classmates to do something positive. (Like try your favorite hobby, volunteer for a cause you care about, etc.) Provide strong, convincing reasons for your classmates to take your suggestion. 


Closing: Review and recap – What did your classmates say in their speeches that was convincing? What do you think you could add or change to make your own speech even more convincing? 

Paper and a writing utensil

10

Speech to Persuade: See the Other Side 

Intro: Introduce ourselves to our classmates. Warm-ups for voice and movement.


Content: Students will revisit their Persuasive Speech and make improvements for an even stronger argument. One addition will include trying to stay a step ahead of those who may disagree. 


Closing: Review and recap – Why is it important to think about how someone might disagree with you? What did your classmates say in their speeches that was convincing? 

Paper and a writing utensil

11

Speech to Persuade: Adding Visual Helpers 

Intro: Introduce ourselves to our classmates. Warm-ups for voice and movement.


Content: Discuss different kinds of visual helpers that could add to a persuasive speech. Students will revisit their Persuasive Speech and add visual helpers to illustrate their points. 


Closing: Review and recap – What kinds of visual helpers can we use? How did these strengthen your persuasive speech? 

Paper and something to draw and color with 

12

Speech to Celebrate 

Intro:  Introduce ourselves to our classmates. Warm-ups for voice and movement.


Content: Discuss occasions when a speech or “toast” might be made to celebrate someone. (Wedding, birthday, graduation, etc.) Students will choose a family member or friend to honor with a speech designed to celebrate how special they are. 


Closing: Review and recap – What are useful things to include in a celebrating speech? What are things to avoid? 

 

A-List Actors

Fall Semester

Week 

Session Topic/Theme

Course Structure

Students will do &  learn: 

Materials needed 

1

Who, What, When, Where: The World of the Story 

Intro: Introduce ourselves to our classmates. Warm-up our Actor’s Tools: Voice, Body, and Imagination


Content: Discuss the Big Questions that an actor must answer about a story (play, movie, etc) that they will be performing. We will then use our imagination to answer these questions for our own original fairy tale-inspired story. Finally, we will do an Imagination Walk to physically explore the world we have begun to build. 


Closing: Review and recap – What do actors need to know about the story they are acting out in order to play their roles? Why is this important info to have before we begin to act? 

none

2

Building a Character – Getting Started

Intro: Introduce ourselves to our classmates. Warm-up our Actor’s Tools: Voice, Body, and Imagination


Content: Students will create, name, and introduce their own original fairy tale-inspired characters, building on the world we created together in the previous class. They will use their imaginations to fill in the character’s basic biography. They will also use their voice and body to explore how this character would speak and move. 


Closing: Review and recap – What are some important things for an actor to know about the character they are playing? What tools can we use to bring a character to life?  

none

Building a Character – Going Deeper

Intro: Introduce ourselves to our classmates. Warm-up our Actor’s Tools: Voice, Body, and Imagination


Content: Using the characters they created in the previous lesson, students will go deeper by getting into character to answer interview questions as their character. Students will use their imagination to answer these questions from their character’s perspective, and will use their voice to explore not just what these characters would say, but how they would say it. 


Closing: Review and recap – What questions were easy to answer as your character, and which were more challenging? Why is it important for actors to know all of this about their characters? 

 

4

Building a Character – Getting Physical

Intro: Introduce ourselves to our classmates. Warm-up our Actor’s Tools: Voice, Body, and Imagination


Content: Students will use physical acting exercises to explore how their characters would move in various situations and how they would use their body (including facial expression) to show emotion. 


Closing: Review and recap – What are the different ways actors can use their bodies to show the audience more about their character? 

 

5

…And Then What Happens? 

Story Structure 

Intro: Introduce ourselves to our classmates. Warm-up our Actor’s Tools: Voice, Body, and Imagination


Content:  Students will be introduced to the basics of plot structure as they work together to create the major events for their own fairy tale-inspired story through collaborative storytelling and improvisation. 


Closing:  Review and recap – What are the main ingredients of a plot/story? 

 

6

Goals, Obstacles, and Tactics 

Intro:  Introduce ourselves to our classmates. Warm-up our Actor’s Tools: Voice, Body, and Imagination


Content: Students will review the concepts of goals, obstacles, and tactics and apply them to the characters and plot we have been creating together. Students will improvise monologues for their characters based on their main goal within our story. 


Closing: Review and recap – Define goal, obstacle, and tactic. Why is it important to know what these are for your character? 

 

7

Props and Costumes

Intro: Introduce ourselves to our classmates. Warm-up our Actor’s Tools: Voice, Body, and Imagination


Content: Students will discuss props and costumes – what are they, and how can they help us bring a character to life? What sorts of things should we consider when thinking about what a character might wear? Students will then draw a costume for their character and share it with the class. Students will also use their imagination to find a household object that can be turned into a prop. (Perhaps a spoon becomes a magic wand or a king’s scepter!) 


Closing: Review and recap – What are costumes? What are props? What kinds of questions do we need to answer when deciding what a character’s costume should look like? 

Drawing paper and something to draw and color with.  

8

Put it into a Scene 

Intro:  Introduce ourselves to our classmates. Warm-up our Actor’s Tools: Voice, Body, and Imagination


Content: Students will read and rehearse a short scene written by the instructor, based on the story and characters created by the students in previous weeks. 


Closing: Review and recap – What kinds of things do actors need to focus on when rehearsing a scene? 

Optional: Bring a prop and/or costume piece for your character. Use your imagination to make use of things you have at home – a spoon can be a magic wand, and a blanket can be a royal robe! 

9

Designing the World 

Intro: Introduce ourselves to our classmates. Warm-up our Actor’s Tools: Voice, Body, and Imagination


Content: Students will discuss scenery – what is it, and how does it help bring a story to life? Students will identify the various settings in our fairy-tale inspired story, and choose one of these locations to draw the scenery for. 


Closing: Review and recap – What is scenery? What questions do we need to answer when deciding what the scenery for our story should look like? 

Drawing paper and something to draw and color with. 

10

Put it into a Scene 2

Intro:  Introduce ourselves to our classmates. Warm-up our Actor’s Tools: Voice, Body, and Imagination


Content: Students will read and rehearse a short scene written by the instructor, based on the story and characters created by the students in previous weeks. Special focus will be given to listening and reacting to the other actors in the scene. 


Closing: Review and recap – What kinds of things do actors need to focus on when rehearsing a scene? Why is listening and reacting important when performing a scene with others? 

Optional: Bring a prop and/or costume piece for your character. Use your imagination to make use of things you have at home – a spoon can be a magic wand, and a blanket can be a royal robe! 

11

Put it Into a Scene 3

Intro:  Introduce ourselves to our classmates. Warm-up our Actor’s Tools: Voice, Body, and Imagination


Content: Students will read and rehearse a short scene written by the instructor, based on the story and characters created by the students in previous weeks. Special focus will be given to adding physical expression to the lines. 


Closing: Review and recap – What kinds of things do actors need to focus on when rehearsing a scene? Why is it important to use our bodies and voices when performing? 

Optional: Bring a prop and/or costume piece for your character. Use your imagination to make use of things you have at home – a spoon can be a magic wand, and a blanket can be a royal robe! 

12

Put it All Together! 

Intro:  Introduce ourselves to our classmates. Warm-up our Actor’s Tools: Voice, Body, and Imagination


Content: Students will read and rehearse a final scene written by the instructor, based on the story and characters created by the students in previous weeks. Students will then improvise a closing speech by their character where they can tell us what happened to them after the story ended. 


Closing: Review and recap – What was the biggest lesson you are going to remember about how to bring a story and character to life?  

Optional: Bring a prop and/or costume piece for your character. Use your imagination to make use of things you have at home – a spoon can be a magic wand, and a blanket can be a royal robe! 

Using The Class Plan

Please Note: Both Age Groups (if applicable) will follow the same class plan structure and content. The content delivery will  be tailored to the age group.