One-Minute Musicals

In gen ed course, Aesthetic and Interpretive Understanding 31: American Musicals and Culture, students in Luci Mok's section present one-minute summaries of musicals to engage with the main plot and show that they have seen it. To prepare for the activity, students must watch the assigned musical (in this case, Oklahoma!), and understand the plot. The instructor breaks the class into two groups. Each group has to prepare to perform a one-minute version of the musical. Each student can play a different character, but the goal is to make the plot clear to the rest of the class. It is important for them to choose key moments in the show to highlight, especially because of the time constraints. Time pressure is crucial to this assignment, and it's not supposed to take up half the class - just a short amount of time to warm up the students and move on with class discussion.

Afterwards, they have a class discussion about the activity, with an emphasis on how the planning went in each group. How did they choose which characters to include or exclude? How did they choose which plot points to highlight? The goal is to make a critical assessment of what aspects of the show were important enough to include in the presentation.