Dialogue Roulette

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Lesson Introduction: 

Dramatic texts can be created out of source material that was never intended for use as such: newspaper articles, political speeches, song lyrics, and lines of poetry. Just as poetic text can be made from found material (‘found poetry’), just as Marcel Duchamp can hang a urinal on a wall and call it art, (‘found art’), so a text can be cut up and rearranged to create a new text. It's fun, it can inspire ideas (through serendipity) and it removes the pressure of having to come up with scenes from scratch. This lesson provides an introduction to the idea of exploring the dramatic possibilities of poetic texts: finding inspiration within severe limitations and exploiting serendipity, the happy coincidences that fuel all creative endeavours.

Learning Objectives: 

In this lesson, students will have opportunities to:

  • Interpret poetry from the point of view of the writer.
  • Work creatively within formal limitations.
  • Exploit serendipity.
  • Scene build.
Materials and Resources: 

To teach this lesson, you will need:

  • computer with access to PIV’s Poem Roulette
  • printer
  • pen, paper 
  • tables, chairs, props, costume pieces, set pieces


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Poetry In Voice is a charitable organization that encourages Canadian students to fall in love with poetry through reading, writing, and recitation. All of our resources are available online for free. You may also use our resources if you reside outside of Canada.