Download Billy Elliot Education PDF

TitleBilly Elliot Education
TagsEntertainment (General) Teaching And Learning Curriculum Theatre Trade Union
File Size5.8 MB
Total Pages29
Document Text Contents
Page 1

A tool for using the theater across the curriculum
to meet National Standards for Education
• Production Overview
• Lesson Guides
• Student Activities
• At-Home Projects
• Reproducibles


Page 2

All show artwork, show photography, behind the scenes photography and publicity

photography together with the reproduced lyrics from “Billy Elliot” remain the copyright of

Billy Broadway LLC. All rights reserved. © 2008 Billy Broadway LLC. No copyright material in

this publication belonging to Billy Broadway LLC may be reproduced, stored or transmitted,

in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise)

without the prior written permission of Billy Broadway LLC.

Copyright 2008, Camp Broadway. LLC, All rights reserved.

This publication is based on Billy Elliot the Musical with book and lyrics by Lee Hall and music

by Elton John. The content of Billy Elliot the Musical edition of StageNOTES™: A Field Guide

for Teachers is fully protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America and

all other countries with which the United States has reciprocal copyright relations. All rights

regarding publishing, reprint permissions, public readings, and mechanical or electronic

reproduction, including but not limited to, CD-ROM, information storage and retrieval systems

and photocopying, and the rights of translation into foreign languages are strictly prohibited.

Printed in the United States of America. First Digital Edition: July 2008.

For more information on StageNOTES™ and other theatre arts related programs, contact:

Camp Broadway, LLC

336 West 37th Street, Suite 460

New York, New York 10018

Telephone: (212) 575-2929

Facsimile: (212) 575-3125

Email: [email protected]

Photo credit: David Scheinmann

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4. Much of the stage show seems to have a very filmic
quality to it (i.e. the scene where Jackie Elliot goes
to see Mrs. Wilkinson, the miners’ lift descending at
the back of the stage with Billy in the foreground,
and the music used to underscore scenes and
dialogue as well as provide the songs). Do you think
that this quality was inevitable given that you are a
film director, adapting a film, or was it a conscious

I don’t see the scenes you mention as being especially filmic. I
would see them as theatrical. You necessarily have less stuff at your
disposal in the theater so the task is to create as much atmosphere
as you can with very little. When Jackie Elliot visits Mrs. Wilkinson
all you can see is a door, some snow and two actors in the light on
a bare stage. This isn’t an effect that you could create on film, nor
would you really want to.

While Peter Darling (choreography) and Martin Koch (musical
supervision and orchestrations) had done very successful musicals
before, the rest of us were quite new to the form. It seems a
bit silly to have a bunch of fantastic musicians hanging around
without using them. Music is another tool you can use for telling
a story, maintaining tension and creating emotion. I don’t know
if it was a deliberate decision but like so many other things that
happen in a creative process it seemed obvious at the time.

5. In Act One, the juxtaposing of the miners on the
picket line and the police with the ballet class
is particularly striking and complex. Could you
describe how this scene came about through the
rehearsal process?

It’s very astute of you to pick this particular number because it was
created in a slightly different way than some of the other numbers.
Lee wanted to find a way to reproduce the jump cut sequence
from the film in which you see Billy practicing and practicing
the pirouette until he can do it. At the same time we wanted to
emphasize that Billy was pursuing his dreams while the strike was
developing, that Billy was pursuing his dream despite the strike.
We didn’t know just how we would get the two elements to make
sense on stage together. We organized a workshop in which all

three of us, Peter, Lee, and me fought – sometimes vociferously –
our different corners. The result was a true collaboration and the
number contains the tensions between our different approaches
to telling a story.

6. What discussions did you have surrounding the
issue of strong language in the show? How would
you reassure teachers on this subject when they
are considering bringing students to see Billy Elliot
the Musical?

We talked about this quite a lot. It’s a difficult issue and I
suppose we could have taken it all out or substituted words like
“feckin.” I seem to remember we did try certain scenes without
it but it just felt ridiculous, as if we were in the 19th century
covering piano legs with lace. I believe that what we have on
stage is true to the lives we are portraying – as I’ve said above
– and true to the rage and anger of a community under threat.
Since the show opened we’ve been very careful to state that the
show contains strong language. Surprisingly we have had very
few complaints, certainly many less than we thought we’d get.
I think the audience appreciates that the language is true to the
people portrayed on stage.

n Demonstrates competence in the general skills and

strategies of the writing process
n Prewriting, drafting and revising, editing and publishing
n Demonstrates competence in the stylistic and

rhetorical aspects of writing
n Uses grammatical and mechanical conventions in

written compositions
n Gathers and uses information for research purposes

n Demonstrates competence in the general skills and

strategies of the reading process
n Demonstrates competence in the general skills and

strategies for reading a variety of literary texts
n Demonstrates competence in the general skills and

strategies for reading a variety of informational texts

listening and Speaking
n Demonstrates competence in speaking and listening

as tools for learning









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The exercise illustrates
within a group while
working towards a
common goal.

Students will come
to better understand
the creative process
of adapting a story for
the stage.

teaching tips
What shapes do you
see created by the
juxtaposition of the
chair and the props?
What images pop into
your mind? Can you
translate this into a
dramatic conflict?

To better understand
the adaptation process
when a work of art is
transferred from one
artistic medium to

to Go
teaching tips
Students can make
lists of similarities and
differences between
the film and stage
versions of the scene
on the blackboard or
smart board.

Language Arts

The story of Billy Elliot was first told as a movie. Later, it
was made into the musical play. Make a list of differences
between presenting a story as a film or on the stage. List
some reasons an artist might choose to present his / her
ideas in one or both mediums.

Use props as a stimulus for writing a short story or poem. A single chair placed on a table in the
middle of a classroom will mean different things to different students. Try laying the chair on its side
to provide a suggestion of dramatic image or conflict that students can bring into their stories.

Try including a feather from Mrs. Wilkinson’s “Shine” routine or one of Billy’s boxing gloves for
extra interest. Use the ‘modern fairy tale’ idea of Billy Elliot the Musical to explore other fairy tales
and retelling them in a modern context.

Billy Elliot the Musical recognizes and embraces the fact that it is occupying a different form to its
filmic cousin. The adaptation of a film to the stage is a complex process. Rarely is it possible simply
to take the script and transpose it.

In the show, for instance, Billy says goodbye to his dead Mother. This does not happen in the film.
Clearly, in the stage production, there cannot easily be a bus journey for Billy, and so his goodbye to
Tony, his brother, is much shorter on stage.

Explore this adaptation process. Watch the final section of Billy Elliot the film, from about 92
minutes in when Billy visits Mrs. Wilkinson to say goodbye. Then, study the stage show script from
the same place and compare the similarities and differences. (See script on page 24 of this guide.)

Which version is most effective? Why might the Mother not have been included at the end of the
film and the grown up Billy was not included at the end of the stage show?

to Go
Using a list of films provided by your teacher, select one scene and think about how you would
adapt it for the stage. What changes would you make, if any? What differences in form must you use
in order to achieve a successful adaptation? Compare your adaptations with the original film. What
did this process teach you about both mediums?

Photo credit: Peter Lueders/Paul Kolnik Studio

Page 28

28 |

MrS WilkinSon
if it’s just a question of the bus fare.


MrS WilkinSon
Piss off, Debbie, I’m busy.

i don’t want your money. i didn’t come
here for charity. He’s my son, isn’t he?

MrS WilkinSon
For Christ’s sake when are you going to
get over your pig ignorant working class
pride? look, your son is gifted, he’s
got a chance. What have you got to offer
him? Mining? This town has had it, it’s
finished. You’re fighting a battle that
was lost years ago. i’m not the enemy Mr
elliot; we’re all in this together. So
for god’s sake just talk to me, let me

i wanna thank you for everything you’ve
done for Billy. i really appreciate it.

MrS WilkinSon
is that it.


MrS WilkinSon
This is ridiculous. Why don’t you come

no yer right - he’s my responsibility.


MrS WilkSinSon
Sod ya then. See if i care.

MrS WilkinSon
exits back into
the house. Dad
is left alone

Merry bloody Christmas.

Excerpt from Billy Elliot the Musical, Book by Lee Hall.

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Adam Aguirre – Camp Broadway Director of Outreach
and Workshop Operations
Camp Broadway, LLC <>

Billy Elliot
Stephen Daldry (2000)
Universal Pictures DVD
Dance in London

The Enemies Within — The Story of the Miners’ Strike
Ian MacGregor
William Collins, Sons & Co. Ltd
ISBN 0-00-217706-4

The Miners’ Strike 1984-5: Loss Without Limit
Martin Adeney and John Lloyd
Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd
ISBN 0-7102-0694-1

The People’s Party — The History of the Labour Party
Tony Wright and Matt Carter
Thames and Hudson Ltd
ISBN 0-500-01768-9

The Downing Street Years
Margaret Thatcher
Harper Collins
ISBN 0-00-255049-0

GENERAL — online encyclopaedia

Written by Mark Palmer
Head of Drama, Mill Chase Community Technology College,
Borden, Hampshire

Dance Material by Jenny Ware
Head of Dance, The Norwood School,
A Performing & Visual Arts Specialist College, London

Commissioned by Mousetrap Theatre Projects

Lisa Poelle – CEO of Camp Broadway: Lisa Poelle has a masters
in Human Development and over 30 years in education, theatre,
corporate management, marketing, community affairs and family

John Shorter – Camp Broadway Educational Consultant: John
Shorter is Past President of the New York State Theatre Education
Association (NYSTEA). For over 25 years, he was Secondary
School Theater Arts Program Director and curriculum developer
at Manhasset High School— a national school of excellence.
In the Fall of 2007, he received the Rod Marriott Lifetime
Achievement Award from NYSTEA for his contributions to
educational theatre.

Adam Aguirre – Director of Outreach and Workshop Operations:
Adam Aguirre is a graduate of Georgetown University with a
degree in Government, Theatre, and Philosophy.

Kathleen Giarrano — Principal/Art Director at Giarrano Design
where she specializes in intuitive design solutions for print, web +
illustration. www.giarranodesigncom.



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