Teamwork - Acting on Crisis

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this lesson's material, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate their ability to contribute to a team-based crisis situation.
  • Facilitate the contribution of multiple team members.
  • Work both in and outside the group to complete a group task.
  • Foster a constructive team climate.
  • Respond appropriately to within-team conflict and resolution.

Click here for a copy of the AAC&U VALUE Rubric that inspires this assignment for more details on each of these outcomes.


This assignment is a semester-long group project to write, produce, and perform a dramatic play. Individual students will work in groups to develop all aspects of the play including casting, costumes, set design, production, script writing, acting, and performing. Each member will be evaluated based on their individual contributions to the production of the play based on the rubric below.

Guidelines for the Play

The play itself will also need to focus on team process. The play will need to meet the following criteria:

  • Subject matter of the play will be to act out a crisis intervention scenario involving a fictitous client and a team of mental health professionals who stage an intervention.
  • There is no specific guidelines as to what kind of "crisis" needs to be identified.
  • The play will progress for no less than 30 minutes of action.
  • The play will involve a principle actor as a client (though family members may also be included).
  • The play will involve a principle Crisis Intervention worker.
  • The crisis will be of a nature that several community members and agencies become involved in the crisis.
  • The play will need to exemplify how the Crisis Intervention worker interacts and coordinates activities with other community providers.
  • The play will have to highlight a specific conflict (approach, philosophy, or value) between providers, or between providers and the client (or family members) and the play must exemplify a successful and appropriate application of intervention skills that resolves this conflict and moves the intervention forward.
  • The play may involve humor but should still demonstrate serious understanding of the incidence of crisis.
  • No one dies.
  • Students will perform the play (without script) and the plays will be filmed.
  • Performance of the plays may be open to other members of the KVCC community.

Group Process and Teamwork

Creative interaction between members of the production team (the students in the group) is critical. Assigning roles such as writers, producers, directors, and actors is essential for success. Group process should expect to consider the following issues:

  • Leadership and follower-ship is critical to any group's functioning.
  • Roles (writers, producers, directors, set designers, and actors - see below for definitions) should be defined early.
  • Individuals may hold multiple roles but the group should function so that EVERYONE has specific and essential duties to perform.
  • Groups must be self-regulating. The goal is for the group to work together on the project, which may entail working out conflict that comes about in the group. Faculty intervention should be kept to a minimum. (However, if situations arise that are unworkable, it is vital that the members of the group bring the Faculty member in.)
  • The product of the group process (the play) will be the responsibility of the whole group...some individuals may contribute more than others (this is a normal nature of groups) but the play will be evaluated equally among ALL the members of the group. This is NOT a competition as to who did MORE for the SUCCESS of the play.
  • This project is a major class project, will be graded as such, and must be taken seriously. Students who lack the maturity to approach a creative and innovative project like this will be asked to drop the class.

Definitions of Roles

While there are many roles involved in producing a play (you can see this when you see the titles at the end of a movie going on and on!) there are assential functional roles that MUST be considered:

  • Producers - Producers are the definitive leaders of the production team. They are responsible for schedules, budgets, managing all the members of the team, and are responsible for all the fine details of communication between production team members. They have the big picture in mind, what it is all going to look like and how it is going to happen.
  • Directors - Directors work closely with the Producer, Writers, and Actors to bring about the actual performance. They usually occupy the vantage point of the audience and provide stage direction, stage movement, and guidance to actors on how to best play their roles. They also strive to find the best qualities in the actors themselves and nurture actor creativity and innovation. They often play a critical role in casting which actors should play which parts.
  • Writers - If there is no script, there is no play! Writers construct the staging and dialogue of the play. Writers tell the "story" and ultimately produce the "script" which outlines each players general movements, set, and dialogue for the duration of the performance.
  • Actors - What can we say about actors? They are the ones out front when it comes to the actual performance. Good actors seek to bring out the deep qualities of the characters they play (getting "into character") and have a goal to convince the audience that the action they are seeing on the stage is REAL! Actors need to work hard to get beyond simply memorizing lines and into performing their character. They also contribute actively to the writing of the script and the staging and dialoge of the play as they express what their "character" would do or say in certain circumstances. At the same time, these creative individuals also need to be able to support the demands of the script and the Director.
  • Set Design and Support - These essential people create and manage the props, staging, lighting, costumes, make-up, and even refreshments for the entire production. They can also be the "gofers" who seek out props and other items to meet the demands of the project. These roles would also include filming and any technological management that may be required for the production.

Production Process

There are going to be steps in this process.

Step 1: Production Team

Using the Blackbaord Discussion Board set up by your Instructor, within that discussion board each member of the group will discuss the different roles (Director, Writers, and Actors) they will play and set the general story line of the movie they want to produce.

Directors will be primarily responsible for understanding how the app works and for editing the final version of the movie. This does not preclude other members helping the Director with these tasks.

Step 2: Script

Once the Director has been selected, all members will need to then work together to write a movie script which will outline the story you are going to tell. The designated Writers are then going to collaborate in the group's discussion board in Blackboard. Writers are going to script all the action and dialogue for each Actor in the movie.

The Final Script must be posted in the discussion board and should outline the story with the entire story line in "play" format to make sure that all group members agree on the story proposed.

Here is an example:

001-Sam (client): I don't think I feel like taking my medications today.

002-Roberta (counselor): Why do you feel that you don't want to take your meds today?

003-Sam: They make me feel funny and I don't think they are really working. Maybe I should get off all my meds. I think that the doctors are just trying to control me anyway.

004-Roberta: OK, Sam, we have already talked about how important these meds are, you really need to take them so that you can stay out of the hospital...

Please be aware that to fully act out and resolve a crisis situation you need more than a 2-3 minute interaction. This script and subsequent video needs to display an understanding of a crisis situation, a crisis intervention and a resolution.

Step 3: Actors

Now comes the work. The Actors will be assigned to the character roles in the script. Sometimes an actor may need to play two different roles in which a "costume" change could occur to differentiate the different characters (add or remove hat, glasses, outfit, change environment, etc.).

Step 4: Shoot the Video

Get your team together and produce the video. You will be using the features on your iPad to film and edit the video and then uploading the video to YouTube for sharing.

Step 5: Final Editing and Screening

There are a number of applications that can help you complete this task. You will find a list of app options below but if you find another app that can work better for you then great! After all the clips have been created and uploaded, the Director (and others if they want to meet) will organize all the clips into the correct order and can add other elements like a title, credits, etc.

The Director will be responsible to ensure that the video flows as best as possible including taking the opportunity to make edits to the exisitng clips that were recorded by the group.

When the entire movie is done the Director will be responsible to upload the video to their YouTube account. Then the YouTube link needs to be posted in TWO places: the Acting on Crisis Discussion Board and the Acting on Crisis - Final Video Blackboard drop box.

Below you will find a list of apps that could help you combine multiple movie clips together into one final movie:




For more information on creating videos on your iPad click HERE.

There are many other video editing apps available. Some of them do have costs associated with them. If the group agrees to use an app that requires a purchase that is up to the group. I have chosen to only list a few of the free apps that I have tried and seem like they would work for this project. There are many more out there, feel free to experiment. Let me know if you find one you like so I can add to this list for future classes. Happy editing!

Teamwork Evalution

The second evaluation will focus on individual contributions to the team by each member. This grade will be produced collectively by the members of the team during the group chat that will occur between the each group and the Instructor. This will occur aftere the video is completed. The Instructor will facilitate an open and honest dialogue with all the members of the production team together. Each members individual strengths, weaknesses, and contributions to the process will be discussed and rated. The scoring of this will be "gentle" in order to encourage honest other- and self-evaluation. Evaluations will very much take ROLE into consideration.

A modified for of the VALUE Rubric for Teamwork will be used to evaluate each members activity in the group. Categories that will be explored include:

  • Contributions as a team member
  • Facilitating the contributions of other team members
  • Contributions to the team outside of team meetings
  • Fostering a constructive team climate
  • Response to conflict

Click here to download the form the group will be using to evaluate individual performance.

Final Grade

The group's final grade will be based on the quality of the product produced, your ability to work as team, and the quality of the script. As much as this is a group earned grade, if the Instructor feels that some members of the group did not participate significantly in the project, those individuals may received a grade different than the rest of the group.

An Example:

Here is a link to a video produced by a prior group: