Character Counts

N4 Artist Network teacher Amanda Roche blends Story Exchanges with theatre curriculum to help high school students develop fictional characters — and build personal character.

Narrative 4 took the stage at Blackman High School in Murfreesboro, Tennessee with a fresh spin on our Story Exchange methodology. 

During this first-ever, nine-visit teaching artist residency in January-February, N4 trainer and teaching artist Amanda Cantrell Roche partnered with Drama teacher Richard Browder to guide Drama 3 & 4 students through a Story Exchange. 

Following the Story Exchange, the students created original characters with their partners using Uta Hagen’s Nine Questions, then used the Story Exchange prompts to develop monologues for their characters, and finally developed a finished theatrical piece. This innovative approach united theatre curriculum with Story Exchanges to help the class bond as a group and build a strong foundation for writing stories. 

“The story exchange sharing helped open my heart a little more to see what I needed to write, as opposed to what I wanted to write,” said Drama student, Zander. We’re proud of the innovative work done by Roche and all the members of our N4 Artists Network as they work to help students build compassion and develop character.