Devising: Daz for Zoe – Rhinegold Publishing

Devising: Daz for Zoe


This scheme of work has been designed to give KS4 students ideas to explore for a devised piece of GCSE practical work. It is based on the text Daz 4 Zoe by Robert Swindells and includes both on- and off-text work designed to allow students to move in a number of different directions to create their own devised piece. Although timings are included for each session, they may vary; you might find that half an hour is ample time to explore some ideas or you might want to take several lessons. As always, it depends on your students and how they want to explore things and what direction you and they want to move in. As teachers we often find something that we thought would take an hour takes 15 minutes and something that we thought would take 15 minutes takes an hour. Be flexible and let the students’ work guide you.

Robert Swindells originally wrote Daz 4 Zoe in 1990, and it was adapted for stage by Joe Standerline in 2000. Swindells describes Daz 4 Zoe as ‘a love story which sets out to show what can happen when we don’t love enough: when we adopt the poisonous ideas of those who would divide us and permit greed, ignorance and fear to stunt the capacity we’re all born with for loving one another’. 

Standerline says he felt ‘ill at ease’ when he first read Daz 4 Zoe. He felt inspired to adapt the play by the awful world Swindells had created which allowed him to experience the brutal and desperate behaviour of its people. Standerline claims that he soon realised that this imaginary world was actually not so far removed from our own in which stories of violence and desperation occur every day.

The novel is separated into chapters voiced alternately by Daz or Zoe. This in itself would present challenges for the stage as it would include a great many monologues. In the play, Standerline uses numerous locations and characters to ‘show’ the story rather than to just recount it through the words of Daz and Zoe.

Learning objectives:

  • To create a range of tableaux using ideas from a discussion based on utopia/dystopia and ideas from the text
  • To animate tableaux in order to develop character and to begin to explore characters’ feelings and emotions
  • To continue work on frozen images to explore characters’ feelings and emotions
  • To use these ideas to devise a scene
  • To use the text to develop devised work
Number of lessons: 3

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