This lesson (educational drama) poses practical and moral dilemmas for a future-entrepreneur. Through the story of a fictional character the lesson gives us an opportunity to consider certain questions (How can I make my dreams come true? How can I convince other people that my vision is worth supporting, investing money in and taking risks? What kind of compromises am I willing to make to realise my plans?) Also, during the lesson the participants can practice teamwork, planning projects and doing project activities, as well as making presentations. The participants have the opportunity to examine a situation from different perspectives.
Fanni Szemerédi has an MA in cultural management and an MA in teaching literature. She
has worked in several cultural programs and drama projects for youth in different theatres in Hungary. Since 2016 she works for a professional independent theatre in Budapest as a program coordinator and also contributes to the youth program of the theater as a drama teacher working with both adults and teenagers.
Bringing moral dilemmas to the context of the topic of “becoming an entrepreneur”
Structure of the process:
Focus: You can’t do it alone. But how can you convince others that your dream is worth it? And what compromises do you make to make the dream come true?
INITIATION – CONTEXT-BUILDING:
What comes to your mind?
whole class brainstorming – 3 min
“What comes to your mind when you hear the idea: entrepreneur? Tell us your first thoughts! They can be feelings, features, attributes, verbs, nouns, … “
The teacher writes the word “entrepreneur” in the middle of a big sheet of paper, then writes every idea coming from the participants in a mind map / diagram. Try to find as many words and ideas as you can. Explore the possible meanings, connotations.
Helping questions: What do you need to become an entrepreneur? What attributes do you need to have to be one? Investments? Courses?
“Today we are going to get to know the story of Mike. Mike is 22 now and he is thought to be earnest and hardworking. His parents own a vegetable store. From the age of 6 Mike used to help out on the weekends in the store. He used to hate it sometimes, but now he thinks it was useful. Work-experience. He went to vocational school for trade, business and catering. His father wants him to run the vegetable store, but Mike has
other plans. For two years now he’s been working at a café. He became very dedicated, he even completed a barista training course. His dream is to run his own café one day.”
A typical day – snapshots (freeze frames)
2 min instructions + 3 min preparing + 3 min sharing (4-8 snapshots). Small groups (3-4 members)
“Let’s create snapshots / freeze frames of Mike’s typical day. Mike shall always be there in the picture. He even says a word or a sentence if needed to understand the situation. Other people in the picture can have one sentence as well. The picture can take place at home, in the café, with his boss, with a customer, with his dad in the store… It can picture a peaceful moment, a tense situation, an awkward moment… It should show how everyday life is for Mike. What he likes and dislikes about his job, etc.”
We share the freeze frames in temporal order. Morning – day – afternoon – evening. The small groups should stand next to each other in temporal order and quickly one after another the groups show the pictures to each other.
Daydreaming – freeze frames
2 min instruction + 3 min preparing + 3 min
sharing (4-8 picture)
“Quickly find other 2-3 people, and form new groups. Let’s see what kind of dreams are in Mike’s head during the day. His daydreams are always about his own café. These pictures are snapshots as well, and 2-3 sentences or moves help us to understand the situation. Mike himself should be in the picture as well. He must not speak though.
We will share the pictures with each other quickly one after another – like images and thoughts running through our heads during the day.”
Whole group discussion – 3 min
“Let’s check the diagram we created at the beginning of the class. Do you think Mike has any chance to become an entrepreneur and open his own café?”
Narration (teacher) – 2 min
“Mike has some savings, but at the moment that is roughly the ⅕ of the amount needed to start the business. He has just found an inviting application helping to start small businesses. Start ups can compete for 3M forints. He decides to compete. Let’s see how he is preparing for the pitch and the possible questions.”
Whole group discussion – 5 min
“First we need to define the target group of the café, everything else comes after that. Who is going to be the customer?
“After defining the target group, we make 4 small groups. The teacher tells the 4 focuses of the 4 small groups (see below). The members of the small groups can visit other groups to ask questions if needed. The different departments have to check each other to make sure they think in the same direction. (e.g. A cybercafé for retired people near the airport with neon signs and paleo-sandwiches wouldn’t work out very well. The ideas should head in the same direction.
CHALLENGE 1 – THE PITCH
Brainstorming – whole class 8 min (4×2)
Mike is preparing for the pitch. Every small group will present their own topic in the name of Mike in one minute. They should be aware that an idea is more convincing if it’s strengthened with explanations. All the others in the class are going to play the committee. They can ask questions after the presentation. The teacher moderates
the pitches, he/she can ask questions if needed.
It’s important that this is not an exam. There are no right or wrong answers and no stress. There are questions helping to elaborate the idea.
The 4 groups’ topics are:
1. brand: name, logo, design (drawing)
2. location, room, set-up – “Defining space”(drawing)
3. marketing channels and materials, advertising, creative writing, video, posts, etc (diagram)
4. menu (the products) (written)
First, the whole group brainstorms each topic from the perspective of the committee. That will help the whole group to ask questions later on during the pitch and helps the small groups to give a structure to the preparation.
Preparing for the 1 min presentations, create the idea of the café – 8 min Pitch + questions – forum theatre 10 min
All 4 small groups have a spokesperson in the role of “Mike” who is presenting the idea of the group and answers possible questions – the members of the small group can help him / her out if needed.
Narration (teacher) + Whole group discussion – 3 min
“Mike receives 2M forint funding with one condition:
in a year he has to open the café. He needs
another 5M forint. What should he do?”
CHALLENGE 2 – VOICE MESSAGE FROM FELLOW
The following message could be told or read out loud by the teacher, or it could be a voice
message recorded and played – 2 min
“Hey Mikey! I was thinking about your great café-opening thing, and I have a great idea! There is an empty business-premises in the town centre on a small sidestreet. It’s about 80 m2. The owner of the real estate would rent it for a very low price. A special offer for you if you invest your money in his business for half a year. He is a great businessman,
believe me. He makes great deals and makes good money in no time! In half a year he would double your savings and on top of that, he would invest in your business! He owns several real estates in town and a few bars and pubs, so he knows one thing or two. He knows how to risk wisely, you know? So what are you saying? Are you in? ”
Voices in the head – 3 min
“Mike was puzzled. He listened to the voice message over and over again. Couldn’t sleep the whole night. What kind of thoughts were running through his mind? Should he accept the offer or not? What should he do? Form a sentence: a thought of Mike. It can begin with: I should accept this offer because… or I shouldn’t accept the offer because… Let’s fill the space and stand a certain distance from each other. I’m going to walk among you. When I put my hand on your shoulder, say your sentence out loud.”
Whole group discussion – 5 min
“In the morning Mike made a decision. What was it? Did he accept the offer or not? What do you think?” If the whole group can’t make a mutual decision, that’s all right too. Every decision has its consequences. In this case in the next game we can see two different endings.
> he accepts the offer – then he loses all his money
> he accepts the offer and manages to open the café, but can’t ditch his “mates”
> he doesn’t accept the offer and cannot open the café in one year, so he has to pay the
> he doesn’t accept the offer, tries to convince his parents to invest money in the café
Consequences – snapshots (freeze frames in small groups (3-4 members / group)
2 min instructions + 3 min preparing + 3 min sharing (4-8 pictures)
“Let’s make small groups again with 3-4 members. Every group shall make 1 snapshot (freeze frame). We are one year after the episode above. Choose one title: a) that was the worst moment. b) what I’m happy about now. Mike can say a sentence as well.”
Whole group discussion – reflections – 6 min
Let’s check our diagram from the beginning of this lesson! Did any ideas from the first thoughts appear later in our story?
Would you add some new words to this diagram?
Was Mike’s story realistic or not? Can this actually happen in real life? If not, which part wasn’t believable?
Important: there is no right or wrong answer. Our aim is always to examine a problem or dilemma from different perspectives, find arguments and deepen our understanding by trying different ways, looking at different consequences. The teacher should not make a hint or any suggestion. He / she should always ask questions to help a situation or a problem evolve. Open questions help to deepen the understanding of certain problems or dilemmas.
Written by: Fanni Szemerédi, InSite Drama, Hungary