“Fractured FAIrytales”: An Idea for Using AI in Theatre Class

Why?

One potential use for AI technologies like ChatGPT is as a creative partner. This lesson is designed to help students rethink the plots of well-known stories then perform the new versions in order to flex their own creativity and think critically about AI capabilities.
Materials Needed Time needed 
  • Computers with internet access
  • List of fairytales for students to choose from (optional).
  • Props and costume materials for skits (optional, but can enhance creativity).
  • A space for performances (e.g., cleared classroom area or stage).
Approximately 60 mins (can also be multiple class periods if students want more time for prep or performing)
Objectives
  • Students will be able to collaborate with ChatGPT to generate alternative plot suggestions for a chosen fairytale.
  • Students will be able to devise and perform a skit based on one of the AI-generated plot alterations, demonstrating their understanding of the fairytale’s original order of events.
  • Students will be able to reflect on the capabilities of AI in generating ideas for innovative and creative storytelling.
Lesson  

Fairytale Selection 

Divide students into small groups and ask each group to choose a fairytale from a provided list (or any fairytale that they want).

AI-Assisted Plot Alteration

Each group should ask ChatGPT to generate suggestions on how to slightly alter the plot of their chosen fairy tale using this prompt: How could I slightly alter the plot of [insert fairy tale] to stay true to the fairytale’s order of events, but make it different than the original? Please provide concise and simple suggestions for how to do this.

Skit Preparation 

Each group selects one of ChatGPT’s “fractured” suggestions for their fairytale. They then devise a 5-minute skit based on this altered plot, ensuring they remain true to the fairytale’s original order of events. Encourage creativity in terms of setting, time period, and character adaptations.

Skit Performances

Allow each group to perform their skits. If there are many groups, you might need to allocate more time in a future class period.

Reflection and Discussion

As a whole class, engage students in a short discussion on their observations about the AI’s capabilities in generating creative plot alterations.Reflect on the benefits and limitations of using AI for innovative storytelling.

Supplemental Activities  
Mix & Match: Generate AI plot alterations for two fairytales, then challenge students to combine them into one cohesive story.
Write & Illustrate: Extend the activity by having students write and illustrate their fractured fairytales. They could create a mini-book or a digital presentation.