Snow White and the Seven Sumo Wrestlers

play by Bill Condon , illustrated by Queenie Chan

Learning Intention:

I am learning to investigate spoken interactions such as voice volume, tone, pitch and pace to identify character traits to the audience.

Success Criteria:

  • I can give examples of spoken interactions (volume, tone, pitch and pace)
  • I can identify the character traits of a lead actor in the play
  • I can deliver variations in spoken interactions (volume, tone, pitch and pace) to present the character in a different way

Essential knowledge:

Character is viewed as a description of a fictional person. Students can view this video on Character to further their knowledge.

Tell the students that today we will be looking at drama and specifically the spoken interactions used in delivering a part in a play.

Explain to the students that in drama, a play is delivered to the audience with the spoken interactions (volume, tone, pitch and pace) being an important part of a performance.

As you read, think about these points:

  • Volume- speaking loudly or softly

Example; whispering something to the audience, loudly commanding someone to enter the room, nervously speaking quietly, happily cheering

  • Tone- a tone of voice is the way you say something

Example; casual, chatty, formal, respectful, wondering, nervous, motivating, strong, silly

  • Pitch- how you use your voice to communicate emotion

Example; exclamations, speaking with a low voice or a high voice

  • Pace- how fast or slowly you deliver a speech

Example; slowly and clearly giving instructions, nervously speaking fast


Prior to reading, ask students to look at the name of the play. Discuss with the class, what famous fairy tale do you think this play will be based on?

Hand out copies of the play, Snow White and the Seven Sumo Wrestlers and ask students to take a part in the play (there are fourteen characters), read through the script.

As a class, discuss the characteristics of the Queen and consider how this will be represented in volume, tone, pitch and pace. Ask the students

  • How do you think the author wants the character to be perceived by presenting the Queen with these character traits?
  • Why?


  • Now ask students to consider how they would deliver the lines if the Queen was a lovely, sweet character? Ask the students:
  • By changing the dialogue and intonation of the character, how does this change how we feel about the character?
  • What impact does this have on the text?
  • Which character representation do you prefer?

Ask students to identify traits of their character, match a line in the play that they deliver and think about the way it will be delivered in terms of volume, tone, pitch and pace.

Challenge students to “flip” the character like we did in our sample with the Queen, considering their character with opposite traits.


Sample ideas for flipped characteristics are shown below:

Students can present their character and read a line in the play and then with a different representation (volume, tone, pitch, pace) to convey a flipped view of their character.