After taking Drama for this term, I’ve learned and experienced many new things. For example, throughout the process of devising a piece of theatre, I’ve improved my collaborating and cooperation skills. I’ve realized that in order to devise a piece of theatre, whether it may be short or long, the whole group has to be equally committed and very compromising to everyone else’s ideas. Otherwise, it would be harder to come up with something that everyone is happy about. I’ve also developed more confidence for performing in front of a large group of people. Now, I”m not as nervous about performing/talking in front of a group of people as I was at the beginning of a term. I’ve also realized that I’m more interested in exploring non-naturalistic techniques and abstract theatre, rather than melodrama/naturalistic techniques because abstract theatre is something that can always be done in a totally new way, making much more interesting.
This is the performance of a small part of Macbeth my group put together in Drama class. We only had four people in our group, so one of my group members had to double up as the Second Witch and Third Witch. I was the First Witch in this.
In Drama class recently, we had to retell a fairytale using different techniques. My group used narration, soundscape, tableaux, choral speaking and conscience alley.
I think the most effective non-natural technique is conscience alley because it helps the audience with understanding what the character’s dilemma is. It is important to understand the character’s dilemma because it is usually related to the story’s problem, and will move the story forward, depending on what the character decides. It will also affect the resolution of the story a lot. Also, by putting emphasis on a dilemma and pointing out the pros and cons of each side, you can make that scene more intense and engage the audience by making them want to find out what choice the character will make. For example, in my skit, my group chose to use it when Papa Bear saw Goldilocks on the bed and was deciding between whether he should kill her or not. After Goldilocks open the doors and wonders, “should I eat her?” we start whispering bad and good things to him, and slowly get louder and louder to make it more dynamic. This shows conscience alley is an effective technique because it makes the scene more intense and lets the audience want to find out what Papa Bear will do to Goldilocks.
I think my formative performance went pretty well because we were able to rehearse it well and be sure about what we are doing during the performance. Also, we used techniques that made our performance more interesting, such as, freeze frames. Even though we added in a few lines at the beginning at the last minute, it still went smoothly. I was scared that we would mess up that part because we didn’t rehearse it much, but it ended up being fine. The rest of our performance also didn’t have any major mistakes.
I do like these type of assessments because it’s different from the usual summative assessments where it’s mainly writing and researching or a test. These type of assessments allow me to get up and physically do an activity, and also lets me work with other people. By performing our skits, I can also see what other groups have come up with and learn from them. For example, after watching another group do Goldilocks and the Three Bears, I learnt that you could add in your own narration/scene to make it more interesting because that group added in a scene about Goldilocks at the very beginning. I think adding this in made it a lot more dramatic and drew the audience in. With assessments like writing, you normally don’t look at other people’s work, which doesn’t give you a chance to learn from your classmates.
The “big takeaway” from Drama so far is that while putting together a performance, the main key that will cause it to either turn out good or not is how much you rehearse it. After being done with the planning and discussing, the best way to improve it is to just practice it over and over again until we know it very clearly. For example, after we planned out our fairytale skit, we started to rehearse it many times. After that, I started to feel more confident about our performance because everyone had a clear idea of what to do and their lines. Without rehearsing, you wouldn’t be able to get the practice you need to remember your lines and the performance wouldn’t run as smoothly.