MYP Drama Criterion C Improvisation Assessment

Throughout the many classes of improvisation, I think that I have learned a lot and have gained many new experiences which could benefit me in the future. Since the start of the unit I was very excited, because I knew it was going to be full of laughter but I was also unsure about it, because I have never had any experience with improvisation. When we had our first few classes, I felt that I struggled a little and often stumbled along when speaking. However as weeks flew by I felt that I had grasped the main concepts of improvisation.

During our inquiry into improvisation I have learned that failure is a big part of improvisation and everyone has failed before, but this is just part of the learning process. An example where I was unsuccessful during class was when we played a game where one person had to start with a word and the following person had to say another word that connects with the word said before them. During this activity I heard one of my classmates say “hunger”, so right away in my brain I was thinking of “Katniss” from the Hunger Games and that I should say this when it was my turn. I didn’t stop thinking about that and wasn’t listening to the other classmates next to me, so when it was my turn I said “Katniss” but this word had nothing to do with the person beside me. This made me unsuccessful in listening and reacting, because I was planning out and not thinking on the spot. An example where I was unsuccessful was during the improv summative was during the “Death Scene” Our topic was “The Doctors Office” I was hinted that I was the doctor, at that same time a performer asked if I had a PHD and other qualifications, and I responded by saying no repeatedly. This was unsuccessful because I was blocking an offer given from a performer and I did not help develop the platform for the scene.

Apart from failure, there were also many moments of success. An example where I was successful during class was my partner came up to me and asked me if I thought my mom was going to let me buy the game. Right away I was able to connect to that, and think of an experience I had in asking for permission to buy a violent video game. So I answered by saying I was not sure, and then talked about how fun it was going to be. After we decided to call my mom to ask, but then we got news that she had died. This was a successful scene because I was able to think on the spot (while connecting to my own experiences), I accepted my partners offers, and I was also able to tilt the scene when the mom died. An example where I was successful during the summative was during the “Park Bench” scene. In this scene, I sat down next to the performer the looked at his shirt for a long time until it creeped him out, then said that I really liked his shirt. After a while I looked at his shoes, then grabbed his foot, sniffed it, then asked him how much it cost. This was a successful scene because I was able to direct the audiences focal point at the performers shirt and shoes at certain times. Also I think that I was able to keep the attention of the audience at only one area from my eye contact and body language.

Throughout this unit I was given lot’s of feedback from my teacher and peers, I noticed that a lot of the feedback were looking at the same problems and I felt that all were really true. In a summary I felt that the most important techniques I needed to improve on was to listen and react and learn to develop the scene instead of stalling it. I think I was able to improve on my listening and reacting skills the most, even though I still made mistakes, I was really successful in using this skill in games such as the one about the video game. In this game I was able to listen, react, and even tilt the scene in the very end. I think that developing a scene is also a very important part of improvisation, however I was not able to improve on it because I received this feedback during the summative.

In conclusion, I believe that I have developed my improv skills a lot through out this unit, also the concepts of improvisation will always stay with me forever. This is because halfway through the unit, I realized that improv could also be used in life situations not just in drama. Some examples could be when you are in a business meeting, when you are unprepared for a speech, when you bump into a very important client, etc. Also I will take the feedback that I got from this unit along with me to next year, so that I could improve in my improvisational skills. (863 Words)



How do you feel about your product (the performance)? Write 3 adjectives (describing words) that summarize how you feel and then discuss in depth.

After my melodrama performance I feel proud, ecstatic, and relived.

Proud: After many weeks of hard work we have successfully devised a melodrama performance with only a few imperfections. I was really proud of every one of us in the group because at the very start, not everyone was comfortable with physical contact, and everyone found it a challenge to memorize all the lines. However after many classes and lunchtime practices together, on performance day, we were all very well prepared and we did fantastically well!

Ecstatic: Just thinking of our very first rehearsal together and our very last, I could see the huge progress we have made, and how we have grew as performers. Some from being quiet into a dramatic character with very convincing conventions, and from being an uncomfortable into a character comfortable with physical contact. In the end devised such a dramatic melodrama performance!

Relieved: During the week before performance, we were all very nervous and unsure if our final product would go as well as planned. Then on the first day for performances we did not have a chance to perform. This got us a lot more stressed, so we decided to perform first the next day. Our final product came out as planned.

What part of the process do you feel you were strongest at? Explain and give specific examples of moments in rehearsals to back up what you are saying.

I feel that I was strongest at the very end of the process, which was using props, placards and practicing without the script. This is because most of us could memorize all the lines during the last few weeks. For example in our last two lunchtime rehearsals. I had memorized many lines, and used my props such as my cape and gun, while remembering to have the conventions of a villain. I also gave my peers comments on how they could improve, and use their conventions.

What parts of the process did you struggle with (NOTE: this is not the performance). Again, give specific examples. 

I think that I struggled in the middle of the process, because that was when had to devise where everyone would stand. The exact timing of when we go on and off stage. That took quite some time because we would always point out some problems and had to change it. For example during our second lunchtime rehearsal, we would forget to wait for the placard before going on stage. Also during the scene where I would jump out and point my gun and Henry and Amelia. I realized that I should not go offstage before this, I should just use the villain conventions and hide myself with a cape. This I think made our performance more successful.

How did you use feedback to help you get better? Did you use the comments your teacher gave you to reflect upon? Did you seek out feedback elsewhere? It is a REQUIREMENT that you show that you responded to feedback and used it to get better.

I used feedback from Ms. Pierce and my peers to help improve our performance. For example Ms. Pierce told us that our start could have a little more energy, so I suggested that we should just stick with our conventions while we are saying “We present the damsel in this distress”. And it worked out. Another example was I had to use more villain conventions. So I tried to bend my knees and speak in a low and sneaky voice in every single practice. Sometimes even when talking to friends.

Were you proud of the end performance? Which parts in particular? 

I was very proud of the performance, especially on the second page where I had a very long line, and when the damsel was tied to the railway track. This is because I was very proud that I memorized the many lines during this particular scene, and I thought that the damsel did very well in exaggerating her fear in the railway scene. Also the hero did well in memorizing his long line near the end of the performance as well. I felt that after all our work, it resulted in a great performance a great reaction from the audience.

Did things go wrong in the performance? How did you and/or you group cope with this? Did you learn anything by having this happen?

There were a few things that went wrong during the performance, one of them was the hero forgot his lines, but luckily the damsel just followed up by saying her line which was after his. Then during the fight scene, the hero forgot a part, which he was supposed to punch me three times before I fell to the ground. So I waited for him to punch me again, but he didn’t. It felt like some time had passed. This was when I punched him, and he punched me back before I fell to the ground. I learned not to expect the other person to act, but to remember to improvise and things would always work out.

What are the biggest skills as a drama student that you think you have learnt during this Unit?

The biggest skills I learned this unit was exaggeration and the conventions of the three characters in melodrama. The Hero, The Damsel, and The Villain. These skills will help me in future drama classes and performances when there is a need to exaggerate. And when I am acting as a hero, villain, or damsel.

Look back at the goals that you set at the start of the Unit. Have you reached them, started to reach some or totally smashed all of them!? What other goals could you set yourself?

Looking back at the goals I have made at the start of this unit, I can say that I have achieved all of them. I have become more confident during drama class, which can help me with auditions that I am planning to do next year. I have learned many drama techniques and terminology such as blocking, stage directions, exaggeration, conventions, etc. Also I have worked with every single person in my class. And drama isn’t even over yet.

Closing Comments: Conclude with a short paragraph discussing if you enjoyed the Unit and any suggestions about how we could make it more effective next time.

In conclusion, I think that this unit has been really fun for everyone in the class, I really enjoyed every single activity that helped introduce the melodrama unit and I thought that it was great. One thing that can be improved next time is, for the summative maybe we could even devise the whole story. Including the script and the characters. Overall, I really enjoyed this unit.