Savannah's Theatre Blog

Child’s Play and Puppets (Experimentation + Production Meeting)

Posted in All About Butoh by Savannah on October 19, 2010


Today we started the lesson by looking at our RI topics. After much confusion I finally have my topic:

What is the ‘alienation effect’ and in what ways could it be utilised in an Epic Theatre production of The Good Woman of Setzuan?

I’m really excited to get started on this. I have a general idea of what it is about from doing Tartuffe earlier this year, yet I don’t feel I know all the details about it that I want to. Furthermore, I know there are a million resources for this. I’m hoping to get down to the State Library to perhaps look at old articles, essays or reviews regarding my question. I’m very happy with this question because it is simple and straightforward; you don’t have to search through the words to find out what it’s really about.

We had a discussion of our upcoming Butoh performance and were discussing any new ideas as well as music for the puppetry. The lack of ideas frustrates me a little bit and I hope I’m justified in saying this; I feel I have put in an average amount. I think there are a couple of people who aren’t really grasping that this is a performance that we are creating and that they shouldn’t rely on others to come up with the ideas. However, there are some people who are obviously putting in a lot of work and are dedicated to this performance which makes me happy again! 🙂 We (well, Taleah) has been struggling to get the lyrics taken out of the song that we all love for the puppetry sequence – I so hope that she can manage it! She is an expert on these things and surely will…. Although we have another plan for it, which is also great, which involves Mel (most likely) playing the really strong beats in the music and humming the melody + a triangle + a glockenspiel.

We showed Ms Flood our puppet sequence later in the lesson. I did feel slightly blocked; not by her or anyone else but by my own focus. We’ve generally been okay without doing the focus exercise at the start of a lesson but I felt this time, I needed it. I think if I’m in the same state next lesson I’ll ask if we can do it. Saying this, I do think that Ms Flood was happy with the idea. We just need to fine tune the choreography and figure out how to link it in as well as how to get to the floor without injuring ourselves.

I think that the showcase is going fairly well, although we definitely need to go back to the beginning and see how it is all linking.


We had our production meeting today focussing on publicity and music. We are putting an “ad” in the school newsletter to make sure that people know about the showcase. When discussing this we came up with a name, or rather, I suggested a name and everyone just agreed (we don’t have much time left until the ad needs to be submitted to Mr Weber) – Butoh Showcase: Child’s Play. I like it because it’s simple and it’s what we focussing on is obvious, what we actually do is not. Cathy’s going to send the ad to Mr Weber and come up with some poster designs for next week. There was more discussion about the music for the puppet section: Taleah is going to keep trying to figuring out a way to remove the lyrics from the song we love and Mel (she’ll organise) and I (I’ll help carry it back) instruments to bring to Thursday’s class so we can workshop with live music. Also, Mel is going to get music from Ms Flood and I think I’ll talk to her about getting that on a USB or CD. A lot of what we do is loosely structured so I think it’s going to be vital to know the music backwards.

On the props side (Daniel’s area) we officially have bubbles! Although they are sadly not edible or in cool shapes. Still, bubbles are bubbles and it’s going to be so much fun to play with them! We are also getting a props box for Thursday because as we continue to collaborate, more props will be added.

Taleah (as stage manager) is going to collaborate a running sheet with a list of entrances, exits, lighting, etc. Ms Flood said it should be so thorough that if she decided to do Child’s Play with a class in years to come, she should be able to replicate the technical side of it almost exactly. I think it will be really helpful and it will be great to see it all together. However, to do this running sheet, we are going to have to actually know the whole piece (everything we are doing) as well as lighting/media, etc. (Bob and Geoff are yet to start their experimentation).

Ms Flood also talked about wings  (!) on Monday and the curious energy level. Can’t wait until Thursday to experiment with that!!


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