Savannah's Theatre Blog

Week 4

Posted in IPP by Savannah on February 27, 2011

On Monday, we mainly worked on/started Rolling in the Deep. I was so, so happy with it at this point! Basically, I told Cathy my idea in a nutshell and we just put on the music and did it! It was wonderfful and soo much fun! We get to be really silly in this routine which I really love because it’s pretty much the only light in a pretty dark play. We added a part to it which was with police hats. I wanted to get down to the essence of what I was trying to say (happiness in childhood) and I’d thought of using costumes/playing dress ups like children would (and like we occassionally do). So we did this really fun thing with the police hats where we pick them up in identical motions and with identical timing but then Cathy starts to put her hat on and I look at her, then vise versa and finally we get them on at the same time! I’m so excited!

On Wednesday however, we had some difficulties. It was mainly with Rolling in the Deep which had been going so well! We (both Cathy and I) couldn’t seem to get into our inner child and get the energy/emotion right. It was very frustrating for both of us – I think – so I tried to think of games we could do to get into that stage of not caring what any one thinks and allowing emotions to over rule us. So we started by playing some happy music which for me is music from the Burlesque soundtrack (Christina Aguilera rocks my world!) and for Cathy was Florence and the Machine. This didn’t really work so we tried hot potato with the boxes, soccer with the boxes, chasy and we got a little bit further but no where near where I want it to be. I’m hoping that we were just having a bad day (which would make sense given that we had a lot of major assessment pieces due in a couple of days) and that when we approach it with a fresh mind tomorrow morning, there will be more of that carefree, joyous side.

Something that we worked on that I was really happy with was Turning Tables. What we did was break it down motivation wise, as in we looked at the different stages within the piece and figured out what our characters were thinking, why they were thinking that and the effects of their emotional state. So, it went something like this:

Throughout the piece, my character feels as though she is in control. The audience knows this is not the case due to the drug’s controlling through puppetry which she ignores/is not even aware of.

The piece begins with mirrorring and at this point, Pandora feels as though they have an even, equal and almost loving relationship. The drug thinks no such thoughts but is a manipulator and successfully gets her thinking this.

Only at the end of the piece is there a slight glimmer of realisation in what is really happening and that is when the drug drops her from the puppetry/lets her fall.

The Given Cicumstances:

  1. Who am I? Pandora (I’ve called my character this because I feel her as a ‘light’ character and I feel that the name is very fitting in relation to the play because of Pandora’s box; letting all the bad things into the world but hope along side it), 17 years old. She’s unhappy with her life, her family, school, everything because she feels that she’s not good enough. Using drugs provides a shelter, an escape from that insecurity. That’s why she started. She eventually realises that the drug is controlling her more than all the other influences (i.e. parents, school, etc.) who, she believed, were trying to make her perfect.
  2. What do I want? An escape which provides a feeling of strength in a way because she no longer has to be perfect; freedom.
  3. Why do I want it? Because it seems like the only option
  4. How do I achieve it? By using heroin. When that ultimately fails, she allows her friend to help her.
  5. What are my obstacles? Firstly: hiding it from everyone around me (eyedrops, perfume, long sleeved shirt), then: admitting that I need help
  6. Where am I?

Routines: In her bedroom

China White: In a bedroom of a new “friend’s” house. It’s relatively empty and the room is in pretty dodgy condition. The new “friend” is an addict and has been for a long time and therefore, spends money on drugs rather than furnishing.

Rolling in the Deep: Everywhere and anywhere.

Turning Tables: The same as RITD

Intervention: At Pandora’s house (Cat’s character has approached her in a place most comfortable to P)

Finale:A combination of Intervention and RITD.

* I realise that this is not in as much depth as it should be but when going through the scenes this week, expanding on this is something I plan to focus on.

Another good thing that happened on Wednesday was that we got some of the props that we needed. Whilst Cathy and I were working on Rolling in the Deep, I sent Geoff off to get syringes from the nurse (and to clearly state what we needed them for), then to the science department for a petri dish.

Whilst we a bit behind on our schedule, I feel that we’ve got a lot accomplished and I’m happy with how the piece is progressing! (Although we have like 2 tonnes of work to go but I managed to get quite a bit of work done over the weekend which is exciting!)

Week 4: plan

Monday:

Period 1: discussion

– Laban (briefly, see what work everyone has done, brief discussion)

– Character, inc. Stanislavski (briefly as we will go into more depth during routines)

– Theatre styles

– Costumes

Last 15 minutes of class/remaining time: finale, go through ideas, start linking, etc.

Period 2:

40 minutes: routines 1, 2 and 3, figure out how to get everything on/off stage

10 minutes: Rolling In The Deep – go through

Period 5: working on Finale

Tuesday:

Period 5: Lighting with Taleah

Wednesday:

Period 1 and 2: Focus on Laban as a whole class

Period 5: Lighting with Taleah

Thursday:

Period 5 – Turning Tables, focus on Laban

After School (4:30/5:00 – 5:45 – depending on how late production things run): Rolling In The Deep

Friday:

Period 3: lighting with Taleah

* No P5 rehearsal

The Routines:

Music: Heavy In Your Arms (Soundtrack Version), Florence and the Machine

Props: (what we have)

Cat Sav
  Head band (white Alice band)
  Mascara
  Perfume
  Necklace (to rehearse with)
   
   
   

 

Props: (what we need)

Cat Sav Other
Hair brush Necklace that works 2 X card tables
Hair clips/band Hairbrush 2 X chairs
Mascara/lip balm Eye drops/eye dropper  
Perfume Long sleeved shirt (?)  
Jewellery    
     
     

 

1st Routine:

–        This routine goes with the music

–        There may be a costume addiction (with Sav’s character) that is Cathy’s colour or the other way around

–        Time: 2:32 without costume addition

Why Cat’s character is involved:

I want to make it clear that she is my friend before I started to take the drug. This defines her first role.

*Optional: Cathy puts on something of her own colour to emphasise to the audience that it is her colour.

2nd Routine:

–        Cathy will be in this routine but her actions will go with the music (like the 1st routine) whilst Sav’s character’s actions will be slightly altered because the drug is changing/effecting her life

–        There Alice band will be replaced with eye drops in this scene to mask bloodshot eyes.

–        No interaction between the two although they know the other is there (Sav’s character is less aware of this )

* There may be costume addition/removal in this scene: long sleeve shirt/jacket , to cover up injection marks – EXPERIMENT

3rd Routine:

–        Cathy will not be in this scene because she is trying not to be dragged into Sav’s character’s problems (Cathy’s character is scared)

–        It will be totally out of order and not with the music. All props will be set up but ignored. This is because deterioration of physical appearance is a common sign of drug abuse

–        Cathy’s table will still be set up but she will not be at it. This is to emphasise her absence

* There may be costume addition/removal in this scene: long sleeve shirt/jacket , to cover up injection marks – EXPERIMENT

–        I like this less here because I think my character is too far gone by this stage to care.

How they will work:

There will be two card tables set up (by us) downstage right and left with the props already on them. There will be chairs set up to one side of the table (on each table) towards centre stage. Both Cat and Sav (in character) will walk off their respective sides, leaving the tables but in black out may go back to get them (not in character).

Other:

When we went backstage with Nathan ? after seeing Superheroes by Stone/Castro and Arts House, we saw tables set up in the wings with their props in a particular order so they knew exactly where everything was. This is something that is important to do for this sequence.

 

The Routines:

Music: Heavy In Your Arms (Soundtrack Version), Florence and the Machine

Props: (what we have)

Cat Sav
  Head band (white Alice band)
  Mascara
  Perfume
  Necklace (to rehearse with)
   
   
   

 

Props: (what we need)

Cat Sav Other
Hair brush Necklace that works 2 X card tables
Hair clips/band Hairbrush 2 X chairs
Mascara/lip balm Eye drops/eye dropper  
Perfume Long sleeved shirt (?)  
Jewellery    
     
     

 

1st Routine:

–        This routine goes with the music

–        There may be a costume addiction (with Sav’s character) that is Cathy’s colour or the other way around

–        Time: 2:32 without costume addition

Why Cat’s character is involved:

I want to make it clear that she is my friend before I started to take the drug. This defines her first role.

*Optional: Cathy puts on something of her own colour to emphasise to the audience that it is her colour.

2nd Routine:

–        Cathy will be in this routine but her actions will go with the music (like the 1st routine) whilst Sav’s character’s actions will be slightly altered because the drug is changing/effecting her life

–        There Alice band will be replaced with eye drops in this scene to mask bloodshot eyes.

–        No interaction between the two although they know the other is there (Sav’s character is less aware of this )

* There may be costume addition/removal in this scene: long sleeve shirt/jacket , to cover up injection marks – EXPERIMENT

3rd Routine:

–        Cathy will not be in this scene because she is trying not to be dragged into Sav’s character’s problems (Cathy’s character is scared)

–        It will be totally out of order and not with the music. All props will be set up but ignored. This is because deterioration of physical appearance is a common sign of drug abuse

–        Cathy’s table will still be set up but she will not be at it. This is to emphasise her absence

* There may be costume addition/removal in this scene: long sleeve shirt/jacket , to cover up injection marks – EXPERIMENT

–        I like this less here because I think my character is too far gone by this stage to care.

How they will work:

There will be two card tables set up (by us) downstage right and left with the props already on them. There will be chairs set up to one side of the table (on each table) towards centre stage. Both Cat and Sav (in character) will walk off their respective sides, leaving the tables but in black out may go back to get them (not in character).

Other:

When we went backstage with Nathan ? after seeing Superheroes by Stone/Castro and Arts House, we saw tables set up in the wings with their props in a particular order so they knew exactly where everything was. This is something that is important to do for this sequence.

 

A Little Bit on Epic Theatre

Posted in Uncategorized by Savannah on February 27, 2011

Epic Theatre

Epic theatre’s main purpose was to educate. It was to try and make a difference by allowing their audience to absorb a message and then act upon it. Piscator (German director) and Brecht were both interested in creating a ‘strictly intellectual’ (Crawford, Hurst, Lugering, Wimmer, 1980: 210) environment in which to deliver a message.

However, Piscator did not want to have no emotion involved and tried to combine fiction and real like whereas Brecht was convinced that total alienation was the way to make a difference.

Saying this, Brecht’s plays were not just full of gloom. He incorporated comedy to portray humans finding light in a horribly ‘corrupt capitalist world’ (Crawford, Hurst, Lugering, Wimmer, 1980: 213).

Alienation

The idea of alienation was to keep the audience objective and thereby allowing them to learn and, hopefully, act upon what they have learnt. This was achieved by breaking down the fourth wall by allowing the illusion of a ‘make-believe’ play to be destroyed. This was done by changing scenery/the set in full view of the audience, seeing the musicians on stage, etc.

Bibliography:

– Crawford, Hurst, Lugering, Wimmer, 1980, Acting in Person and in Style in Australia, not sure what edition (Ms Flood – please can you help?), McGraw-Hill Australia, Australia

General Information About the Eight Basic Efforts: Laban

Posted in IPP by Savannah on February 27, 2011

General Information about the Eight Basic Efforts

We use the eight basic efforts in everyday life in both our movement and speech however we do not necessarily use them all. Generally, each individual’s mannerisms and personality affect their movement range. We may branch out occasionally due to extreme emotions, i.e. anger.

There is also the question of how we prefer to move for certain actions but they can be made appropriate to the task at hand. For example, when lifting a box above your head, it would be unwise and ineffective to employ the floating effort. It would be more effective to use a direct or strong effort. Saying this, it is often the case that we use more than one effort for an action. It may be more effective to slash to get the box up to a shelf and then press to move it further along the shelf.

These efforts can be performed with or without the flow factor. It is essential to learn control of the flow factor to be able to apply it when necessary.

Flow:

Flow describes movement that is unimpeded or continuous such as floating your hair in water, some forms of handwriting, robes or running water aided by gravity. 

It can be successive or simultaneous.

Successive flow: when one body part follows another, carrying the movement along

Simultaneous flow: When one body part follows another, carrying the movement.

Movement can be both simultaneous and successive. For example, if you allow a trunk-like movement to travel from your knees, through your hips, chest, shoulder and head and allow your arms (or legs) to move in a successive motion, carrying energy from your shoulder through your elbows, wrists, hands and finally fingers, it would be both simultaneous and successive. This is because the body is simultaneously working together and separately.

Free flow is entirely unimpeded and difficult to stop suddenly. When utilising free flow, it feels as if there are no problems or complications that could occur. There is no reason to put the action ‘on hold’ (Newlove, Dalby, 2004: 128); the mover feels completely confident.

Bound flow is hesitant and involves more care than free flow. However, bound flow can be tentative or confident. If you are performing a task that requires care but you know what you are doing, it would be bound flow because you are taking care but confident because you  know what you are doing.

An example of free flow as apposed to bound flow: If you are painting a wall you would use free, broad and sweeping strokes with a large brush (free flow) but if you were painting a window frame, you would employ a steady hand, take more careful strokes and try not to get any paint on the glass (bound flow).

Space:

In order to comprehend the space we inhabit. We need certain recognisable signposts such as walls, fences or boundaries to first determine the size of the space. To then pinpoint our exact location, it is necessarily to know the distance we are from these boundaries. When we move we ‘push some space out of the way’ (Newlove, Dalby, 2004: 112) and the area we just vacated is filled with more space.

There are different ways to inhabit the space we operate in. If someone is naturally shy they will cringe back into their kinesphere to try and detract attention. They are minimising their use of space by doing this. If we were to take it to the extreme, we would be able to use the least space possible by ‘bending all of our joints and curling up into a ball’ (Newlove, Dalby, 2004:112). Laban called this gathering. Contrastingly, we can stretch all of our limbs into a star like position, stretching even our fingers, to extend our kinesphere. This is called scattering. It is important to remember that we cannot only gather and scatter our whole body but individual body parts as well.

It is important not to fear using the surrounding space.

Time:

Both space and time are necessary to obtain the ‘where’ and ‘when’ in a given situation. Everyone responds differently to time even though we are surrounded by clocks and watches. This is because we all inbuilt clocks within us that determine our actions/what sort of movements we are suited to.

Rhythm is an essential element of time; they are ‘inseparable’ (Newlove, Dalby, 2004: P117).

Laban says that ‘rhythm is the lawless law which governs us all without exception. But only a few are familiar with it, although it is always around us and within us and reveals itself everywhere’. We generally think of rhythm as something associated with music which, of course, it is, but Laban pointed out that the rhythm without us allows us to dance and move without music but it is simply not ‘bound by metricality’ (Newlove, Dalby, 2004: 117). This is where the idea of regular and irregular rhythm comes into play.

There is both regular and irregular rhythm. A movement that is not bound or restricted has an irregular time-rhythm, and of course, regular is the opposite. A performer should be able to express both.

It is debatable whether there are some people in the world who have no sense of rhythm because, really, it is in everyone; in our regular heart beat, breath pulse and our walk.

Weight

Weight is a particularly interesting aspect of Laban’s theories because of it’s realtion with gravity. It is interesting to note that the way people move naturally in relation to weight is not necessarily dependent on their mass. For example, a skinny person may stomp around or vise versa. In Laban for All, weight is said to be ‘the force exerted on a body by a gravitational field’ and that ‘our ability to stand upright depends on the tension between the force of the body and the pull of gravity’ (Newlove, Dalby, 2004: 119) so it seems that some people will ‘indulge’ in gravity whilst some will ‘resist’ (Newlove, Dalby, 2004: 119).

Weight affects both space and time. If we are heavy, or indulging in gravity, we will move slowly.

The kinetic force is how much energy is required to move in space.

External resistance is the resistance we have against what we are trying to do. It ignores the resistance of gravity.

Kinetic sensing is tested when we have to pick up and hold weight.

The Eight Basic Efforts

Flicking: Flexible, Sudden, Light

Flicking is flexible in its use of space and it resists both Weight and Time.

It is a movement with free flow. It is crisp, light and always brief.

Wringing: Flexible, Sustained, Strong

This primarily involves movement in the opposite direction, such as wringing out a towel where your hands will move in two opposite directions.

Keep in mind that wringing is not restricted to the hands.

Dabbing: Direct, Sudden, Light

This is usually performed with free flow and is very flexible.

There is nearly always a rebound, meaning something that the movement bounces off (not necessarily literal).

Punching: Direct, Sudden, Strong

This involves violent, direct movements but can be performed with bound or free flow.

There is no indulgence in this effort; it overcomes Weight, Space and Time.

 

Floating: Flexible, Sustained, Light

This effort is like flying but can be through air or water.

It can be performed with bound or free flow.

It suggests ‘buoyancy and weightlessness’ (Newlove, Dalby, 2004: 139) however it is slow paced and indirect.

Slashing: Sudden, Strong, Flexible

This effort is usually performed with free flow.

When we think of slashing, the general though is a sword slashing towards an object and meeting resistance. When performing, this effort tend to fade into a float at the point it would meet resistance.

 

Gliding: Sustained, Light, Direct

This effort is a smooth movement, generally performed with bound flow.

There is a high level of control in this movement which comes from muscular counter-tensions. This is the way in which this effort differs from floating; floating does not have that level of control.

Pressing: Direct, Sustained, Strong

Pressing is applied to pushing, crushing and squeezing (pressing from both directions).

It is efficient in its use of space and is performed with bound flow which means that the action can be paused but not completely stopped.

However, there is still a sense of fluency similar to the glide.

Gravity and weight are closely aligned with this effort as they can help or hinder you depending on the direction in which you are pressing.

 

The Dynamospher

The Dynamospher was Laban’s term for the imaginary structure that illustrates the eight basic efforts.

They dimensional cross within the cube is structured in such a way that it illustrates the nature of time, weight and space.

Light to Strong: goes from the centre of the floor to the centre of the ceiling, indicating that light is high whilst strong is deep.

Flexible to Direct: goes from the centre of the right wall to centre of the left. This is because of the action of raising your arm or leg to either side. If you were to raise your right arm and move it to the right side of your body, you would be relatively free of resistance (freedom) but if you move it across your body to the left side, you would encounter resistance and the movement would be very limited and would, therefore, direct.

Sustained to Sudden: goes from the centre of the front wall to the centre of the back wall. Laban noted that we mainly use are arms and legs in front of our body where movement is easily sustained. If we move them behind our body, we encounter more resistance and our movements are necessarily short and therefore sudden.

Bibliography:

– Newlove, Jean, 1993, Laban for Actors and Dancers, Putting Laban’s Movement Theory into Practice, A Step-by-Step Guide, Nick Hern Books, United Kingdom

– Newlove, Dalby, 2004, Laban for All, Nick Hern Books, United Kingdom

Eclectic Theatre, Vsevolod Meyerhold and Bio-mechanics

Posted in Uncategorized by Savannah on February 27, 2011

Eclectic Theatre

Eclectic theatre essential brings material from a variety of sources. When eclectic theatre was beginning to emerge, many dramatists were rejecting many concepts of naturalism and realism. They were looking for something more modern and experimental. However, they still incorporated many elements of past styles, such as Epic Theatre, Absurdist Theatre and Theatre of the Oppressed.

There came to be a greater focus on movement to tell a story, rather than dialogue. Theatre pieces began to emphasise dance, sound and light as ‘the primary expressions of language’ (Crawford, Hurst, Lugering, Wimmer, 1980: 238). Movement was made to be highly stylized and dramatist’s incorporated Asian ideas/techniques such as those found in Tai Chi and Butoh, as well as Laban’s theory of spatial movement, gymnastics, acrobatics and mime.

Eclectic theatre in the late 20th Century has been particular focussed on using movement as a means of story-telling.

Vsevolod Meyerhold and Bio-mechanics

Vsesvolod Meyerhold was the first to come up with what he labelled ‘bio-mechanics’. He had experimented with furthering Stanislavski’s approach in one of  Stanislavski’s workshops. Both believed that the one approach could not work for every play. Together they ‘(modernised)’ (Crawford, Hurst, Lugering, Wimmer, 1980: 199) Stanislavski’s style of acting. It is said in Acting in Person and in Style in Australia that the efficiency of bio-mechanics was a ‘reflex action’ (Crawford, Hurst, Lugering, Wimmer, 1980: 199) to the industrialised society. Movement became more significant and much emphasis was placed o gesture rather than dialogue.

Bio-mechanics were often unrealistic and mechanical and called on gymnastic s, circus movement, ballet, dance and acrobatics. Yet it was not for show; the employment of such things was to trigger emotion in the performer to add to the emotional impact on the audience. Bio-mechanics become very dissimilar to Stanislavski’s work as Meyerhold believed that ‘movement was superior to speech (Crawford, Hurst, Lugering, Wimmer, 1980: 200).

This comes under the umbrella of Symbolist Drama.

Symbolist Drama

Movement in symbolist drama helps to define relationships, as well as emotional and symbolic opinions. It becomes a ‘world in which reality and dreams mingle’ (Crawford, Hurst, Lugering, Wimmer, 1980:202). Actions are often disconnected and alter between that of a realistic and dream like state, much like the actual quality of a dream.

Often, movement is dehumanised to add emphasis on the surreal element of symbolist drama but are then smooth and flow freely in a dreamy fashion. It is a world in which transformation and a strong relationship between the extremes is crucial.

Week 3!

Posted in Uncategorized by Savannah on February 21, 2011

Unfortunately I was really sick this week so we didn’t really get much done on our piece which is now named The Heroine which we all thought was a nice play on words!

So Monday (our double) I was away so Geoff and Cat were just trying out a few different things. It was a slightly problematic situation given that there are no scenes where they actually interact so they mainly worked on the second scene China White which is where the heroin is first injected/taken. They found a more subtle way of showing the taking of heroin in which she drags her right hand along her left arm but there is a table nearby (a small one) which is set up with four syringes, a little dish (like a Petri dish), a “sachet” of heroin (white powder wrapped up into a little square) and liquid of some form. As she is doing this, Geoff (the drug) is slowly walking up behind her; she can’t see him but the audience can. He doesn’t touch her or do anything like puppetry which happens later in the piece; this is a device used to make the audience aware that he is the personification of the drug. They were thinking potentially having Cathy do that as well but I want to make it clear that she is not taking the drug as well and I think it will be more effective and focussed this way.

Unfortunately, this means she does not have much of a part so I’ve been thinking of ways to give her a more significant part and effectively show some of the other symptoms of drug abuse. The thing is that I don’t want to just show that using drugs is bad; I want there to be a focus on the person who is trying to help as well. So it works well that Cathy needs a bigger role and it adds another layer to the piece.

On Wednesday we finished Turning Tables which made me incredibly happy. I’m really happy with the choreography and the way Geoff is working. Our only problems at this stage will fix themselves with rehearsals. The music is working a lot better than Shelter did so it’s great to now that we made the right decision there! I decided to shorten the music so that it could be intense, focussed and polished by the time we perform it !

– Sorry this is up late!

Week 2: IP

Posted in Uncategorized by Savannah on February 13, 2011

I felt a bit blocked this week and I found myself getting easily frustrated. I would get frustrated with myself and then take my frustration out on Geoffrey mainly, who would be understanding which would make me more frustrated – not very productive. And I feel bad for that and did at the time but it was like a horrible cycle.

Saying that, we did get somewhere with “Shelter”. I would do this chronologically but I do not remember the order in which everything happened so I’ll just go through what did happen in no particular order.

I was finding that our choreography was not fitting very well to the music (Shelter by The XX). I love the song and feel the lyrics are very suitable but I wasn’t feeling inspired by it and I felt that what I was choreographing did just not quite work. I was listening to Adele’s new album 21 when I heard the song Turning Tables and I could really feel it. I started by moving to that with no particular structure just doing what came naturally and transfering that choreography to Shelter which was working relatively well but then I just thought – why not use Turning Tables when I had a vision so clearly etched in me? I showed the piece and what I had choreographed to it to Cathy and Geoffrey. I was a bit nervous about their response because I obviously care a lot about what they think and it was a quite a different song and chore (I did incorporate moves/ideas from Shelter into TT). I think they liked it though, although I know they both really liked shelter so maybe we’ll be able to incorporate the song some how… They both agreed that the chore fitted more, so that’s good.

I’m really excited about this section because it shows two extravagantly different sides of the drug and therefore two different sides of the ‘protagonist’. There’s the pair (the drug and the addicted) that work equally, co-operatively and with harmony, presented through mirroring. This, we know, is actually not the case and it therefore exemplifies the manipulative side of the drug; showing the many different attractions that it has. Then there’s the drug that totally controlling and unforgiving, shown – quite obviously, I think – through puppetry. For the puppetry section I want well, me, to have doll like qualities in my movement to show how utterly controlled she is by the drug. Geoff will be entirely unforgiving and rid of all good emotions and feelings. He will be pleased with the power he has over her and intent on pushing her to her limits, and push past them quite easily.

Upon thinking further, I decided to include Cathy as the friend/family member rather than the psychologist/analyist because I was worried about getting the message across. I will be trying to drag her in, towards the drug, and she will be resisting; scared of being engulfed in that life. I think the message is slowly refining itself. I think it’s going towards: you’re allowed to keep yourself away – it’s okay to do that – if you’re scared of being dragged into a life of drugs, etc. Something like that anyway.

Due to my ridiculous cycle of frustration, we had to make a slight change to the schedule/plan of attack for this term. The new plan is to have the chore done for Shelter AKA Turning Tables and Rolling in the Deep done by the end of next week (week 3). I hope I can get my act together this week – I will though, I’m determined to. I hate letting others down so I need to redeem myself.

In other news:

–  I bought the calender for our theatre class to personalise but I forgot my USB with the pictures on it soo I’ll have to get that done early this coming week.

– We had auditions for Alice in Wonderland on Thursday. I went up for Alice and I think I did quite well. I was really happy with my singing audition because I’d been struggling to get my intentions across but seemingly I was able to in my audition because Ms Krilis was quite affected! I think the acting side of the audition was a lot better on my part, or just different maybe. I think this is because of a couple of things: 1. Alice’s character is really close to mine so it’s not exactly a stretch, 2. I was confident that  it was something I could really do well due to point 1. So they are sort of the same, but we find out tomorrow what parts we have and I so hope I get Alice!

First classes of Year 12!

Posted in IPP by Savannah on February 6, 2011

We had to miss out on our first double period (Monday morning) to get our books, etc. and it was like, who really cares? I thought theatre class was much more important…

When we did get our first class, we got all of our due dates which I’ll put up here in case I lose the sheet.

IP – Friday 1st April

IPP – Friday 13th May

RI – Friday 10th June

PPP – Friday 2nd September

TPPP – Friday 23rd September

I’m really happy with the order everything happens in. Whilst a couple of people have said that they would have liked the IP to occur later in the year, I’m really glad we’re doing it first. We all have so many ideas and I think we would be distracted through the other assignments thinking about the IP, if the others had occurred before it. Because we had so many ideas, we were able to jump straight into it after we had discussed dates and who was doing what.

Over the holidays, Taleah and I had been talking and thinking a lot about the IP and our projects/ideas so we had roles, both backstage and on stage, organised. For the most part, we were doing the backstage roles ourselves because there wasn’t much to each role. Although, I asked Taleah to do my lighting because I’m not particularly good at/interesting in lighting and she really wants to do it! Unfortunetely, Daniel decided not to do his idea for a performance which meant he either needed to do something in my piece or Taleah’s. Ms Flood also suggested that he could do the school production (Alice in Wonderland!) as his IP. He’s now doing lighting for Taleah so hopefully that all works out.

My performance is based on drug addiction and I’m classifying it as contemporary physical theatre. It took me quite a while to figure out some form of classification because I was under the impression that physical theatre was not a theatre style. After a bit of research and finding information about a piece of physical theatre that I saw a couple of years ago – Bodyline – and having Julia Cotton (director/choreographer  of Bodyline, Head of Movement Studies at NIDA) class the piece as physical theatre made me sure that I could call my piece physical theatre.

I chose to do physical theatre because it makes the most sense to me as a form of communication. Choosing the issue of drug abuse/addiction made it more important to me to be able to strongly communicate something, as it is an issue that has affected so many people, including my family. The main message I want to communicate is that as one person – a friend or family member – you can try and help the addicted or struggling but you cannot overrule them and take a higher position in their recovery until they allow you to. It’s an icredibly important message for me to portray, and something I have been trying to come to terms with.

I asked Cathy and Geoffrey to be in my piece/help me with it because I know they are the people most comfortable with physical work in the class. Being able to move well is obviously something that is incredibly important in my piece so that the three of us involved are dancers is, I have to admit, no coincidence. Saying that, I know we all work extremely well together from our work on Child’s Play. This has really proved to be true as in our first discussion on Wednesday, we all contributed and really liked each others ideas.

Before I go into the ideas for scenes, I should probably describe the characters involved.

The most obvious role is the addicted. I’m having her as a teenager and playing her myself. She experimented with drugs because her life was falling apart. Drugs became her escape or “shelter”. This is my character.

The drug: Rather than having the drug as an  unseen force, I wanted to personify it highlighting the way in which the abuser starts using, why she continues and what happens when she eventually tries to stop. I thought it would be more effective in delivering a message because it will be quite confrontational to the audience and will hopefully have them listening to what I’m trying to say.

The friend/family member (Cat). This role is someone who has been in her life since she was very young. She wants to help her friend but is scared of who she has become and is equally fearful of being drawn in to that world.

The analyst: This is a role like a chorus in Shakespearean plays. Also played by Cathy, her main role is in the puppetry/mirroring scene (“Shelter”) in which she pauses the action and analyses or explains particularly significant features. Whilst I don’t want the audience completely isolated, as I personally don’t like it as a method of eduction given that I care less about something if I am not emotionally involved, I want a certain level of alienation combined with emotional engagement so that they think, but truly care about what they are thinking of. This is the purpose of the analyst.

Here are the ideas so far:

The High

Music: Rolling in the Deep by Adele

Involves friend/family member (Cat), the addicted (me) and the drug (Geoff). It’s really the only ‘light’ scene in the piece and it reverts to childhood where everything was simple and we were, for the most part, oblivious to the real problems of the world (in many cases). To really highlight this theme, there will be a building of a cardboard box fort and dress ups (in a simple version – using hats, scarves, etc.). Combined with this will be random, fun and hopefully organic dancing; clapping and general fun.

All of this is juxtaposed with the lyrics of the song:

Rolling in the Deep Lyrics – Adele

There’s a fire starting in my heart,
Reaching a fever pitch and it’s bring me out the dark,

Finally, I can see you crystal clear,
Go ahead and sell me out and I’ll lay your shit bare,
See how I’ll leave with every piece of you,
Don’t underestimate the things that I will do,

There’s a fire starting in my heart,
Reaching a fever pitch and it’s bring me out the dark,

The scars of your love remind me of us,
They keep me thinking that we almost had it all,
The scars of your love, they leave me breathless,
I can’t help feeling,

We could have had it all,
(You’re gonna wish you never had met me),
Rolling in the deep,
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep),
You had my heart inside of your hand,
(You’re gonna wish you never had met me),
And you played it to the beat,
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep),

Baby, I have no story to be told,
But I’ve heard one on you and I’m gonna make your head burn,
Think of me in the depths of your despair,
Make a home down there as mine sure won’t be shared,

The scars of your love remind me of us,
(You’re gonna wish you never had met me),
They keep me thinking that we almost had it all,
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep),
The scars of your love, they leave me breathless,
(You’re gonna wish you never had met me),
I can’t help feeling,
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep),

We could have had it all,
(You’re gonna wish you never had met me),
Rolling in the deep,
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep),
You had my heart inside of your hand,

(You’re gonna wish you never had met me),
And you played it to the beat,
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep),

Could have had it all,
Rolling in the deep,
You had my heart inside of your hand,
But you played it with a beating,

Throw your soul through every open door,
Count your blessings to find what you look for,
Turn my sorrow into treasured gold,
You pay me back in kind and reap just what you sow,

(You’re gonna wish you never had met me),
We could have had it all,
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep),
We could have had it all,
(You’re gonna wish you never had met me),
It all, it all, it all,
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep),

We could have had it all,
(You’re gonna wish you never had met me),
Rolling in the deep,
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep),
You had my heart inside of your hand,
(You’re gonna wish you never had met me),
And you played it to the beat,
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep),

Could have had it all,
(You’re gonna wish you never had met me),
Rolling in the deep,
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep),
You had my heart inside of your hand,

But you played it,
You played it,
You played it,
You played it to the beat.

I hadn’t really listened to the lyrics of this song but when I played it to Cat and Geoff, Cat commented that it was not at all happy. It turns out that the lyrics are actually perfect for this scene, especially the backing singing because the message is clear, – ‘you’re going to wish you never met me’ – it makes sense in that she is going to wish she never started using drugs given how ugly it gets and this line – which stood our most to me – is not the most obvious line; it shows deception, which the drug employs.

Puppetry/Mirroring: “Shelter”

Music: Shelter by The XX

For this scene I wanted to bring back the puppetry we did in Child’s Play and the mirroring exercise we did in the Butoh workshop but I want to extend it so we are challenged. This is a very important scene as she sees the ugly side of what she is doing/the drug but is totally compelled to continue; she is unable to escape. It’s very important for the audience to see the progression of the drug’s ugly side because they are able to sympathise with the user.

I like the contrast betweeen puppetry and mirroring because they are essentially opposites: mirroring showing co-operation – both the drug and the addicted are working together, contrasting hugely with puppetry in which the drug is in total control. However, I want the audeince to similtaneously be compelled to watch and to detatch themselves, as she would be feeling so I don’t want a clean cut line between doing mirroring and puppetry so I want to break it up with movement really depicting the savage side of the drug, which she is beginning to see. What we choreographed this week is the perfect example of what I’m trying to explain.

Geoff and I begin with mirroring but it is very exact and precise, showing the supposed harmony. It quickly changes when he first grabs me around my waist and I try to claw him off, he then grabs my arms, then my neck, etc. It’s showing the many ways in which he is able to control me or rather, that he is cunning in finding ways for me to continue using.
Note: when I say ‘me’, I do not actually mean me (obviously).

He changes his tactic after this and compells me again. From this point I want to progress into puppetry to have another sudden change, this time, however, it is one I am not particularly aware of given that I have just been compelled (or just taken another hit).

There are some other ideas that we came up with that don’t have a place in a scene yet.

– I react to noises/actions made by the drug that Cathy does not react to. Such as, the drug stomping on stage = I hit my hand/fist on the table. As no one else can see what the drug is doing or why I’m randomly hitting my fist on a table, I can’t take it and I end up screaming or something done in equal frustration. Cat can’t see the drug – it affects everyone differently.

– with the cardboard box fort creating in Rolling in the Deep, a box is taken away each black out to symbolise the deterioratin effect of the drug (the good side). They will be knocked down in the last scene to show total disruption of the illusion.

– In the last scene, we see the drug as only anger and ugly things. Geoff will portray this by doing the really scary things that guys often do when angry, i.e. hits wall, above addicted head. There will be no music for this as I think that will make it more effective and confronting.

I think it’s progressing really well and I can’t wait to continue !