Savannah's Theatre Blog

Finished!

Posted in Uncategorized by Savannah on April 4, 2011

I got caught up after the performances writing about every single aspect of management, etc, etc. until I couldn’t even get my thoughts straight! So, I am bringing it down and answering a more basic question:

How did I feel about the performance?

I felt very, very strange afterwards. I was a mixture of so many things. I was relieved that it was over, sad that it was over, disappointed in myself because I was sure I could have done more, worried about reactions, happy that it came together and totally shocked by how quickly it had gone. My mind was whirling! disappointment was strongest to me directly after the performance: all my mistakes, no matter how small, were going through my mind on repeat. We were out of time at the end of Betray, the reserved seat was TAKEN and I needed to sit on the floor instead of the chair which I did not like and there were some moments in Turning Tables that were not quite as  smooth as I would have liked. I was so sure that my focus had not been strong enough, that I didn’t portray my character as I intended; that I’d let myself down. I think this was the big thing. I don’t mean to sound full of myself or anything but I put so, so much work into this project and I was so terrified that I’d let myself down. If others had let me down (which they didn’t! But I’ll get to that), I would have at least had some one to blame and I could have said “Well, I did my best”. If I had been the weak link, it would mean I had not put enough work in and had not tried my absolute hardest.

I think my initial disappointment was just a reaction to my extreme disbelief that it was over and maybe adrenaline? I’m not entirely sure but once I got over it, at least slightly, and listened to the feedback and got hugged by like a million people, I realised what a huge amount Cat, Geoff and I had managed to achieve. Most people I spoke to said it was really powerful – especially the finale – and some said it was moving (!) and I think everyone said that Geoffrey was scary! I had to give myself a stern talking to and not let my insecurities overrule the little bubble of joy and pride I had managed to create!

I was so unbelievably proud of Geoff and Cat. One of the stand out moments for me over this entire experience was watching Cathy do the 3rd Routine for the first time. I felt so, so proud and realised that I trusted her absolutely; she had given me exactly what I wanted and more. After the performance I felt this feeling again towards both Cat and Geoff; I feel all motherly and proud just thinking about the performance!

Watching Taleah’s piece for the first time was incredible! I’d only really seen small parts of it and I was so proud of everyone involved (there I go being all motherly again!) especially Taleah because I knew the amount of work she’d put in and I could see how well it had payed off!

Something that made my night extra special was that they had organised flowers for both me and Taleah! It was such a sweet, thoughtful thing to do and I felt so good that I’d been able to play a significant part in the night!

Connected

Posted in Uncategorized by Savannah on March 21, 2011

I wanted to have a much more polished version of this! But, I have very little time so I figure that I’ll fix it up when I get a chance.

 

Connected

When we first walked into the theatre, we saw the start of Reben’s sculpture which seemed to be another version of The Magic Wave. The lighting was soft and only parts of the stage were lit. The bottom of the sculpture was illuminated but was dark underneath. The other half of the stage was in soft light with dark around the edges. The most remarkable element of the lighting at the beginning of the piece, was that the lit up portion of the stage was interrupted by square outlines – a shadow created by the sculpture. Before the piece has even begun, we are hit with boundaries and the feeling of being trapped. Saying this, the lighting was very soft and created ease within the audience. The contrast between the boundaries and soft light was very effective in having the audience think about the story to come.

The juxtaposition of the lighting is paralleled with the juxtaposition of movement when the piece begins. It was particularly apparent to me that there were strong differences in the way each character moved; there was no regularity. On one side (in light) Harriet Ritchie begins dancing with total chaos and anguish, movement going in all directions and circles indicating that she does not know where she stands/what to do with herself. Contrastingly, we have other performers (I’m about 90% sure it was Joseph Simons and later Marnie Palomares) assembling the sculpture with very simple and small movements; they are in a completely calm state. Others joined the chaotic movement – which repeats – but it is interesting to note the difference in the way each character moved. The strongest example of contrast in movement occurred between Stephanie Lake and Alisdair Macindoe’s characters. Whilst Stephanie’s movements were full of strength and power, Alisdair’s showed desperation and pure despair.

We are hit with another contrast with costuming. Marnie Palomare wears only white whilst all other performers wear black. Whilst she is immediately disconnected from the group but her costume, it is not immediately recognised as she joined in the chaotic movement. As well as this, the performers came in at intervals which meant she was not isolated completely. However, we are made more aware of her disconnection when she moves away from the chaos to build the sculpture. That she moves away from the chaos is very significant when we look into the storyline and the importance of each character. It was at this point where I first contemplated the idea of death being the key element to the piece. The white clothing combined with the disconnection made me think of Marnie’s character as someone in heaven, or no longer a part of life on earth. Something that made me think my interpretation was true was the different movements between characters because I was made to feel that they were different, individual ways of dealing with grief. Right from the start, Marnie’s movements were controlled and light, Stephanie’s were strong, Alisdair’s full of anguish and Joseph’s and Harriet’s somewhere in between (although Joseph’s showed more strength, Harriet’s more poise). It was immediate to the audience that they were revolving around Marnie’s character, something later emphasised when she was the centre of movements and her being the one they move the sculpture around.

The first time the strings are attached the friends (those dressed in black) attach the strings to each other except for Alisdair who is attached by the protagonist. Whilst the attaching of the first three was occurring, the girl wearing white and Alisdair were dancing in front of them which signified that her relationship with him was on a more significant level than the others. That she is not attached to the strings, and that she finished the attaching, is further amplification of disconnection. . She then moves (backwards) towards the sculpture and as she reaches the sculpture, it is moved around her by the other performers connected to the sculpture by strings. The disconnection is emphasised when she leaves to construct the sculpture and she keeps her emotions in complete control (contrasts to the chaos in the others movements). That her friends move it around her suggests that they were trying to help her before she died. During this part of the piece she takes on a more ethereal quality whilst the others have more of a human quality; more realistic. This was when it really clicked for me that she had died; the ethereal quality, white clothing and disconnection made me think of angels and heaven. It seems that the white symbolised being in a better place whilst black, in a more difficult one (i.e. on Earth/real life).

Throughout the piece, the question of who to trust is emphasised during solo performances progressing to ones with two or three people. This is exemplified with the sequences that involve 3 people with two people doing the same movement and 1 person doing something else altogether. They may then alternate or the 3rd person may do the movement on a different level. Combining this suspicion with the different levels of grief was what first had the audience thinking of the protagonist’s death and murder. We begin to watch more critically as the play progresses; trying to determine her killer.

There was a strong emphasis on the strong sexual nature of the relationship between the protagonist and Alisdair’s character. The first indication was when she placed his hands on her bottom, then when she was at the sculpture and grabbed one of the small balls of the sculpture with her mouth, then when he was thrusting against the floor (she was lying under the sculpture not affected physically whilst desperation and passion was the underlying factor in his movements) and finally when they were in underwear and shirts, he had his legs open half way to 2nd position and her head went down in between his legs. What was really interesting was the contrast between their movements in these moments. Whilst she still had passion and excitement in her movement, it was much stronger in his and her’s had no sense of desperation. This was something else that added to that disconnection; she was in control.

After the first sexual encounter, the other three characters came back on stage dressed as security guards. This immediately had the audience thinking of them guarding/looking out for the protagonist and the guy with the short hair. Stephenie was left on stage by herself and there was a full wash of light over the stage (that got brighter as the first part of the scene progressed) and she spoke about the determining truth from what she thought happened and the media. She then talked about an incident that we don’t yet know the details of a security guard from a different section calling her over to say something to her. She didn’t really like the guy but went over out of boredom. As she was walking over there was another guy coming up behind her so she decided that the two guys could just talk (was it the two guys who were in the piece/the friends?). When she got back something (which we later find out is a piece of art) was gone. We later find out that the cleaner had picked it up and was about to throw it out but was stopped just as he was about to press the button. He thought it was rubbish and it was explained that it was art; that it meant something. This could be a reference to the sculpture that features in this piece. Because it is made out of recycled plastic, wood and steel, it could be seen as rubbish by the ignorant (despite it’s obvious beauty) but it does have a deeper meaning. The movement the characters were doing (which recurred through the remainder of the piece) seemed to be cutting themselves up. I know think that it was peeling away all the layers until you find the truth which is what the artist has done with the wave. That the movement recurred I think goes along the same lines, but in terms of relationships. They peeled back all the layers and found what they really felt. Later, all characters are on stage as security guards and they talk of their boredom; of the dreams they once had and what they are now; they talked of boundaries. This brings our attention back to the beginning of the piece with the square outlines which have now disappeared. What happened that broke the spell of living day in and out with no excitement? What was that breaking point? Was it passion? Or was it boredom and frustration?

Near to the end of the play the light changes so that the centre of the stage is in light and the edges are in darkness. All five performers start by standing in the dark connected by a series of movements in a jolty but wave like motion. The main girl wearing white walks back into the light whilst the other four continue the motion with a space in between two pairs. It is interesting that whilst there was a space in between them, their movements were not disconnected; this could show the transition they are making after the death of a loved one – life goes on.

It seems that there were only two characters that could be the murderer; Stephanie and Alisdair’s characters. Asides from Marnie’s character, those two have the most attention. She (Stephanie) started off with complete control and he – with complete desperation and lack of control. It seems that his passion and devotion could have led to one act of horrible action; desperation. At one point during Stephanie’s monologue as the security guard, the light wash changed to a much warmer, yellow wash symbolising her trustworthy kind nature meaning that she could not be the murderer.

WEEK 7!

Posted in Uncategorized by Savannah on March 21, 2011

Wednesday 16th March: Theatre blog

Today was International Day and, for the first time in my memory, we did theatre related things! I was really concerned about missing two double periods (Monday was Labour Day) so I talked to Ms Robinson (who was organising the happenings of International Day) and suggested having an open rehearsal at the start of the day. She was really happy about the idea which made me really happy because, as I said, I was worried about missing so much class/rehearsal time. As well as this, we had the Butoh Showcase at 10:40 (2 of the scenes from Child’s Play – The Back Dance and Nose-Pencil focus).

When we first got to school we were setting up, warming up and going over our Butoh scenes. With the Butoh scenes, we started with the entrance for the back dance with the masks. I had a little trouble remembering what we did and was really embarrassed when  I mucked it up after going through it a few times. Another issue we had with this was the time to turn – everyone else was supposed to be following me as I was front and centre but it seemed very rushed like everyone just wanted to get each turn out of the way. There was no focus on the individual move, only on the destination. Never-the-less, we got there eventually and actually got focussed. The only other problem I found with the back dance was when we were numbering off to figure out our exits (we peel of one-by-one) and Daniel kept forgetting his number! It was very frustrating because I demand total concentration from myself and expect that others do the same. I mean, I get making mistakes or having an off day but when it’s the same mistake over and over, it really frustrates me. This is something that I’ve been finding difficult during school production (Alice in Wonderland) – I’m so used to the concentration and focus (generally) in our class that coming into production this year, I felt it would be just the same despite difficulties last year. It frustrates me when people have not even read through their scenes! It’s ridiculous! But, something I have to learn to deal with.

It was so exciting to do the nose-pencil focus again! When we originally did it (before the first performance last year) I didn’t think it was particularly interesting but I really do love doing it. It’s so simple but it’s fantastic because its simplicity gives us leeway to explore levels, weights and speed without worrying about chore or anything else. There was only one frustration I had which was similar to the one before. After discussing that we would go down the stairs into the audience and go out the doors at audience level, Daniel forgot to go down the stairs and came back into the wings which would have been fine if he had just rectified his mistake and got on with it but! He just looked at me and I motioned for him to go back out (in character of course) and exit correctly. This I thought would be suitable and would make sense because we had so many exits and entrances  but… it took a long time for him to get what I was saying!

Before our Butoh performance we had a short open rehearsal. We’d just started Trust last week and it still needed a  lot of work so I thought this was most important to practice. Also, I think that with all the balances that we do, this scene is the most impressive! I started the group off by going through the more difficult parts of the scene such as what we call the aeroplane in which Geoff lies down on the ground and has his legs up at 90 degrees. I balance on his feet which go on my hips and his hands. I then take my hands off Geoff’s and transfer them to Cat’s. Now that I think about it, I think it will actually be better if Cat takes my hands from Geoffrey. I know that I have said in previous posts that there is no interaction between Violetta and Augustus – this is still true. They interact in a physical sense but their focus is always on Pandora. In the minds of both Violetta and Augustus, the other is an obstacle to overcome and can’t be ignored. Whilst Violetta cannot see the drug, she is very aware of the drugs presence. Augustus can see Violetta but his focus is always on Pandora because she is the one he is targeting. We also went through this movement:

 

 This is one of my favourite moments in the piece because the connections are so clear and true. Violetta is trying to Pandora but cannot physically see the addiction/Augustus. Augustus is very aware of Violetta’s presence and attempts to help Pandora and is vindictive in the fact that Pandora is relying so heavily upon him at this moment. We had a bit of trouble with this movement later in the week when I literally couldn’t get up and Cathy was not able to get her arms around Geoff to me. So, we looked at this picture which was taken the week before and tried to figure out what was going wrong. What we thought at the time was that Geoff was trying to remain completely straight and was not leaning back as he does in this picture. I think this was still a problem but only now, looking at a bigger picture can I see the problems in the way I was holding Geoff’s arms. When we were rehearsing on Friday, I used his hands for support which made it difficult for me to lock my elbows in to the crook of his (we thought this was how we got the movement – it was how it looked in the small picture) but I now realise that I need to hold his wrists and my elbows go on the outside of his elbows. If I do this is allows Geoff to get that lever-like motion and lift me with a lot more ease.

The song we have decided on for this scene is Betray by Son Lux. We discovered Son Lux through a physical theatre video we watched that had just beautiful music! We all loved this song which was called Beautiful or something similar and thought we could actually use it for our own piece! So, when I got home after watching that video, I tried to find that song but was unable to. I did find songs by the same artist and Betray had a great, strong beat combined with a smooth, soft sound and great lyrics. I played that and another song (Stay, also by Son Lux) which I thought had more appropriate lyrics but lacked that strong beat which I loved so much. Both Cat and Geoff agreed that Betray was a more suitable choice. I’d already decided on a lot of the chore but I hadn’t really placed it in much of a sequence so we played around with a lot of different ideas and got something together and we then just had to figure out details and fill in the holes.

The scene begins with Cathy at the end of the aisle lying on her back with her knees bent and Geoff and I, just in front of the black curtain. When we were first putting this together we forgot that we had the back curtain closed and rehearsed against the wall, using it as resistance. I was a bit annoyed when we first realised our mistake but I actually think it’s a nicer affect because our slight touches on the curtain are quite calming which is a nice juxtaposition with the feeling of the piece.

I’m so happy with how the piece is going! We are working really well together and it certainly involves a lot of trust!

Some other pictures:

Connected: Part 1

Posted in Uncategorized by Savannah on March 6, 2011

Chunky Move’s, Gideon Obarzanek teams up with Californian artist, Reben Margolin for a piece of ‘pure mechanics’. Connected, premiering at the Merlyn Theatre on March 11, features Reuben’s kinetic sculptures exploring the nature of connections in the universe. Margolin’s other pieces include Magic Wave "Magic Wave"

‘The Magic Wave has a light blue aluminum grid suspended by 256 cables. And instead of two perpendicular waves, its motion is an addition of four variable-amplitude waves: two structured as single-wavelength, and two as double-wavelength. And there is an overall height mechanism that raises and lowers the entire wave simultaneously.’ (Margolin, 2008).
It is a version of the “Square Wave” (pictured below)
Square Wave

In Connected, the sculpture is one ‘suspended by hundreds of fine strings’ each receiving information from various wheels and ‘camshafts’ (a part o an engine consisting of a rod to which cams are attached, cam = a part of an engine that converts a circular motion into a to-and-fro motion). We see the sculpture constructed throughout the piece, as well as the movement and physical connections slowly evolving from ‘simple movements and hundreds of tiny pieces’ into ‘complex structures and relationships’ (quotes from Malthouse Theatre, Season 1, 2011).

Directed and choreographed by Gideon Obarzanek, Connected features Stephanie Lake, Alisdair Macindoe, Josh Mu, Marnie Palomares and Harriet Ritchie as they build this monumental sculpture; ‘a geometry of nature’ (Malthouse Theatre, Season 1, 2011).

And here’s a link to a YouTube Video in which Gideon Obarzanek and Reuben Margolin talk about the upcoming piece.

Bibliography:

– Ben Harris, 2008, Sound Waves, website, viewed on: 06/02/2011, http://www.thedawstudio.com/Tips/Soundwaves.html 

– Reuben Margolin, 2008, Magic Wave, website, viewed on: 06/02/2011, http://www.reubenmargolin.com/waves/magic_2.htm

Collins Compact: australian Dictionary, 1981, New Edition (1995), Harper Collins Publishers, Australia

Malthouse Theatre, Season 1, 2011

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

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!

2 Weeks To Go!

Posted in Uncategorized by Savannah on November 14, 2010

Today was our production meeting with only two weeks to go until our showcase! SO EXCITING! On the downside, it meant a few people were getting a bit worried yet also determined to get everything done! We talked quite a bit about my area, costumes and makeup. To be perfectly honest I was rather annoyed at the beginning of the meeting (OMG DON’T GET UPSET AT ME MS FLOOD JUST KEEP READING) because I was under the impression that Ms Flood was going to have ordered the pants a week or so ago, which I spent quite a long time finding, yet she hadn’t done that due to complications with PayPal, etc. and had bought other pants. I do realise now that it was just miscommunication because she had thought she was waiting for sizes and I had thought she had enough info, etc. (SO I’M VERY SORRY MS FLOOD IF I WAS SEEMING RUDE – I’M NOT VERY GOOD AT KEEPING MY EMOTIONS FROM THE SURFACE). Anyway I was actually happily suprised with the pants!  They seem really suitable asides from a heart where the pocket is. Ms Flood suggested using fabric paint but I’m not sure whether it would conceal the heart entirely. I think I will experiment a bit tonight with white patches of fabric to go over the heart. I actually think this could be effective given our “alternate” themes.

Mel talked about music for a bit regarding the animal piece and found a great piece on one of the CDs I’d leant her. Which was kind of weird and peaceful yet at the same time, had lots of energy. I could really see us being all our animals when listening to it !

Cathy showed us the poster for Child’s Play and it looked so good! She had a few queries regarding where to put the name of the piece and we all decided on the sky. It’s going to be the front of our program as well!

One more thing I want to experiment is, is some form of a red, blood like substance. I was inspired by this picture:

It just seems such a fascinating image! I think an option for it would be for Mel in The Screaming scene although I’d also like her to have whitened hands for an extra contrast but I’d have to see if she would have time to get it off again.

With my make up designs (eye make up specifically) I was very inspired by this image:

I now have rough sketches of the makeup designs for everyone and as soon as they are absolutely finalised (I’m going to experiment everything on Mel!) I will post and send of pictures/designs to everyone and on this blog!

OK! Have now done all the experiments on Mel – SO EXCITING! I’ve got little packs for everyone tomorrow so hopefully everyone is happy with them. I will post them up here when they’ve been cleared! (hopefully!)

Hairspray!

Posted in Oh, Just a Heap of Reviews, Uncategorized by Savannah on October 11, 2010

Hairspray is based on a non-musical John Waters comedy (film) from the 1980s. Hairspray the musical ran for 6 and 1/2 years on Broadway starting on July, 2002. In 2007, the internationally succesful film starring John Travolta was released. A London production of Hairspray was also released in 2007.

The Australian production (2010) is showing at the Princess Theatre. It is directed and produced by David Atkins, tarring Jaz Flowers (Tracy Turnblad) and Trevor Ashley (Edna Turnblad) with choreography by Jason Coleman. It is a fun, high energy rendition of the segregation between blacks and whites in the 1960s. I had the best time watching it was so surprised and amazed that I could see Jason Coleman’s choreography (I go to his dance school) in the routines. The talent that was on the stage was extraordinary and I particularly enjoyed watching my friend Marney McQueen play the evil Velma Von Tussle with sheer malice but supreme restraint. I also loved Jaz Flowers who had extraordinary energy as well as Jack Chambers (Link Larken) and Scott Irwin (Corny Collins) who, to me, captured the era and feel of what I know the 60s to be.

Stylistically, there were a few major aspects that I noticed: costumes, lighting and interactive projection.

Costuming:

For Early 1960s, notice:                                                                                

– the cute little bows at the top of the bodice 🙂                                  

– Patterned, colourful                                                                                    

– Tied in at the waist                                                                                     

– Big puffy skirt                                                                                                 

– Netting underneath skirt for fullness                                                  

* One of the girls costumes of the Corny Collins Show

 For Late 1960s, notice:

– High collar

 – Comes in just above the waist

– Geometric pattern

– Tight fitting

* Penny’s last costume. In a  scene prior to this, there was a dramatic change in costume to one where the whole cast was wearing costumes like this one.

Costumes were made to have a significant role in this musical. Up until Act 2, Scene 4 (I think it was here) the cast had been dressed in predominantly early 1960s attire. There was a change in scene 4 when the costumes resembled that of late 60’s fashion; straight, solid and geometric. They emphasised this change by going for a black and white colour scheme which strayed far from the patterned and colourful costumes there were before.

In the last scene, I noticed there was a mixture of both styles; some wearing early 60’s attire and some, late. If we let the early 1960s style of costuming represent white people and the late, black, we can see the change and then integration of styles as a metaphor. The costumes were predominantly early 60s until the end showing the power and privileges whites had. As the two clothing styles integrate, so do the people. Having Penny in what is definitely late 1960s (blacks) emphasises the message.

I also noticed that the men in the chorus, at one point, were wearing identical suits in different colours. I really liked this effect because it created more diversity and interest (the colours) but showed symmetry which was vital in their dancing.

Lighting:

The checkerboard lights: At one point they had lights that made a checkerboard. It was nearing (or possibly at – I can’t remember!) the time of integration on the Corny Collins Show. The ‘checkerboard’ state was emphasised by Penny’s words in the last scene, ‘I am officially a checkerboard chic’, and of course the checkerboard lights.

I liked this choice because it was not overly complex yet it still meant something.

Spotlights through audience: At certain points, mainly when there were really high energy dance numbers, there were two huge spotlights, standing by themselves on either side of the stage, that would sweep the audience. I really liked this because it added to the energy and excitement of the production. I think it added this for me partially because the spotlights meant ‘performance’ and that excited me! Although, it was an unconscious excitement at the time.

Lights on and off characters: During ‘Mama I’m a Big Girl Now’ there were three pairs (mother and daughter): Amber and Velma, Tracy and Edna, Penny and her mum. Each pair would sing a section of the piece and some was sung together. When pair A sang they would be in the spotlight (literally) whilst pairs B and C were frozen in the pose or situation they ended up in at the end of their section. I thought it made the number more interesting visually because it wasn’t the same lighting all the way through. It also meant that the audience couldn’t get distracted by the pairs not singing.

Stage lit up like a TV: The stage appeared to be lite up like a TV which was, of course, very fitting given the significance of TV in the 60s as well as The Corny Collins Show in Hairspray. The lights seemed like thin, colourful pipes. I liked this because it set the time of the piece despite the technology I’m sure it would have involved.

 Interactive Projection:

In the opening number, ‘Good Morning Baltimore’, the interactive projection was particularly obvious. Tracy came down sleeping in a bed (which was really fun!) which she later walked out of and got her bag from. There was a huge screen behind her which, at this point, digitally showed her bedroom. Jaz was able to actual open the window on the screen as well as the curtains. Birds flew out of the window after she opened it and we heard their chirping.

This interactive projection was also evident in the scene with Tracy’s parents. They appeared to jump into the screen when in actual fact they were jumping behind the screen and their pre-recorded selves appeared on the screen. It was perfectly timed and mainly for this reason, very effective.

I think this interactive projection shows Hairspray for what it is – fun!