Monday, 4 May 2009

Crazy, crazy, crazy where does the time go?

OK I have not been on my blog for too long as I have been getting deeply involved with Charlie and Chocolate factory practical side of things and abandoned the written part! And having a scare of maybe having glandaul fever but luckily it was only a viral infection. I am really enjoying my project so far as it is beginning to take shape. Although we do graduate in July and the final performance of my project is in July too, I feel that the project will be bigger and better with more time. So after our graduation I am going to carry on my project. I am going to start writing from where I left off as it will not make sense!

SO, once I knew my project was confirmed, I arranged several audition days to see which children where interested. Me and Louise had an idea of the children will low self confidence that we wanted to involve in the production. However, it was a case of encouraging some of the children that were unsure. As I have never held auditions before I as unsure what to expect. They were held at lunch time's so we had to wait for the children to have their lunch. After a while the hall began to fill up, I couldn't believe the amount of children that were interested. As Louise is dealing with the music side of the production, we decided that the children that do not get an acting part they will be in the choir as an oompa loompa! The auditions were open to year 3 and upwards. I wanted a lot of year 6's to be involved as they will be moving to secondary school in September. I feel that a project like Charlie and the Chocolate factory will help build their confidence, which will be useful when they make the transition in September. I also discussed with Louise the children that have been given parts before, so I could give parts to children that haven't had parts before. The auditions consisted of a simple dance routine, a script reading from a scene with Grandpa Joe and Charlie and two lines from The Candy Man. I felt that the auditions went well but went on for quite a few lunchtimes. If I am to do auditions again I would hold them after school so it would be over 2 days rather 5. Once everyone had been auditioned it was a long evening trying to give the children parts. The parts were revealed in assembly the next day and it was enjoyable to watch the excitement on the children's face when they found out they received a part. It was especially pleasing when the children with less self confidence found out.

We then spent a rehearsal reading through the script. Although it was just a read through we encouraged the children to not read it cold and put expression in. This keeps the energy and concentration of the group up. Also, it helps the cast understand the story fuller.

The next few rehearsals consisted of blocking out the whole play. I had an idea of how I wanted the scenes blocked. However a more confident child suggested a move but looked apologetic when he suggested it. I really encouraged them to suggest ideas as I would like the quieter, less confident ones to put their ideas in too. After blocking the whole play, we began to rehearse the play scene by scene. At first, I was doing too many warm up games in rehearsals, as we did not get as much done as we should have. I tried less warm up games and we seemed to get a lot more done. As rehearsals progressed I realised that confidence, voice projection and characterisation lacked. So, the next three rehearsals I decided to carry out workshops to overcome this problem. The first workshop was less workshop and more discussing what they thought of their characters and starting their role on the walls. The second workshop was characterisation which Mark came along to. And the final workshop consisted of voice projection. I would defiantly do these workshops again and maybe at an earlier stage. As I feel they would have got more out rehearsals as our next rehearsal was really brilliant.

Some rehearsals especially at lunchtime the energy dropped. At first, I told them to get a drink and come back. However, as it was lunchtime they had already had a break so it did not really help and work. I then tried a quick warm up game usually the chicken game (which they absolutely love) that helps them get up on their feet and get energy again.

Recently me and Louise have had a meeting about the costumes, set and props. I wanted the children to be involved in the set so, we are asking some of the children to help us design and paint the back drop. We wrote a list of props and costumes which will be needed for the production. I am going to make most of the costumes and I will use the skills that I learnt from my costume module last semester to help me.

As I have not yet finished my community project I can only reflect on my experiences so far. I feel that this module has let me learn a lot about a community that I have not always been aware of. Also, the confidence to run an after school drama club and my final community theatre project. The difficulties I have faced during my project was when the cast were losing energy and enthusiasm. I overcame this difficulty in the end and have learnt from it. If, I was to re-start my project I would have structured the audition process differently by doing a workshop and holding them after school. I am really excited about carrying on with my community project. I feel I have learnt a lot from this module which I will take away with me for future community projects, especially when I become a teacher.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Churchill Theatre

My local theatre, Churchill Theatre in Bromley is taking part in A Night Less Ordinary, which is an arts council England scheme which provides under 26's with free theatre tickets (at certain theatres!). I think this is fantastic as it will get more people, maybe people that have never been to the theatre before to go and experience it and hopefully love it! Anyway I thought I'd write about the scheme on my blog so if anyone is interested they can take part in it - the best way to find out if a theatre near where you live is getting involved is to log onto -, Wow I sound like an advert! Anyway hope it is helpful and useful.

Monday, 26 January 2009

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

After, having problems with the original placement, I have found a secure placement at a primary school where I held my after school drama club. When I ran my after school drama club I noticed that some of the children had gained confidence, from when I first met them to the final production. So, I am working towards the production of Willy Wonka and Chocolate Factory with mainly year 6's who lack confidence to prepare them for secondary school. As the play will involve a lot of characters, I have decided to include other year groups too. I feel this will strengthen the school community.
I am going to be working along side the music co-ordinater who will be doing the music side of things and I will be managing and working on the rest of the production, costume, set, dancing, acting etc... I have recently completed the Theatre, Film and Wardrobe module and I am hoping the skills and techniques I have learnt from this module will be handy for the production. I also hope I can take the exercises that were successful from my after school drama club and incorporate it when working on the production. At the moment I am currently in the process of cutting Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory script. I am so excited about this project as it will be a great experience and a lot of fun! yaaay!

Thursday, 11 December 2008

A deep and meaningful lesson

Today we watched 'Exodus', a large scale community project based in Margate. 'Exodus' was a large scale community project turned into a feature film funded and featured on channel 4. They actually have a website for the film and I really recommend looking at it - I really enjoyed the film as it left me after the lesson asking questions on society and racism, does this still go on? Although not to such a severe level as shown on the film. I think that there will always be a divide in communities as we do not live in a perfect world.
Some parts of the film were quite disturbing for me especially the dreamland that was converted into the segregated world. It probably sounds very silly but when I see dreamland in photo's or if I go there in the future it is going to make me think of this horrific world that they created which I thought was soooo scary and horrible. Another moment in the film that made me skip a heart beat was the fact that the promise land had tours of the segregated land which I thought was awful. The tour made me think of the safari tours they have abroad and made me think that in a way we are all animals!? Mad statement I know but back in the day we used to be cave men and monkeys (not very scientific, sorry to anyone reading who is biologist). I am glad I had a chance to see the film as a very large-scale community project can be done and in an amazing and successful way. The film almost gave me some encouragement for next year when I complete my community project as a project of such a large size was still successful.
Well that's me for this semester, I can not believe how quickly it has gone. I must say I had my reservations about this blog but I have really enjoyed writing about my feelings on the lessons and what I have learnt. I also really enjoy reading other peoples blogs and thoughts each week, yaaay go you! This blog thing we have going is almost a community itself which is quite fab when you think about it! I am looking forward to the next semester in 2009 (ahhhh!) which will be bigger and better and defiantly much pinker! So I hope you all have a very sparkly and relaxing Christmas and I will see you all in the new year xxx

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

No more dancing for me for a while!

Every week I attend a street dance class at Beckenham and I found out today it got burnt down by a fire! I actually can't believe it and when I saw the photo my heart sank as it is a place which holds many memories and a place were we are a community. I have copy and pasted my local newspaper article so you can see all about it :-( ................. Okay can't do that will pop the link below......

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

My drama club

I have just come home from the final performance of my year 5 after school drama club I run on a Tuesday afternoon. I am so proud of them all as I have seen them grow and become confident performers, they were so fab! Our drama club on a Tuesday is almost like a new community for me that I have become part of which I never really thought about until it ended this evening! It made me wonder if the drama club were already a community at the school and I joined it or weather I started a new community within the school community? I have put some piccy's up of the drama club performance so you can see how fantastic they are.....

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Myth, Ritual and Invisible Theatre

The last steam train passing through Strawberry Hill in 1967

What does myth mean?

As I was slightly confused as to the exact definition of a myth I have put the dictionary definition below:

'1a A traditional story that embodies popular beliefs or explains a practice, belief, or natural phenomenon.'

In 1957, a French theorist Roland Barthes was interested in current cultural myths and he believed that they are important in society as it keeps it together.

What are current types of myths?

Christmas, health, the credit crunch, Marriage, fairy stories. I thought that it was interesting when Mark told us about the Olympics being a myth which I was unaware of. From Mark's fact it made me wonder weather myths are in almost everything in day to day life? As Molly later brought up that a memory is a myth. Telling a myth is something that happens in a community to sometimes show their identity.

I like the idea that telling a myth is a way of looking at difficult themes, as you are telling the persons story in an indirect way. Also, I think it may encourage people to talk about their stories and memories in a less awkward way or even without realising it. If I have people with difficult issues in my placement I would like to use myth to help encourage to talk about them.

There are different types of Ritual such as:

SOCIAL - Morning routine, Football chants, Tea drinking.

RELIGIOUS - Marriage, Preying, Christening.

AESTHETIC - Art, Tattoos, piercing.

A ritual will have a transformation weather it be a physical, social or mental one. During the transformation there will be a liminal space which is the in between state where you are not yet transformed.

In the lesson we made a map of the Uni with pieces of paper stating the place and memory of there. It was quite funny doing this as it brought back so many hilarious and warm memories of times at Uni. After we got into groups and picked a location at Uni to perform the chosen memory of that place. Me, Simona, Flick and imaginary Donna chose Strawberry Hill Station and our memory was when we all first met in the first year. When we rehearsed on the platform we did get some strange looks from people!! This type of theatre is called invisible Theatre by Augusto Boal.

When we were watching each of the pieces at the sites around Uni, I felt quite nervous but excited as I did not know what was going to come next especially if the public were involved. When Danielle's group were performing I felt quite nervous for the security guard as I was unsure weather they told him it was a performance or not. After the performances this is something that came up should we tell the people that are involved in our pieces before we preform it or not? I think that Monsay made a valid point that if it was something I would not be willing to do I would not do it to them! I think that if you tell the people before I do not think the performance will be as real and you will not get the same effect. I think if you are not damaging their property or hurting them I do not see why they would get angry or offended and need to tell them before hand.