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.

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