Examination of A Performance I Was In

This term we have been working on a devised performance dealing with the theme of consequences and looking at lots the themes and issues. We have chosen the title to be ‘Consequences’. We came up with this title after the whole group had decided on what the theme would be, then once we new what the theme would be, we thought of ideas of what the title could be, and we chose ‘Consequences’. Overall the play ‘Consequences’ took 4-5 weeks to put together and perform. I thought it was a worthwhile experience because this is the first time I had worked in this group as a whole class. The performance we done, took place in the main school hall because we needed the space for our traverse stage to be held in. We had the stage setting, with the audience split in half, and the performance space was in the middle so that we could be seen at all angles.
To begin the topic our teacher put us into groups and then we had to think of ideas of what our play could be about. We all wrote down ideas, then read them out, and then we decided as a group to choose the best idea. The age group we wanted to aim it at is our own year 10. We chose this age group because they can relate to the issues that are being performed. They would understand about our play because they are the age we are aiming at, and could relate to what the play was. After we decided on the theme of the play we then improvised of how to get ideas and put them together, then we discussed how to script it and the structure of the play.
In one drama lesson we started working on the first family scene where we were at the table scene were me and my group had to work on the family which was based on poverty. We rehearsed this so many times because we had to make this a sad family as they don’t have that much money, but is was a good scene because we could make it funny as well. I played the character of a gay man, with my partner we adopted kids and we had hardly any money. My partner and I were always arguing, while the kids were around. But with my character I felt that I had to play him as a serious but emotional man, with a hard life, so to do this I had to change his tone of voice, and my body language and gesture. One moment in the scene we did was when we were sitting at the dinner table and my partner was setting there with me, and the whole family was in a bad mood, so then me and my partner started to fight, so then the kids started to fight as well, and I had to stop them. Then we all stopped and sat and ate our breakfast. While we were eating I started to tell a story about how I saw two girls stealing from the chemist. I was telling them that I hoped for them to never to do the same. But later in the play they do. We did this because we wanted to set up the next scene for us to show that are kids are so poor they are pulled into stealing.

I personally feel that this scene was quite successful because we all stayed concentrated in the important time in the scene. I thought we improved the scene by keeping loud so all the audience could hear us. This made the scene more effective because it keeps up the atmosphere, and the tension of all the acting parts.
One scene that was non-naturalistic was the opening scene to the play. In the opening scene we used the drama technique slow motion to a piece of music. We also used frozen images to the piece of music. The music we used was a soundtrack by ‘DMX’ called ‘Slipping’ the song represented everyone’s downfall in the play. It complemented the action that was taking place. The stylised movement we also used was sound collage, we used the sound collage to build a atmosphere for the opening scene, by doing this we showed the audience what the play was about by revealing all the issues and gave an insight into the situation the character was in. We also used a technique called duologue so that the angel and the devil characters commented on the action. W began devising this scene by us all trying to think of strong images that could show how our family’s lifestyle and the difficulties they had. The moment that was the hardest to rehearse was when we were doing the links in between each family. I thought that the audience who were watching would react to this scene by thinking that they are going to see all different consequences that happen to people when they do things. I feel that this scene did work to its full potential because when the music played, it built an atmosphere on which the audience can see, and as all the frozen images from all the families, I thought were very powerful. I feel that it worked and conveyed the desired message of community what the play was about.
Overall I feel the best moment in the play was the end, because after the audience had seen all the consequences that each family had done. The ending of our play was were each main character said a few lines about what happened after all of what had been done. Some said about they wish they had never done so many things, or looked after their children better, or wished they had never put a pill in the girls drink, they were all guilty of their consequences. Each individual was to blame for his or her own downfall. As we performed this scene to the audience the characters that were being played made mistakes, but as they said their lines they knew they had done something wrong and they cant change that now, and live with it.
I feel that the message we were trying to convey to the audience was ‘to think about the consequences of your action’. One moment that stood out the most and I feel conveyed the message was the end, when the audience saw the characters were saying all the things that they could of done but didn’t. I feel that the message was getting across to the audience wasn’t as successful because all of the audience could have been confused. I feel that it could of have been more successful if we chose an outside audience, not friends. On the scenes that we could have been improved was the scene on were we linked up to our other groups together. I felt that it would have been better if we also had more time on to set the play, and if the cast was there every day, so then we could rehearse and get every thing perfect.
I feel that the work that I have been doing in my lessons this term has been quite successful because it has brought the group closer to work with each other, and it is good experience for the future. I feel that the whole experience of devising the play has been very enjoyable. I feel that it was enjoyable because this is what I like in drama GCSE. I feel as a performer I gained experience in a way that it makes me feel easier now to act in front of my friends, and now I am fully concentrated and confident in performing in front of an audience. I have learnt that for my performance next year I will be able to cope with the tension and hard work. Overall it has been a productive piece of work on what we done this term, which has been enjoyable.

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