Drama Portfolio Essay

Published: 2021-09-07 05:30:14
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In workshop one there was two forms of drama; straight improvisation and teacher in-role. This was structured by having the class in a semi circle and the teacher walking in straight in-role as the manager of the youth hostel. The teacher said in-role that we were ‘experienced therapists’ this automatically made clear on the role we were to play so we were quick to think as the form was straight improvisation. Structuring the drama as a semi circle of chairs gave the impression it was a meeting of some sort.
The opening of the circle where the manager sat showed the meeting was being lead by a person of higher status. In the second half of the workshop the class was working in pairs, the form was still straight improvisation. We were carrying on from being therapists in this youth hostel but one of the pairs was now the girl we were treating with therapy. This is where our stimulus came in to use. Our stimuli was a picture of a girl screaming, holding her head in pain, surrounded by a lake with two people walking away.
This was drawn by the girl who was in therapy. The aim of the drama was to try and get as much information out of the girl about why she had drawn this picture, what it represented and find out who she was, using therapy, as she didn’t talk. The stimulus helped us with the form because we couldn’t plan what we were going to do but from the stimulus we could see what drama we could create. Both pairs knew what the therapist would be doing but no one knew how the girl was going to react this was good because the straight improvisation would mean each pairs drama piece would differ.
During workshops two and three the significant moment in our drama piece was when the disturbed girl, who was being treated by therapists, was taken to a river. This was suggested by a therapist as the girl had drawn water in her picture so maybe taking her to a river would open her up. Her reaction to being taken to the river was a frightened one. The girl became scared and then saw a cigarette being lighted this frightened her even more and she ran in to a corner. This showed the therapists that not only did she have a strange reaction to water but to open flames too so maybe something had happened in the past involving flames and water that had caused her to have such a reaction.
This was the significant moment in the drama however due to lack of time we didn’t get to symbolize it as much as we would have liked. If we had the time, I would put a red spotlight on the disturbed girl, when she ran in the corner, and then play some dramatic classical music to signify her panic. While the red spotlight would indicate the danger she was in before that made her scared of the river and lighter. After that I would do a flashback showing what actually happened that had made her so frightened.
In workshop four we had to create a nightmare sequence based upon a phobia. Our group talked about the kinds of phobias we could do but due to lack of time we were not able to create the nightmare sequence. If we had the time to form it I would have chosen the phobia; ‘fear of clowns’.I would start off by having the music playing at a slow speed and the volume quite low; gradually I would speed the music up and increase the volume.
The girl would be walking but as the volume increases so would her pace. At this point I believe her thoughts would be jumbled, to show this, people off-stage would shout out her thoughts for example; ‘what is happening?’, ‘where am I?’ the voices would be echoed for a bigger impact such as; ‘where am I? … am I …am I … am I … I …’ hereafter I would suddenly turn the lights off and stop the music to create a sense of panic and anxiety within the girl and audience, as nobody knows what’s going to happen. In the darkness I would bring on four people in clown masks, position them around the girl, but not too close, then turn the lights on but have them on full and all colours such as bright red, blue and green. Red being the brightest creating a sense of danger and the green would give the stage an eerie atmosphere.
The girl would realise immediately and try to escape; her pace would be almost robot-like because the panic of seeing the clown masks has made it hard for her to move, to emphasize this, the people in clown masks would be very quick when moving and circle her almost as if she was being suffocated. The girls’ thoughts would now be ones of shock, terror and panic. At this point I would make the masked clowns shout her thoughts out at her; shocking her more, as the most thing she is terrified of is now thinking her thoughts too. This is where I would end the nightmare sequence by switching the lights off suddenly and make the masked clowns go off stage leaving the girl on the floor. When the lights gradually come back on she will have just woken up unexpectedly as if she had an awful dream and lying on her pillow would be the clown mask and I would end the scene with her mouth open in fright.
In workshop five the form for our first drama piece was sculpting a tableau. This is when one person creates a tableau then holds their position and lets another person literally sculpt them using their hands to change their physical posture. The person I was sculpting was meant to be hitting someone from behind. From where I was standing this looked unrealistic so I sculpted by moving their arm closer to the person they were attacking so it would look more forceful, plus, I made them look away from the person they were hitting because this would look as if they knew it was wrong and they didn’t want to get caught, in the tableau there were SAS officers looking for violent people so effectively it would look like the person was being weary incase she/he got caught. Afterwards, our class did a drama piece; the form was forum theatre, teacher in-role and straight improvisation.
It was structured by having rows of chairs where we all sat and at the front was where the teacher in-role stood playing the part of the SAS meeting speaker. The point of the drama was for the teacher in-role as the SAS speaker to inform us that we had been specially picked to do a very high secret mission and so we would have to move away from our homes for around six months and not tell our families why. Using forum theatre for this drama piece worked very well because when the speaker told us we were on a top secret mission and would have to move away without telling anyone was quite a shock so obviously we all in-role had an opinion about it. Forum theatre is good to use for something like this as we control when we say or do something and everyone gets an opportunity to voice their opinion. The straight improvisation worked well because it made everyone have something different to say each time.
In workshop six the class had to before hand set up the scene of a disused warehouse. We did this by having chairs flung all around the place some broken, some free standing, and some stacked up as if they had not been used in ages. We also turned the lights off assuming that no lights worked in this warehouse. We used rostra tops and legs and had them just lying side by side or not fixed together properly to create the impression of a disused space that had not been looked after.
The form of this drama was a tableau to start the scene off then straight improvisation where the class played either ‘have nots’ or undercover SAS officers pretending to be ‘have nots’, thought tracking with our first thoughts of what we thought of the warehouse and the meeting that was due to take place inside, the last technique used was teacher in-role, this was unexpected as it was straight improvisation and we were not expecting the teacher to come in-role as a police officer checking to see if any ‘have nots’ had broken into the warehouse. When this happened it created a real sense of electricity and panic amongst the group however it was up to us to keep this electricity going by staying in-role and reacting how we thought a ‘have not’ would react in this situation. This was vital for the undercover SAS officers as they could not blow their cover.

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