• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Drama and Theatre Studies DR4 Process Journal

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

A- Level Drama and Theatre Studies DR4 Process Journal Brogan Kear Rationale One of our performance requirements is a pre-1900 piece. Whilst discussing the idea of performing an extract in a style which could not be considered modern, the obvious choice which occurred to us was to perform a play by Shakespeare. His plays are among the most widelt celebrated of all playwrights, and the diversity within them allowed us plenty of scope. I suggested that one of his history plays would be effective in portraying a method of acting, and of characterisation, which would require us to think outside of conventional modern plots. Conveying historical facts in an entertaining way appealed to me. Having read Henry IV recently, I thought it a humorous and varied text, however was aware of the lack of female roles. Upon consideration, myself and Ruth agreed that it would challenge, and almost parody, conventions of Shakespearean theatre to have two females perform male roles, since in Elizabethan theatre it was compulsory for female roles to be played by men. The scenes we chose displayed typically male characteristics such as speaking crudely of women, drinking ale and boasting of our actions, which we decided would allow scope for humour as we exaggerated male stereotypes. I performed extracts of the play "Whale Music" several years ago, and remembered it having strong female characters. It is also an evidently naturalistic and modern play, in contrast to Henry IV. Bearing in mind our chosen theme of "take away the mask and the truth is revealed", we searched the play for scenes in which emotions are disguised. We found the first scene effective as Caroline refuses to fully open up to Kate about why she is uncomfortable at the thought of them being alone together in the back of the van. The second scene we chose fits the "taking away of the mask" perfectly, as Caroline's monologue pours out every emotion, thought and secret she has kept to herself for so long and finally finds the moment to tell Kate everything she needs to hear. ...read more.

Middle

We advised each other on meanings of lines and how we saw one another's characters, and the mixture of opinions created more fully-formed characters after combining ideas from both of us. While rehearsing the second scene, we discovered the humour of Falstaff's gradual elaboration of his false tale. However, as Hal is merely humouring Falstaff by pretending at first to believe his heroic tale, we thought it best that Falstaff be fully drunk and Hal be only slightly tipsy, so as to create a tavern atmosphere and the type of scene in which two men would boast of their deeds, without resorting to overly drunken performance which we felt would distract from the underlying secrecy of Hal and naivety of Falstaff. We did attempt to act the scene whilst acting completely drunk, shouting in one another's faces and mixing up words, but I believe that it left the scene degraded to nothing more than senseless gibberish. However, we agreed that the ignorance of personal space added to the sense of intoxication, and so continued to speak closely into one another's faces, but lowered the volume from the previous bellowing, and kept slurring to a minimum for practicality of articulation and the audience's understanding. We decided to stage our scene in a proscenium arch style. As our rehearsal progressed, I found it most effective to speak while facing directly out towards the audience wherever possible, to mimic the overdramatic and flamboyant tendencies of Shakespearean theatre. When we first started rehearsing 'Whale Music', our lack of movement meant that our performance felt very wooden. Therefore a key part of our development was to apply as much emotion to our lines as we could, without exaggerating. We rehearsed the first scene with Caroline sat down, but changed this to her standing up as I thought that Kate's (my) awkward body language would be more defined, as Kate approaches Caroline and kisses her. ...read more.

Conclusion

The bawdy music at the beginning of the scenes was highly effective and made our performance very upbeat. Unfortunately, there was a moment during our performance at which I forgot my lines, however I think that I covered this well by remaining completely in character and using one of the props, a cup, to mime taking a drink while I worked out how to get back into the flow. Ruth helped by also staying in character and prompting me, and I was later informed that the memory lapse had gone unnoticed by the audience, so I am confident that we performed well. Evaluation. In the early stages of our planning, I was concerned that development got off to a slow start due to our indecision on which theme to choose. However, I feel that we chose the correct theme as it is a thought-provoking statement which led to fascinating discussions about possible symbolism and its relevance in our own lives. It also allowed us to explore in depth the concepts of subtext and hidden emotions in characters, as the people we portrayed often say one thing and mean another, or are living lives of secrecy and denial. Being able to portray a character with more happening under the surface than they convey directly to an audience was a challenge, but it led to detailed exploration of body language and vocal tones. In conclusion, I feel that all of our intentions in our characterisation and expression were fulfilled to a high standard. Having read the day before the exam that Anthony Minghella, the writer of "Whale Music", had passed away, we hoped that our performance would do his writing justice! I believe that our chosen theme, "take away the mask and the truth is revealed" was evident in all of our chosen pieces, and I believe that we conveyed this theme effectively, particularly in our devised piece. While I have a few small criticisms of our performance, overall I am very pleased with the outcome of our performance, and believe that our dedication and teamwork over the past few months has truly paid off. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Theatre Studies section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Theatre Studies essays

  1. Free essay

    Drama Reflection. Evaluation of the development and improvement of my skills including examples of ...

    Attending all rehearsals is important because your director might change a scene and you wouldn't know when your queue was because you didn't attend the rehearsal. This is the same in a professional environment because the director could change a formation of a dance or take out a scene and you wouldn't know because you weren't in the rehearsal.

  2. 'The crucible' context essay

    to do to achieve this was repent and direct the blame at someone else. All that was needed to convict a witch was a witness that claimed that an apparition of the 'witch' (that only they could see) demonically attacked them.

  1. Performing Arts A2 - Unit 4 - Report Secion (1 Specialism)

    After you start work as an actor, it is unlikely that formal training leading to vocationally-related qualifications will be provided. Skills are developed on the job, through rehearsal and performance, as you move between contracts and this experience is evidenced on your CV rather than on certificates.

  2. How did group skills contribute to the development of the drama?

    a focus that, with the music, made a punchy start to the beginning of the company scene. We had to bang our boards down at exactly the same time cueing the music, to do this we all agreed to focus on the person who was most visible to everyone, which

  1. Evaluation of personal drama work/perfomance.

    I used the street for the caf� scene. Here I placed a table with a menu and two glasses and two chairs at the end of the street to make it look like a street side caf�. The park was a projection of green light onto a projection screen with bush and tree shaped collages hanging down from the ceiling.

  2. Stage lighting - A guide.

    that the action needed to be visible to all. The theatres were therefore built so that the stage would be facing the sun during the late afternoon, the time when it was cool enough to go out. This system of lighting had many disadvantages, as although it could light the stage effectively, there was no control as to where

  1. Sports Development

    participate in many aspects of dancesport, catering for a wide range of objectives and needs.

  2. Analysis of Use of Language in 'The Crucible'

    There is not very much imagery in the language, although there is one memorable phrase which stands out, when Abigail accuses John of 'sweating like a stallion', an effective phrase including a simile, alliteration, imagery and appealing to the senses.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work