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How did your role emerge, how was it communicated, and in what ways was the stimulus material developed through the drama process?

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Introduction

Q1) How did your role emerge, how was it communicated, and in what ways was the stimulus material developed through the drama process? As a group, we immediately wanted to avoid the typical structure of each actor playing one character and using a central monologue to communicate. It seemed rigid, and unoriginal, and the audience were likely to become disinterested if it became excessively predictable. In relation to Peter Brook's quote "Drama is exposure; it is confrontation it is contradiction and leads to analysis, involvement, recognition and eventually to an awakening of understanding", we aimed to throw the audience in different directions, testing their perceptions of our concept of blind love. We therefore felt that portraying a range of characters using a variety of different stimuli would be more suitable, given the different personalities within our group. The first role I played was based on Helena from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. She is a classic example of someone refusing to acknowledge the truth, and because there was a comic element, we decided to use it as the first of our edited texts. I saw Helena as someone with very low self-esteem, and particularly selfish at times. ...read more.

Middle

The staging in the scenes based on A Midsummer Night's Dream aided the characterisation of both main characters involved. The chorus members acted as a forest where Dan and I would struggle to move through, and the blocks on stage also acted as obstacles and barriers. Helena's emotional inability to be on the same level as Demetrius was echoed through the staging, as she could physically not keep up with him, and he could easily escape. This gave me something very real to fight against as an actor, as I was not simply pretending to try and reach him, but physically it became much more difficult. Our original stimulus material consisted of a Steinbeck quote "We are all lonely individuals, acting out our lives in a hostile environment made only acceptable by our dreams of escape." We ran a series of workshops around this, with each group member taking a different interpretation of the quote. This introduced us to the challenge of directing and generating completely original pieces of drama. One lesson working on Berkoff led me to research some of his plays, and one that looked particularly interesting was his "The Secret Love Life of Ophelia". ...read more.

Conclusion

Our instinct very early on was to use Babble as our closing scene, and the title of our piece was chosen: (the last line of the poem) "It doesn't fit this time". This made this line stand out as an important statement which the audience would hopefully leave thinking about. It was when we were exploring plays such as Beauty and the Beast and Time and the Conways that our final concept really began to take form. We saw a common link between all the stimulus material we had collected, in that all the characters were victims of some sort of blind love. Helena in 'Dream' failed to see Demetrius' disinterest, Gerald and Madge from 'Conways' failed to see that they were both hopelessly in love with each other, and Beauty failed to see beyond the appearance of the Beast. This was a major breakthrough in the latter stages of the process where everything started to fit together. It linked perfectly with the original loneliness quote, as all the characters were putting on this defence mechanism of a "dream of escape" and so did not face reality. It also had obvious connections with the Berkoff play "If they fail to see" and the statements of the characters in the "acting" poem: "Now we're acting the partners in love". Helen Fletcher 13A Structured Record ...read more.

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