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Comparison between our improvisation project and The Shawshank Redemption

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Comparison between our improvisation project and "The Shawshank Redemption" During this term we have been working on presenting a play based on the theme of liberty. Our particular play is entitled Checkpoint Charlie. This is for option three, improvisation. I will be devising as well as developing this play with three other students from my GCSE drama class in a group of four. I will play the role of Hannah; the daughter of Franz and Bridgett and a sibling to Peter. Hannah is the oldest of the two children. Hannah cares a lot her about her brother, Peter and sacrifices herself instead of him to move away with her alcoholic father, Franz. We began working on this play in January and we expect to present this to the rest of our class in March. The storyline of our play is based on a German family struggling with the effects of a physical barrier; the Berlin wall. We have tried to include our research, for example the dates of which important events happened. We also did some research about a man named Peter who actually died trying to cross the Berlin wall, so our play relates to a true story. To research our project we watched the film "The Shawshanks redemption". The Shawshanks Redemption is a 1994 movie, written and directed by Frank Darabont. ...read more.


When people are in jail for a long period of time, they get used to the simplest things in life. Prisoners get food, have a place to sleep, have clothes to wear, and have books to read. They adapt to the guards always telling them when to wake up or when to eat breakfast. Prisoners get so used to these things that when they get out of jail, they don't know what to do with themselves. In the words of an important character, Andy Dufresne, they have to "Get busy living or get busy dying". In the case of Brooks, a long term prisoner, he was unable to cope with fitting back into society after his release and committed suicide not long after. Life in the mid twentieth century in America was a violent time, it was a gun owning society and at this time America was racing for world dominance. This era was full of conflict between society's after the end of World War ll. There was a rise in rebellious behaviour and the civil rights movements taking place in the segregated south. All the events that took place in the 1950s led the way into the 1960s. Communism was still heard about during the Vietnam War, the beats ideas were carried on by hippies, and the Civil Rights Movement carried on well into the 1960s. ...read more.


Much like the character of Franz in our play. He is an unhappy man and drinking is his way of coping with the reality of the Berlin wall. At the end of our play, the youngest boy Peter in attempt to cross the wall gets caught and shot. At the very same moment he had got freedom he got shot down, and it was all taken away. This resembles the prisoners that got paroled or freed from Shawshank. As soon as they got everything that they wanted, they couldn't cope and ended up committing suicide. In our 15 minute play we will use a variety of lighting techniques to help give the effect of day or night, or for example setting a cosy scene in the living room. We will use freeze-frames and black outs on one side of the room and on the other have the current scene lit up, going back and forth to show how both families are coping on opposite sides of the Berlin wall. In conclusion, what I hope to learn from this project is how to improvise and how to use techniques with lighting and stage props. In my last play I didn't have as many lines because I played a smaller role. I hope that by the end of this piece I will have more confidence in being able to play more complex and important roles and will be able to work even better in a group. By Cloe Mann:) ...read more.

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