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Devised Improvisation on the topic of war

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Drama Essay - Devised Improvisation Our improvisation topic is on "War." We decided that this was a good topic as most people in the world were affected by the war in someway, whether it's directly like being in battle themselves, or having family in battles or just having their life changed or even having to watch the devastating effects on the news. This means that it gives a very wide range of ideas that we can look at. The ideas we looked at in a brief way were direct battles, life for soldiers, and home life during the war, prisoners of war and going into hiding during the war. We looked at many resources to see where we could get the most useful information. We looked at recent newspapers on the war in Iraq, sheets of factual information about many wars, and poetry discussing the feelings of people during the war. We looked at many ideas, concentrated mainly on the two ideas of being affected by the atomic bomb in Hiroshima and prisoners of war. One poem we looked at, called 'fifteen million plastic bags' by Adrian Mitchell, was a good storyline to look at about nuclear warfare. We decided overall to do a story of how Jews were treated in the war, and decided to be a typical Jewish family living in Germany, and show their struggle to live a normal life, and they go into hiding. ...read more.


Overall, I feel I have worked very well with Lucy and Steven, the members of my group, we've been working hard to do extra rehearsals and co-operate well as a team. We are all contributing to ideas and fitting it all together so we all get an equal amount of time on stage. We have all been contributing to doing research to give more background to our storyline and been working out what kind of set, costumes and props we will need for our improvisation. Our group are getting on very well; we are all working as a team together and cooperating very well. We have all worked well to sort out the set, costumes and props. Due to our improvisation not being set hundreds of years ago, it hasn't been too difficult getting props together. We've all pulled our resources together, and used the schools' too. Our set for scene one is our house, with tables, and props such as a wireless, (we used the schools' speakers) and a telephone, as well as everyday house objects such as flowers. Our costumes are not too smart, but not too casual. I wear a dress, which women of that time would wear, and Lucy and Steven will wear smart trousers and a shirt, and for Lucy, also trousers and a shirt or a skirt. She will wear pyjamas in the first scene. ...read more.


The Jews were put through having to lead a very unusual life, not being able to go out when they wish, do shopping when/where they wish, and eventually they were tortured and put in concentration camps, in extremely horrendous conditions. In our second scene we celebrate the festival of Passover. In this scene we need to try to look a little happier, as this is one of the most important Jewish holidays. However, when the Gestapo arrive, we act very terrified, as this is the scene when we are taken away to a concentration camp. In the final scene, Steven acts very distressed, and feels like he is a failure, as he gets out of the concentration camp alive. He acts very mentally ill, as he commits suicide in the end, he's very upset, and very angry with himself. In our improvisation, I play the "mother" character. In it I have to play quite a cold woman, who feels threatened that her husband takes her daughters side all the time. When the family go into hiding I have to be able to convey that I am a caring wife/mother, but the war is getting to me. Overall our rehearsing is going well so far, and I hope for it to be a successful performance. I feel our message is very successful, as it educates the audience of the life of a typical family, despite it being a long time ago, and displays the distress and agony a family has to go through just because of their religion. Emma Matthews ...read more.

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