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Drama - Devised Performance.

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Introduction

GCSE Drama Coursework Devised Performance Our GCSE devised play centres around the theme of 'something to hide'. As a stimuli we were given the song 'Luka' by Suzanne Vega which is about a woman who is abused by her partner but tries to hide it from the outside world. We also studied the play 'Death of a Salesman' written by Arthur Miller, a dramatist who wrote with a social conscience. Many of his plays such as 'The Crucible' (about the witch hunts in Salem in the 17th century as a comparison to the McCarthy 'witch' hunts in America in the 1950s), 'All My Sons' (concerning a family in turmoil due to a secret held by the father from the Second World War) and 'Death of a Salesman' (which explores the destructive reality behind the concept of a failed American Dream) are concerned with real people and social issues. 'Focus', his novel, is about anti-Semitism and many of his dramatic works focus on the idea of 'something to hide', or the truth of a past sin being uncovered. In 'Death of a Salesman' the concealed lie is the fact that Willy Loman, the main protagonist of the play, has had an affair in the past and this has ...read more.

Middle

Ironically he kills himself at the end of the play, having reached the conclusion that he is worth more dead than alive, and we explored the effects of a wasted death, which could have been prevented, on those who are left behind. We chose anorexia because weight issues are currently topical and the effects of this illness are particularly pertinent to teenage girls who are influenced by the media representation of the 'perfect body'. Just as in Miller's time the notion of success in business had a high degree of relevance so we felt anorexia had the same topical impact on today's society - Miller often repeats the phrase about the importance of being 'well-liked' in 'Death of a Salesman' and we felt that one way that teenage girls felt they could be accepted was to be slim. It is also an illness which many people keep hidden from close family and this showed that although one is very close to someone it is still easy to hide such an awful secret. One scene is a flashback to the man marrying the two women - we decided to follow Arthur Miller's use of flashback in 'Death of a Salesman' where important events from the past are related and their effects on the present become apparent. ...read more.

Conclusion

The use of a tattoo was also the most explicitly physical characteristic to hide - all the other scenes in our devised performance concerned mental issues such as anorexia, transvestism etc. The final scene is about a man who is compelled to tell the truth no matter what the circumstance - we have used this scene as a contrast to having something to hide and the consequences of blatantly telling a truth even if the outcome is a cruel one. This scene was set in a psychiatrists' office where traditionally the past is delved into and a hidden truth is uncovered. In 'Death of a Salesman' Biff states that "We never told the truth for ten minutes in this house!" and we wanted to show the effects of someone who pathologically tells the truth. The end of Miller's play, once certain truths have been revealed, ends in tragedy. The man in our scene has an effect on all the other characters in our devised performance - his blatant truth telling acts as a catalyst for all the events that we played out before. In the end we wanted to show, nothing is black and white - everything has grey areas and it is a case of finding the happy medium that makes for a good life. . ...read more.

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