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Drama portfolio - Oppression.

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Introduction

Drama Portfolio OPPRESSION Response Phase We have been exploring the theme of oppression for the past few weeks in our drama lessons and we have been finding ways through dramatic devices to understand and empathise with this concept. One of the first reactions to the theme "Oppression" were generally negative, and solemn; it seemed to be somewhat of a serious, depressing theme, and at first, on a personal level, I thought it seemed to be a rigid topic to experiment with (there was no immediate way in being able to fulfil different tasks, in an altered, effective way, each time) However, this also intrigued me into seeing what tasks we would be using to explore this theme effectively. To show my responses (this includes personal thought, adverse and sometimes somewhat surprising realisations/reactions to the process and results achieved in different tasks) to the theme "Oppression" I will list the activities we completed and write about the things I have resulted in seeing/understanding from the drama used. They show how they helped me understand and be able to empathise and respond with Oppression, thus being able to respond with the drama effectively also. To begin with, we started from a logical point; we needed to familiarise ourselves with the concept, so, we, as a group, listed words which we associated with this theme. A few of my own responses are shown below... This was a good starting point, as this enabled me to see one word from different perspectives, thus being able to see how the dramatic aspect of oppression can expand so easily. One of our next tasks was a symbolic movement and comparison, of freedom through to oppression. ...read more.

Middle

we developed this with a brainstorm of suitable ideas... (see sheet A - included with this work) Although, as you can see, it seemed like an unorganised process, it helped us to deduct our ideas to a smaller, more manageable plot. We decided we would portray this in a futuristic way by taking elements of such books as '1984'; as we agreed that the futurism portrayed in such a thing as that, was highly effective through simple elements, such as the use of slightly differed language and movement, and equality in dress etc. However, to follow this through, we realised we would need an element of surrealism, we understood from observing from previous exercises (such as the one previously observed) movement, and body language was a very powerful factor. We also agreed things such as lighting, and music would link into this effectively (I will reference on this all later...) However, for our plot we eventually came up with equality and identity. This developed into our plot. Our basic plot became of a time where the human race had been stripped of any real identity. They were identified by numbers, used for labour, to go elsewhere, they had no say in anything, and they knew no real difference. They were controlled by the "PM". Until a small amount of doubt began going through their minds. And they found a person who agreed to help them rebel out of this. Eventually this folded out, this was a plant. And one of them were destroyed in demonstration, when they would not conform. We had 5 scenes in our play; so on average each scene was about a minute, as it was so short, we could not include huge chunks of speech, so we needed to demonstrate things in other ways, using dramatic devices, which an audience would respond to. ...read more.

Conclusion

doing the Emmeline Pankhurst duologue, it was important to really know what character you were playing, and at least roughly what was happening before trying to do a spot improvisation! The work of others has also helped me greatly, and it has been useful being able to see the techniques I have been using also, be used in other situations; by evaluating and analysing their work, I can see through comparison and reference to the future what would be effective, and more importantly why. For example, the use of freeze frames, a group used to portray a past event, with a narrative over the top, was effective, as it kept it simple, thus making it clear, and as the freeze frames were strong, this left a lasting impression, and from now forth I can think back to techniques, which other groups used better than I did, or that I didn't use at all, and be able to use them to a good standard, without having to have done anything other than watch and listen! This theme, and this drama portfolio has given me a lot of experience and reference for the future. LIGHTING PLAN (Sheet B) Dim Red light up - Music/Track1/Start Playing NOW CLICK ON STAGE FROM OPRESSOR#1. << CUE. LIGHTS UP. (Dim Red Light OFF. MUSIC PAUSE.) OPRESSOR#1 GOES OFFSTAGE << CUE. LIGHTS DOWN. BACK TO DIM RED LIGHT. MUSIC START AGAIN - SAME TRACK - SAME POINT!) SCENE CHANGE << CUE. MUSIC/TRACK2/NOW FREEZE FRAME/SCENE START << CUE. STOP MUSIC. SPOTLIGHT. "Be Free" << CUE :: LIGHTS DOWN MUSIC TO FILL SPACE 10 seconds TRACK7 MUSIC OFF LIGHTS UP. OPRESSOR#2 ENTERS FOR SECOND TIME << CUE. RED LIGHT UP. DRAMATIC FALL FROM OPRESSED#3 . SPEECH FROM RUTH... "Its not the way." <<CUE. LIGHTS DOWN ...read more.

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