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Response - Improvisations based on 'The Woman in Black'

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Introduction

GCSE Drama 1699 - Paper 1 - Unit 11 Portfolio AOL = RESPONSE IMPROVISATION BASED ON A SCENE FROM "THE WOMAN IN BLACK". The text we were given was an opening to a typical ghost story, like "The Woman in Black.". We were briefed and told to make the improvisation melodramatic, farcical and over the top. We were told to do this in order to make the audience laugh by acting challenging, extreme and weird characters in the setting of a ghost story. Our first response to the text of a ghost story was shown in a spider diagram here: These are the collective brainstorming of the entire group when we thought of what came into our head immediately after being given the text of a ghost story. We found over acting our characters extremely challenging. For example: we were supposed to over exaggerate the fact that someone sold "evil hot dogs" and we had to play it seriously and melodramatically in order to make the audience laugh. ...read more.

Middle

Marking the moment emphasised the importance of suspense and silence and helped me understand the text in this way. If I were to stage the piece I'd make the atmosphere very eerie. I would make the set extremely tacky as it would make the atmosphere scary and yet ridiculous at the same time. SECOND IMPROVISATION BASED ON THE SCENES FROM 'THE WOMAN IN BLACK'. The text we were given was an extract from "The Woman in Black" where Mr Kipps cannot find his dog, Spider. In this extract there is an eerie whistling on the misty moor and he desperately calls for Spider. We were to use this as a text to inspire our improvisation to make a ghost story that scares and mystifies the audience. Our initial response to the text was to identify important elements and then brainstorm what these meant to us. We chose: whistles, mist and losing something that's close to you. ...read more.

Conclusion

The two explorative strategies we used were cross-cutting and hot seating. We chose to use hot-seating to help develop our characterisation by deepening our understanding of the roles that we're playing, which would hopefully come across in acting in the improvisation. We used cross-cutting to build a relationship with the characters we had just introduced so the loss was more tragic to the audience. Hot-seating helped me understand the text by helping me understand the regret and fear in losing someone and being deserted and alone by putting me in the role of the character and having to ask questions I felt like the character who had experienced this loss and this will help us convey our ideas in the improvisation. Cross cutting helped us convey to the audience that the last instances he saw his loved ones were warm times that suggested a long bond of friendship, and helped us do this quickly, concisely and effectively. If I were to stage the piece I would hope to create a setting of foreboding throughout the piece as it builds up tension and the mystery through the improvisation. ...read more.

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