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This project was about the lives of slaves and in some cases the slave owners.

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Introduction

This project was about the lives of slaves and in some cases the slave owners. We listened to tapes, read poetry and had group discussions, which helped us develop an idea of what life was like being a slave. These exercises led to some very effective drama. The project began with an audiotape exercise. This told the story of a slave. It described in great detail the horrific conditions they lived under and the painfully repetitive lifestyle. It made us aware of the suffering and depression in the plantation. Below is a spider diagram of all the items described in the tape. One small meal a day Repetitive Lifestyle Wore rags Harsh Punishment Long working hours Cramped Sleeping No Beds We had to concentrate on facial expressions and gestures as movement and speech weren't supposed to be used. We used ideas from the tape, for example we showed the cramped sleeping conditions and harsh punishment. We also concentrated on using different levels to make it look interesting. Shown below is a storyboard of what we showed. We organized some pair work. I worked with Donna and we planned a conversation between a slave and slave owner. Donna played the slave and I played the slave owner. Our storyline consisted of Donna having some valuable information on a planned escape, which I wanted to get out of her. ...read more.

Middle

Keep on diggin. Faye: Your insane (Donna enters with Dan, Matt stops singing and gets back to work) Donna: Your slowing down, keep up the pace. We've got a new one, show him the ropes. (Shoves Dan forward) I want to see you working when I get back boy. (Donna stomps off) Matt: Hullo, I'm Matt. Erma well, You just gotta dig ....... ok? Dan: huh, why? Why should I? Faye: What are you doing? Just get working, she'll be back any minute. Dan: Why? Faye: Just do it! (Dan picks up shovel) Matt: dig, dig, dig just keep on diggin. (Donna enters again) Donna: right you lot you haven't done enough. You'll make up the time tomorrow or else? Dan: Or else what? (Matt and me gasp, shocked) Faye: what are you doing, shut up! Dan: No, or else what? You can't make me do anything! Faye: Shut up! For god sakes! Donna: Get inside! All of you. (We all trail off inside and sit down on the left hand side of stage) Donna: I don't want to hear a peep out of any of you tonight! And just for that rudeness outside, no food tonight! I suggest you sort out the new one or he's gonna drag you down with him. Your lucky your new boy, I wont be so lenient tomorrow. ...read more.

Conclusion

For example I didn't think about each of the people in the plantation to be individuals, but after a few drama exercises I thought about how each and every one of them have family, friends, likes and dislikes, instead of them all being the same. I think my most effective role was in strange fruit. I thought carefully about the role as I played a slave who always acted tough, stuck her chin up and got on with it. But at the end I had to show her true side, the scared, weak woman who longed for freedom. It was good how I could show that just by reading a poem too. I also found that the whole group had a positive impact to the performance and we all gave 110% effort. I think we had the effect on the audience that we were after. I thought that Bianca, Carly, Laura, Laura and Donna's escape scene was fantastic. It kept you watching throughout and had a wide range of differing characters. It also used the whole stage and the storyline worked well. I liked the way they kept you interested by showing different levels and their facial expressions were good also. In my opinion the project was a great way to get us all thinking, and, performing better, and more demanding roles. It helped us feel motivated to do well. Also it taught us how lucky we are nowadays. If I had to sum the project up in two words it would be 'Educational, fun'. ...read more.

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