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Unit 1 - Documentary Response to Children's Drama

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´╗┐Kalain Hosein The Characteristics and Conventions of Children Stories In my first lesson on fairy tales, we read through some stories such as ?The Rainbow Fish? and ?Going on A Bear Hunt? where we examined stories studying the similarities and conventions of the stories, which eventually, we performed to Year 1?s. The most obvious characteristics that we learnt were: 1. Struggle between Protagonists and Antagonists 2. Royalty 3. Magic 4. Repetition 5. In-animate objects coming to life 6. Good is triumphant 7. Morals 8. Beginning ? ?Once upon a time?? 9. Ending ? ?They all live happily ever after.? 10. Quests While understanding the characteristics of fairy tales and children stories, we, collectively as a group, figured the conventions of the story where we learnt it followed The Narrative Theory. Mime and The Narrative Theory Mime was the first technique that we attempted this year. The majority of the class had little experience. While learning how to mime, we quickly understood that all our other features as an actor would have to be exaggerated and emphasised, which was an obstacle for some members of our class including me. In our first fairy tale mime from our memory, we mimed the fairy tale ?The Little Red Riding Hood.? We had to do completely different methods of portraying emotions. Me, as the wolf, I had to walk slowly and use long, slow strides to distinctly show an evil character. ...read more.


At our first and second rehearsal, we distinguished two major problems as actors with our performance; we lacked energy and we had no idea how our characters were connected because we were just reading the script like words off a paper rather than dialogue. To get the energy flowing we did a Levels of Energy exercise, hot seating and Stanislavski?s ?Magic If? Levels of energy Level 1 - In A Coma ? This lying on the floor, doing absolutely nothing Level 2 - Just Woke Up ? Still low energy, but moving around slowly and lethargically Level 3 ? Alert ? Normal level of energy; ready to do a task. Level 4 - Baby Falling Out Window ? High alert; running around panicking; very active and frisky Level 5 ? Opera ? Highest level of energy, putting 100% effort into whatever you are doing. Doing this exercise, we began at level 1 and reached level 5 but after we randomly went into different levels to vary our energy. Our level before was at level two but the level an actor is always supposed to be at is level 4, continuously alert and always on the edge. We then did rehearsals with the required energy level but our dialogue was just words on paper and no feeling. Hot Seating Hot seating helps us to understand their personality as well as their relationships between characters by questioning the actor about their character while they are still in role. ...read more.


the floor in defeat and weakness, the 3 friends stand proudly above the witch with arms akimbo, and the princess lies on the floor. On the frozen image, levels portray status and power in that scene, were we (friends) have more power and control over the witch. The Final Performance Our final performance included all the techniques and was done with maximum emotion and this time, we slowed things down so we exaggerated emotions and actions to the best of our ability. This performance taught me a lot about performing to children as well as miming and energy. I learnt that hot seating is the best way for me, to create emotions and a personality out of thin air. I now understand the level of simplicity and the exaggeration actors and writers have to work at when producing work for children. I learnt that miming requires a great amount of control regarding emotions and not using subtle movements but extravagant actions to portray dialogue. Only after the performance, we learnt the most strategic places to position the props because there were some prop errors that altered our performance, although it was a success. In conclusion, not only this performance helped me develop as an actor, but it taught me very effective ways of maintaining character, changing my energy levels as well as changing words on a paper to an actual conversation and overall creating an alternate personality onstage ...read more.

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