Drama and Theatre studies - practical- coursework

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      AS Drama and Theatre studies

                   Devised Work


              Marwa (Mia) Radwan


Section 1 - Inspiration and Influence

Section 2 - Research

Section 3 – Health and safety

Section 4 – Development of the play and my role

Section 5 – Final evaluation


Inspiration and Influence

In my AS theatre studies course we have studied, Antigone a Greek tragedy by Sophocles and, Yerma by Federico Garcia Lorca which is a Spanish play based in the countryside of Andalusia. Both plays have their main characters female and both surround around the “injustice” they have been through the main reason being men and the patriarchy society they’re in. So from both the plays we’ve studied we get a feeling of a “battle between the sexes” they both create the idea of women “fighting back”. This was our group’s first inspiration for our devised piece we decided to base our play around the treatment of women and the unity of women coming together to fight against men, because of the unfairness towards women. This idea of all women against their men gave me the idea of a scene from the production of Chicago the musical, where all these women are together in jail for having killed their husbands/boyfriends in a variety of ways and they all sing of how “He had it coming”, making it the men’s fault. I thought this idea of fighting back but then justifying it because these men are “cruel” and so deserve punishment, this could also be used in our play. This scene is a musical scene they are all singing and dancing, it’s also quite creative in that it starts off with simple sounds that each woman makes to represent her “story” for example one woman keeps repeating the word “pop” you later find out when she explains her story (in song) that her man kept making that pop sound with his gum and that’s what irritated her into shooting him dead! When each woman says their word (or sound) it goes around again from the beginning and they kept repeating it over and over and faster each time that it started to make a beat and that’s when the song started. This influenced us into doing many things for our play such as having an unrealistic scene where we could have music and dancing and also if we had the female characters that have had the injustice done to them if they each had one word to describe them and then like in Chicago have them repeat it in a climax of a scene. In Chicago they all come together and dance in unison etc… so we began to think of having those individual stories of each woman but then in the big climax having them come together to get revenge in “unison”.

Therefore the basic plot that we gathered for our devised piece is that there are a number a woman who have been treated unfairly or unequally by men they are in a relationship and so they all get their ‘vengeance’ by coming together and punishing them all in an extremely unrealistic way. The group came up with ideas of using something like “voodoo” or magic to be their fight back. Because when we thought of “powerful” “evil” women it made us think of “witches” and that casting a spell could be their way of getting men back!


Chicago- Item 1 (enclosed)

In this scene of Chicago these women are in jail they all sing about how they killed their husbands and blame them for their death. The imagery of all these women uniting as one and dancing in unison, that’d be useful for our play, instead of keeping the women as individuals even though they all have different stories and are different people, make them come together, become one and fight back. Also it shows the feisty sexy side to women shows them to be strong not just sweet and caring as they are stereotyped to be, so we need to portray this. It’s almost like saying every woman has a tigress in them and you push her then it will be unleashed and she will fight back!

Arab men and domestic violence- Item 2 (enclosed)

From this article you can see the main reason these Arab men were abusive to their wives was because of their patriarchal society. This I feel is down to insecurities of when they are not feeling like they are in “power”. But these statistics show that they are “against” it, it’s almost like they don’t realise what they’re doing, and some blame their wives for them doing it. This helps me to understand my character because I know that he uses certain mechanisms to save himself from blame and feeling guilty. I’ll use this in my acting, id be trying to make excuses and to justify my reasons for beating my wife.

True story domestic violence Tanya Grey- Item 3 (enclosed)

This could be put into both my character and Priya’s, because we can use examples of things that had happened in this story of abuse and put it into our story. For example one scene in our play when the husband comes home and the wife is terrified just hearing his footsteps; this was real and had happened to this woman in the article. From this we made our stylised version of it, the footsteps and other actions are exemplified by a thudding sound that will be made by one of the actors off stage, and as he gets closer a heart beat rhythm starts showing how scared she is. And also in one scene the husband suspects his wife is waiting for another man (cheating) because she’s got candles and is relaxing, this again comes from the real life story of this couple where she was relaxing and having a bath and he accuses her of waiting for a man. The reasons for them doing things can also be put into how we see our characters and then this will help us to understand them and so be able to “be” them (Stanislavsky’s magic IF), for example his reasoning is jealousy wanting to have power and she stays with him at first because she finds this strength and power attractive, before she realises that he’s actually dangerous!

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Stanislavsky’s Emotion Memory- Item 4 (enclosed)

When trying to be and feel like our characters we have to literally feel what they are feeling to be able to act to the best potential, this theory of Stanislavsky’s allows an actor to do this by bringing similar personal feelings of the actors into their acting. So for example when Priya is acting extremely scared she had to remember a memory of when she felt really scared and then put all those gestures facial expressions etc into the acting.

This of course is quite difficult because you’re not in that ...

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