How did rehearsals and the production process contribute to the final performance?

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Helen Fletcher 13A Structured Record

 How did rehearsals and the production process contribute to the final performance?

Although the majority of the rehearsals involved working closely as a whole group, there were occasional times where two or three members worked separately to focus on a particular element. One example of this was me, Dan,  Josh, Sam and Nicole ensuring we were communicating the same facial expressions and gestures at the appropriate moments in the Positive Hour scenes. Our characters were desperately trying to make Hannah’s character (Miranda) realise that her husband (Nick) was homosexual, and so we had to react at exactly the same moments to illustrate this “his yeast isn’t rising”. Our eyebrows would rise at moments of high sexual innuendo, and we would sigh in frustration when Miranda remained in denial. By designating specific movements to specific lines, the emphasis was stronger and the audience’s understanding of the scene heightened. Watching this particular part back with the use of video definitely helped; it enabled us to see from an audience’s perspective what was working, and what wasn’t.

        Outside of group rehearsal time, we continued to research ideas as individuals, which often had a very positive effect. Having just two members in a more relaxed environment talking about certain scenes meant far higher levels of concentration and ensured the other person was always listening. If there was a time where the group grew frustrated at a lack of progress, or at a lack of inspiration, working individually often helped. We would come to the next rehearsal with more ideas which we would then explain to the group, therefore making better use of rehearsal time. Ele, Sam, Nicole and I noticed a connection between some poetry by William Blake we were studying in English Literature, and so talked about this outside of rehearsal time, then presented our ideas to the group, giving us something constructive to work on immediately.

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We used a lot of physical theatre within our production, and with particularly complex movements, constructive rehearsal was vital. The scenes which were derived from Midsummer Night’s Dream involved picking up and carrying group members, falling backwards and running, and so needed to be perfectly choreographed, and trust was integral within our group. This was not only to avoid possible injuries, but to ensure everyone knew where they were meant to be, and therefore created a smoother, more visually powerful scene for the final performance. We obviously could not practise such physical movements without the use of the whole group, ...

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