How influences and ideas of other playwrights and/or directors, designers and performers have been used.

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How influences and ideas of other playwrights and/or directors, designers and performers have been used.

The most obvious influence of another playwright within our production is the good and bad conscience scene. This scene took the idea from Christopher Marlowe’s “Doctor Faustus” with the conscience of the main character, Joseph, being displayed as two ‘living’ entities on the stage, each portraying a different side of the character’s mind. One represents the ‘bad’ side of the character, and the other the ‘good’. In our production the main character, Joseph, is offered some marijuana, the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ angel walk onto the stage. The ‘good’ angel takes the anti-drug stance, and the ‘bad’ angel tells Joseph that it’s not that bad.

The Streets and their song ‘The Irony of it all’ influenced us. At first we just used the song for an idea for a scene that compared the effects of alcohol and weed. We later used the lyrics from the song as the actual lines for our characters.

The structure of our play was taken from a production that some members of the group performed last year, “The After-Dinner Joke” by Caryl Churchill. In this play there is several short scenes, with a main running theme of ‘the politics of charity’, the scenes changed quickly, and were often only parts of a conversation. This structure was used due to the fact that ours is not one large story, with scenes that follow on from one to the other, but more a gathering of different opinions. We also wanted to cover as much as possible, and this is an acceptable and simple way to do this, without rushing scenes. This is also more suitable for rehearsal arrangements during lesson and out of school, as it is possible to split up into several groups and do many scenes at the same time. By allowing for a small time to show the rest of the group, they can see what has been produced and their suggestions can be put forward. Other cast members can be integrated into the scene if they are required.

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This structure is Epic theatre, which is synonymous with Brecht. Epic theatre could be defined as ‘a sequence of incidents or events, narrated without artificial restraints as to time, place, or relevance to a formal plot. Epic theatre has several defining characteristics:

  • Narrative.
  • Forces the audience to take decisions.
  • The audience is made to face ‘something’.
  • Arguments are brought to the point of recognition.
  • The human being is the object of the inquiry.
  • He is alterable. (As Brecht believed that a person can be changed by their social conditions.)

In Epic theatre it ...

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