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AS and A Level: Theatre Studies

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  1. Outline Stanislavski's approach to the role of the director. Give practical examples of the way a director might use the psychotechnique in the System.

    In 1938, Stanislavski died in Moscow. The following quotation sums up the System as a whole: "The purpose of the System is to create the right conditions for the subconscious to be roused to creative work, especially in the case of actors who have talent rather than genius, like Stanislavski himself." This means that the purpose of the System is to make a realistic performance and get rid of any 'false acting'. The director plays a part in this as it is he who directs what the actors will do, and therefore determines how lifelike the performance will be.

    • Word count: 906
  2. Which aspects of Epic Theatre and Brecht's philosophy are found in scene one of 'Mother Courage and her children'?

    Brecht challenges our expectations and creates a Sergeant who is pro-war. 'Peace-that's just a mess: takes a war to restore order' This effectively stirs up an immense reaction within the audience only a short way into the play. This is what Brecht had intended, he wanted this kind of reaction. Another of Brecht's techniques used in scene one of the play is 'montage'. The scene is entire, it is almost like a short story with a beginning, middle and an end. Also it is very informative as it reveals a lot about the main characters of the play, without going into too much detail.

    • Word count: 589
  3. Stanislavski beleived that actors should have increased responsibility. What did he mean by this?

    One exercise we did was to write down five things true about ourselves. Then ask somebody who is 'distant' to us; to write down five things that they believe were true about us. This allowed us to consider the differences and similarities between a character and us. From this, we can decide which characteristics are appropriate to use for our character. Stanislavski found that actors felt the need to 'overact'. Actors felt that they had to overact everything they did to make it more interesting for the audience. Stanislavski took all decorations in the theatre, so that the audience could focus on the actors and not the stage around them.

    • Word count: 895
  4. To learn about the advantages and disadvantages of communications technologies in the workplace. TASK: To write a report for a company wanting to move into the 21st century

    The company has 5 reps, working mostly from home, covering different areas. They generate their own sales leads, by cold calling architects and building contractors, offering the service of specifying which architectural ironmongery is needed on each door of a building project. This saves the architect time when there might be hundreds of doors in a hotel or an office block. The director is aware that most architects use AutoCad, and so wants to be able to offer a compatible, software based service instead of the word-processed documents they currently send through the post.

    • Word count: 594
  5. The Job - Dramatic aims and objectives.

    The System is composed of these main elements: Action, Emotion Memory, If, Units and Objectives, The given Circumstances, The super objective and Imagination, the through-line of action. Circles of Attention, These elements are the basis to what Stanislavaski thought of as "a whole way of life"; " the System is not a hand me down suit that you can put on and walk off in, or a cook-book where all you need is to find your page and there is the recipe.

    • Word count: 3665
  6. In this essay, I will be trying to evaluate the play "Stones in his pockets". The Play itself is all based around a small Irish town, in which a Hollywood production comes to rest and the locals become not just the extras, but part of the film itself.

    The ways in which the actors were able to change character quickly were based around the more simple elements to do with characterisation. Factors like body language, tone of voice and facial expressions, however more subtle differences in technical areas like lighting, and at one point, sound was used to convey the change between one situation (and its set of characters), and another. Another of the workshop tasks being practically based showed us how the different methods of characterisation are used.

    • Word count: 1275
  7. With detailed textual references discuss, analyse and review the key but cinematic features displayed in

    Pleading with the repairman to transport them back, he gets upset and leaves them in. Because of this they have to stay stuck in the roles of Bud and Mary-Sue, two of the shows characters and have to continue in their characters lives. "The Truman Show", as mentioned before, is also a major film in the last decade. The general overview of the plot is simple for viewers to recognise throughout the film. Set a few years into the future, a fictional television company called Omnicom adopt an unwanted pregnancy in order to produce a television show.

    • Word count: 2356
  8. The title of my devised piece is Resentment. The piece is about young catholic birthmothers being forced into adoption by their parents. It is based on the stimulus of oppression in society.

    Forum Theatre seeks to show a person (the oppressed) who is trying to deal with an oppression and failing because of the resistance of one or more obstacles (the oppressor). My devised piece is based on 'theatre of the oppressed' but doesn't include a lot of audience interaction. The audience isn't used at all in the piece, although one short scene does occur among the audience. This is very unlike Boal, as he would try and involve the audience as much as possible into the piece. In the Caucasian Chalk Circle there are many links to the theme of oppression.

    • Word count: 902
  9. Theatre Evaluation of, The Woman In Black

    Throughout the play these were the only props used, but with great effect. Each prop was brought into a scene and used in a different way. The gauze was used for projective images. This gave a chilling effect for example when the image of a cross was shone on to it. It was also used to create other images like a graveyard, the old house and also other parts of the house, like when you saw the woman in black on the stairs.

    • Word count: 876
  10. What comparisons and contrasts can be made between the entertainment in classical Pompeiiand nowadays? Which would you have preferred?

    I believe this was a way of marketing what was on offer within the Amphitheatre. Just as today, we market our films and theatre productions using bill boards, television and radio as an advertising medium. The spectacles that they would have watched would have been Gladiatorial fights, Plays and speech recitals. These were all pretty 'usual' things to watch, apart from the fights according to today's society. This is because it contained bloodshed which was extremely appealing to the Roman Empire. Yet this would be appalling in today's society. I believe this is why we have replaced it with spectacles such as sport, film and opera.

    • Word count: 924
  11. Out line your present understanding of Stanislavski's system

    The second part was called the Psycho-technique and was concerned with the actor's mental state. Stanislavski thought that 'true' creativity occurred when unconscious memories, impulses and energy were released. Stanislavski then broke his system down into ten specific elements. These were; Units of action, Stanislavski required his actors to divide the text into what he called large 'units of action'. The idea was to help them perceive and understand the logical development of the text and find the core of the play. These large units were then given titles which defined their 'objectives' and were then sub-divided again into smaller units for ease of scene and character development in rehearsal.

    • Word count: 1320
  12. Choose a production that you have seen that combines skills of actors and designers in an enjoyable or unusual way. Discuss in detail one scene or section that you have found particular effective.

    In the play, Mazzie and Barrett were married but divorced. In this scene, the set was split into two dressing rooms. In Mazzie's dressing room, there were shades of pink, green, frills, a chalice lounge, and dainty lamps. This showed us that there was a feminine environment to the set and that there were signs of wealth. This contrasted to Barrett's dressing room, which contained shades of green and a beige square table and masculine accessories. You could tell that there was less money on Barrett's side because of the smaller space and the sparsely equipped room.

    • Word count: 767
  13. Interview with Nazreen Deller, who plays a soldier at war In "Saving Private Ryan"

    Interviewer: So you were kitted up like a real soldier? Nazreen: Yes another reason that the whole experience was horrifyingly real was the costumes we had to wear. Steven managed to get the US army distributors to rent costumes to the cast for the movie. The costumes were very heavy and uncomfortable; we had to wear them throughout filming.

    • Word count: 545
  14. Character played by the real Mr Kipps

    Because this character had very few lines it was harder to notice a difference in voice, however from what Keckwick did say, he had a raspy, rough voice, that was deep in comparison to the real Mr Kipps. Jerome : the undertaker. For this character the actor who was playing Mr Kipps adjusted his posture to make him look older. He did this by assuming a feeble and crippled position; this was achieved by crouching over and looking seemingly weaker.

    • Word count: 838
  15. Masks in Theatre

    Even the audience of the last row can hear a whisper from the orchestra. An interesting idea is that the mask could give to the character some sort of universality, creating an average figure, so that the audience would judge him on his actions and not his appearance. Certainly that was a result of the use of the mask but I am not quite convinced that it was one of the purposes of its use. Usually the masks were made of linen, wood, or leather.

    • Word count: 1054
  16. I went with my drama group to see a farce entitled 'Out of Order' at Chorley Little Theatre. This piece of work is a critical analysis on that play.

    However, both are married so they cannot have the scandal spread, and as they work for different political parties. However, when they find a dead body on the windowsill, they are faced with a dilemma: do they tell the police, and face the music, or do they try to hide the body? They decide to hide the body and get Mr. Pigden round to the hotel to help them hide the body. They also have to get Mrs. Worthington out of the hotel as soon as possible. Most of the following scenes are a race to hide the body, and get rid of Mrs.

    • Word count: 874
  17. An Essay on a Performance

    There are two characters in the script. These are both young women. One is called Fran, and the other Josie. Josie is a much more lively character than Fran. She is quick witted, with a fiery temper and a lashing tongue. She blames Fran for them being stuck in the middle of the ocean. Josie considers herself to be above Fran, and is a harder character than Fran. She is dramatic, and over the top. However in the last part of the script, she relents and shows her true affection for Fran.

    • Word count: 771
  18. Consider how set can be used to communicate successfully the dance's ideal concept. Give an example from

    I have chosen to discuss the set in the first scene of the performance, "The Great Auk". There are two sections to this scene, the first section being a representation of the Great Auk's habitat, the second being a busy caf´┐Ż, run by penguins as waiters and sophisticated women as customers. The set for the first section is simple but effective. The stage has a black backdrop, covering the whole stage wall, and a smaller screen on wheels centre stage.

    • Word count: 1525
  19. What is feminism?

    The modern feminist theatre movement began late 60's. Their goal was to bring women and their experiences out of the domestic sphere and into the social one. This also encouraged a whole new load of drama groups and company's devoted to feminist drama, such as The Monstrous Regiment, Joint Stock and Women's Theatre Season. A few women have become well known for their plays that have furthered feminist performance theory and broadened traditional views of gender roles. Caryl Churchill: Caryl Churchill's plays were based around feminine theory and gender politics.

    • Word count: 731
  20. Contextualising Our Country's Good.

    Through these journals she could get a useful insight into what life for convict was really like. She could learn of the marine's frustration that they had been sent to do just a job, in such a place, and the way in which they took out these frustrations on the convicts. Her knowledge of such wrong doings comes through very clearly in the text in scenes, and also through characters such as Sergeant Robbie Ross. Through these marine's journals historians were also able to discover that in 1789 several convicts, and one officer put on a play for the whole colony.

    • Word count: 914
  21. Wood Characteristics

    Light reddish tan appearance. Physical Props: Heavy, hard, strong and stiff with moderate stability. Multipurpose wood. Wood Characteristics of Knotty Alder: Type: Softwood Appearance: Straight grained, fine textured, light brown/rose apperance. Knots of different sizes. Physical Props: Moderately light and soft, low bending strength. Stains to match other cabinet woods well. Wood Characteristics of Hickory: Type: Hardwood Appearance: Tight generally straight grain with coarse texture. Pale to reddish brown. Physical Props: Very heavy, hard, strong, stiff, and shock resistant. Great stability and strength. Wood Characteristics of Cherry: Type: Hardwood Appearance: Generally straight grained with fairly uniform texture.

    • Word count: 1699
  22. The Opportunities and Limitations of Single Camera Drama

    Using a single camera you can mimic the look of multi camera setups by repeating the scene as many times as needed to get all the angles, generally the shots that are needed are; master shot, medium shot and close-ups, with any cutaways that are needed filmed at the end. The rushes are then edited together into the final piece. Although this method is extremely time consuming, and gruelling for the actors, it allows the director to push the actors, and to get across exactly what is in his mind.

    • Word count: 918
  23. Ghost dancer

    All her classmates thought that she was just stressing herself as to them, her dance item for the competition seemed very perfect. There was a whole stretch of mirrors in the dance studio that could total up to about ten. She would dance and dance until she has felt the rhythm and how she expressed herself to her hearts content. Madhavi would only leave the studio at about nine o' clock at the night which was quite usual for her.

    • Word count: 1044
  24. The Bouncers

    This is where the Bouncers are introduced, who go by the names of Eric(Suzy), Ralph(Rosie), Les(Maureen) and Judd(Elaine) Eric is the tough bouncer who is basically the leader of the four. Eric is also one of the lads trying to get laid. He is not really like the other three as he is not as perverted. Ralph is the bouncer who is the more sensitive of the four. He is also the one getting the less attractive girls. Les is the bouncer who is the more quiet yet wiser of the four. He is also the one who is more experienced with girls.

    • Word count: 917
  25. To kill a Mocking Bird Story Board - Creating suspense.

    She dismissed this from her mind and entered, hoping she would find a phone to call a taxi. She approached the door, which looked oak, but was hard to tell with the amount of dust and police barrier tape. When she shut the door behind her, she stood in a magnificent hallway. A large marble gargoyle hung from two silver chains, both ridden with dust and cobwebs. The gargoyle was holding a coat of arms: two scythes with a gladius hanging in the centre, all wreathed in flame. Suddenly, she heard a faint whisper over her shoulder, but by the time she had span round to check the dark presence, it had vanished.

    • Word count: 619

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