Evaluate the whole workshop both your work and work of others in the group. Look particularly at social, cultural and historical issues explored.

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Evaluate the whole workshop both your work and work of others in the group.  Look particularly at social, cultural and historical issues explored.

Before the workshop began, I knew little about the death penalty, what qualifies a criminal to receive this sentence, and countries in which the death penalty was accepted.  The workshop included different methods of bringing the texts to life and to develop the classes understanding of each task.  Each stimulus that was studied also gave a different viewpoint to the death penalty, by displaying opinions through a speculation or a monologue.  Every stimulus also described scenes which differed from others socially, culturally and historically.  

Though each stimulus was studied using a variety of explorative strategies, and showed different situations where the death penalty was prominent, the majority of students in the class came to a conclusion on capital punishment.  By the end of the workshop, (it is unknown whether the workshop influenced these opinions entirely) a total of four out twenty three students were for the death penalty, with a huge nineteen students standing opposed to the sentence.

“Long Black veil” was sung by Joan Baez, and written by Danny Dill and Marijohn Wilkin.  The melody is originally a 1950s song, though it was re-released in the 1980s.  The song was written and sung as Anglo-American contempory folk music.  This stimulus was the first of the drama texts we used in our workshop about capital punishment.  The song described someone taking the blame on the part of someone else who would’ve suffered greater if the truth had transpired.  Following this thought, in our groups of four, we all developed a role play displaying someone taking the blame for another party.

Using role play, each character in the scene developed an understanding of the situation at the time.  In this exercise, the class used levels to represent the emotions of the guilty and the character taking the blame on the guilty party’s part.  For example, one group highlighted the guilty party by this character being sat down while the other remaining characters stood.  Using levels was very effective because they showed how the one person sitting, below everyone else, was set apart from the rest of the group.  In this case, the levels showed how the sitting character was aside from the rest of the group because the character was guilty of a crime someone else was currently taking the blame for.

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The song expressed that the accused couldn’t provide an alibi and so suffered his sentence, though there was no physical evidence condemning the accused.  

The lack and unreliability of the evidence displays a society which was underdeveloped and without a sensible law system.  This could be the result of the era, as in the 1950s criminal investigations were weak because of the lack of scientific methods that could be used to gather and analyse evidence.

Though we produced work, working from “Long Black Veil”, the role plays the class developed were of a less harsh nature.  Instead ...

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