Before we had been shown our choices of stimuli, we had been introduced to a range of exercises that enabled us to explore texts, music and pictures in different ways. This helped immensely during the first stages of development, as we had an idea of how the stimuli could influence the performance overall. For example, looking at pictures we would determine who were the main people involved in the picture, and if somebody looked sad, we tried to give them a story behind that sadness.
After looking at a variety of pictures, we decided upon 'Scream' By Edvard Munch. There were two versions of this picture, both colour, and one in black and white. We all agreed that the black and white picture created the wider range of possibilities for us, as it represented a more eerie and haunting scene. We created a spider diagram of words that we felt when looking at the picture. Words relating to anger, trapped, loneliness, disfigurement, illness and paranoia all appeared within this first diagram.
The next stage of processing the drama was to decide on which of these themes we liked the most. 'Trapped' gave us the biggest set of possibilities to explore into, as it incorporated many of the above emotions anyway. After another spider diagram where we came up with a wider range of words that derived from the feeling of being trapped. These included illness, abuse, eating disorders, OCD and correctness. Next each member researched into a specific topic from this diagram, and thought up an interpretation of each scene.
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We collectively decided that to reflect the image, we would follow no particular structure or genre of acting. We thought that by letting each scene flow independently would create a basis for us to expand on. However we knew that at some point we would have to link them all together to create a performance. Much like the lines in the image, as each line helps create the bigger picture.
Our concepts that we're derived from the word trapped were specifically based on modern concepts, which helped with the audiences understanding of the subject matter, and more aware of how it affects society today. There is one scene however which doesn't really reflect modern day, however it is still representative of recent history. This scene is the suffragette scene. We used this to reflect upon the fact that the issues we were representing are not just modern issues, but have in fact been around for years.
From our spider diagrams we came up with a list of possible plots, and characters that would be involved in each scene. We experimented with our techniques to develop the stimulus. Rehearsal techniques came in very handy during the dry spells in our development. We were often faced with a mental block of ideas, and therefore chose to experiment with different rehearsal methods based around one of our theme words to help us out.
For example, we knew we wanted a scene on abuse, yet we did not know how we wanted to show this. Whether realism or surrealism would be more appropriate and effective. Therefore, we used a technique in which we chose a subject of abuse, and whether we were the abused or the abuser. When a thought came into our mind on the chosen subject, we would shout out how we felt. For example my character had been cheated on, and I said 'what do you think you're doing with my husband? He's MY husband not yours'. We gradually made the lines more dramatic and offensive, until we had reached the highest level of abuse we thought possible.
This really helped us in creating out performance as we then decided to re-enact the abuse scene the same as that, yet eventually repeat one line until we all ended up creating a machine.
This form of acting worked well as it showed how the many different aspects of abuse. We decided to do this by walking through the audience and shouting our words to the audience making them feel very uneasy and extremely vulnerable. To enable this technique to have more of an effect, we made the audience sit in small groups of two of three. We placed their chairs randomly at different angles (however all facing the stage to some degree) and this helped create the tension and effect of being alone. We felt this was an important link to our stimulus as the image is relating to loneliness and madness.
We used status work to try and create the levels of status that we should portray in each scene. The image represents a delusion of a person who is obviously distressed in some way or another. Therefore during the construction of the scenes, we made every character determine what status they were in comparison to the other characters on the stage at the same time.
Although our stimulus provided us with many ideas, we also wanted to incorporate this image with one of the previous stimuli that we had looked at. It was a piece of music which we felt was a representation of poverty as it sounded so sad and depressing. We felt that the image and the music intertwined and linked well with each other, as poverty is present in the music and poverty = loneliness, and loneliness is obviously present in the image.
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