Ways into Psycho-physicality

Three weeks ago I started working at a new school with a new group of IB Theatre students in their first year of the course.  As they had not heard of Stanislavsky and were not familiar with theatre theory I thought it would be good to immerse them in some practical work to understand The System. We stared with Psycho-physicality leading to MPA (Method of Physical Actions) and then they made their own connections between inner feelings and outer communication ...

Realism and theorists

When approaching devising, directing and the solo theatre piece, the question about who your theorist will be in a huge conundrum. For many students out there I know you are familiar with realism, love and and maybe want to focus on it for your chosen theorist. Also when working on the collaborative project you may feel you want to take a directorial stand that focus on realism. To widen the net a little, this blog will focus on some people and ...

Did you make an impact?

Recently I was working with IB Theatre students in London at an ISTA London TaPS event. We were working on the Collaborative Project and Solo Theatre Piece and playing around with the ideas of how to create theatre, but then also how to achieve our intended impact. The students drew on ideas from productions they had seen, and explained how, in plays they had seen, the director and designer had achieved moments of: TENSION EMOTION ATMOSPHERE and MEANING They not only spoke about how this impact was ...

Some plays to play with

In the last 6 weeks of the school semester I thought it would be fun and challenging for my classes to play around with some complete play texts and decide on the staging and ensemble building process. Which of course link in with the director's notebook and collaborative project. I selected 3 plays that have the entire cast involved nearly all the time, so we could play around with the work on the ensemble, group dynamics, movement and use of minimal ...

The Director’s notebook – some ideas

In the last few weeks of the IB course at my school I thought it would be a good idea to work with the director's notebook for next year. So, this is what we did: Love and information image   Stage 1 - research I chose a play that could be divided into many sections so that 2 moments could be selected ('Love and Information' by Caryl Churchill). Read the entire play aloud as a class As a group researched the context of ...

Shadow Theatre workshop

As a preparation for my IB Theatre students to start researching Wayang Kulit and shadow puppetry, I conducted a Shadow workshop. I thought that you may want to take some ideas from it. See the student blog on Shadow Theatre for the introduction to this work. Shadow theatre performance - By Nevit Dilmen (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia CommonsBefore you get started please see these films that inspire some ideas for use of shadow in theatre: Pilobolus ...

Working with Shadow Theatre

Shadow Theatre With my students in class recently we started working on Wayang Kulit, and as an introduction we looked at shadows and how they are used in performance. Below is the work that we did. I hope that this will give you some ideas of your own for your own Research Presentations and Directing. Soon we will be working on Shadow theatre and shadow puppetry. Section 1: Watch the 3 videos below and make notes on the lighting used, shadows created and key ...

Devising using Environmental theatre

Recently I was training IB Theatre teachers in Australia and I ran an activity that focuses on Schechner's six Axioms for environmental theatre for devising original theatre using the senses and physical theatre approaches. The activity below would be useful for the Practical Perforamnce Proposal, Director's notebook or Collaborative Project. For this activity you would need to read the axioms that address space, transformed space and found space, and refer to the quote below: "Schechner makes clear that spaces, not just people, are ...

Working with a Theorist

Now that the new course has started there is a focus on students being able to research and apply the methodologies of a theatre theorist. This blog will focus on what I have been doing with my students in class to prepare them for the old and the new course. We have looked briefly at August Boal, as a lead in to ensemble work, visual awareness, communication through a vehicle beyond language, and are now working in depth on Peter ...

Inspired by what we SEE and HEAR

Recently I went to the theatre and was given headphones to wear and was ushered into an outdoor space where the audience was in the centre with an elevated set all around us. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon on the South Bank in London. Then something extraordinary happened...... I heard a man running towards me on the gravel and he whispered in my ear. I turned to see no-one. 'The Roof', directed by David Rosenberg and Frauke Requardt, magically ...