Making an entrance – TEAM

This week I have been running a Theatre Laboratory with my grade 10 and 11 students on what we bring when we enter the stage. We are moving onto exits next week, but I thought I would share with you what they explored with entrances for this blog. We discovered that with an entrance you can establish: character mood motive environment relationships objects in the environment status atmosphere conflict story backstory other characters off stage foreshadowing subtext and more... When you are ...

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 ...

A gallery of images

This week I have been working with IB Theatre students in Stratford at TaPS (Theatre and Performance Symposium) for ISTA (The International Schools Theatre Association). I had a group of 23 students that were a huge range of nationalities, ability and knowledge. As a result the work I do with them aims to equip them with skills that they can immediately apply in the ensemble session, and take back to use in their own work at school. During the three day ...

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 ...

God Out of the Machine – Theatrical Literary Devices

This week I have been training teachers in Category 1 IB Theatre in Singapore, and one thing that came up when we were looking at the Director’s notebook, is that the students do need to learn how to analyse theatre text and understand literary devices. One such device that is fun to focus on is the deus ex machina (the translation from New Latin is ‘god from a machine’). This term comes from the staging in Greek theatre where the ...

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 ...

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 ...

Directing inspired by performances

Recently I went to see ‘The Roof’ at the National Theatre directed by David Rosenberg and Frauke Requardt. As an audience member you are donned with head phones, and the show is 3D visual and sound experience about a man trapped in a 'brutal and unforgiving game'. The show is a 'breathless mix of intimate three-dimensional sound and the hair-trigger movement of free running'. Through the show you are transported 'into the body of a reluctant hero, desperate to stay alive'. Quotes taken ...