Tips for the Research Presentation

It is that time of year again when students are doing their REAL assessment tasks in year 2 of the course or having a practice run in year 1. My students in year 1 of the Diploma Theatre course have just had their practice runs of the RESEARCH PRESENTATION and, while we were working on putting the presentations together, there were many things that I found helped them enormously. Below are the things that I helped them with and how ...

Inspiration from Productions for the DN

Over the Winter break and recent Chinese New year breaks, I managed to go to a wonderful range of performances and productions. It really was amazing to see how spaces, sets and mood were communicated through a range of styles and cultures. This blog will share a few things that occurred to me as I watched, and may inspire you to encourage your students to watch not only theatre performances to inspire their Director's Notebook. The Nutcracker Ballet at Hong Kong Cultural ...

Capturing Audience Response

Recently I have been running Category 3 IB Theatre training that focused on the Collaborative Project. During the training, my teacher participants worked as small devising companies developing their own approaches to developing theatre and then performing their work to determine if they had achieved their intentions and intended impact. This blog will list all the ways that they gathered audience feedback to evaluate their impact on the audience. I hope that you will find this useful and have time ...

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 ...

Theatre for change – ‘Disorder contained’

Many of you will know about Brecht and Boal, and will probably have come across some other theorists or theatre companies that create theatre designed to make a specific impact, and hopefully bring about some change in ways of thinking, behaviour or spur people on to take action to bring about some sort of change in their environment or society. Brecht work for us deals with history, so we can look at this issues from a distance, and relate safely ...

Your responsibilities as a creator of theatre

The other day I went to the theatre to see the culminating performances of theatre students that had been studying devising and theatre creation at my local University. I was excited to see what they would come up with. Having spent many years working with High School students on devising processes I was intrigued to see how University level students were different in terms of choices of themes, influences, techniques, styles and use of space and production techniques. To be honest, ...

Your role as a teacher

The last month I have been assisting examiners with how to mark the Research Presentation, watching Research Presentations from around the world, then awarding the student with the fairest marks possible. Some students are excellent - enthusiastic, well prepared, engaging with their moment of theatre (clearly communicating their convention in performance), and informative. Other students are difficult to mark because we cannot hear them very well, see their moment of theatre (a tiny shadow screen a long way from the ...

Managing the unexpected Drama class

The last few months I have been working as a freelance artists teaching in all types of places all over the world. On my travels I have encountered some rather unexpected circumstances, ones where I had been told one thing in advance, but encountered another. The other day I was recounting some of these events to a friend and she said "You must write this down, people will want to know how you did it!". So, this blog will explain ...

Using objects as a starting point

For the student blog this month I focused on how the use of the towel in 'Matthew Bourne's Early Adventures' had inspired me. To get your imagination flowing, watch the short section below that is also on the student blog. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AetGr81mIJs&list=RDAetGr81mIJs#t=45 For teachers I thought that it would be good to compile a few activities, related to theorists, that use objects as a starting point for work. Some will be old, some new, but I hope that you will find them all ...

Immersive Theatre strategies

For the student blog this month I wrote about how I was confused as an audience member about the expectations of the audience in an immersive piece. For the teachers blog I thought it would be helpful to look at some of the tools of the trade that have been established during the evolution of this relatively new form theatre experience. Before I go into too many specifics, let's start with the multiple roles that a student can take on during ...