Drama Stage

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Kent and I worked on a stage based on the script for a play titled ‘The Intruder’. We both designed our own stage, but ended up using my design. In order for my stage to have everything it needed from the script, I went through the script and highlighted all the things I would need.

When I first designed the stage, It was exactly a rectangle. It was not until I began to actually build the stage that I realised it should be open a bit on the sides so all of the audience could see the walls. I also made a separate room behind the main one for the maid. Originally, I was going to only have only a little space behind the back door, but I decided to add a larger space so that lighting could be controlled better from behind the window on the back of the wall. In my stage design, I also did not have a ceiling, but at the last moment, I decided to add one. This is mostly for acoustics rather than visual appeal. It will also help the sound effects that must be used to show the character ‘death’.

I decided to include the garden as part of the stage because I wanted the house to be more intricate than just the house. The garden also shows where the house is because most houses in cities or largely populated places do not have large gardens with ponds. There are also two dog houses that are briefly mentioned when one of the daughter is looking outside. These might see m unimportant, but in reality, it is a warning because it is the first sign something strange is happening that the dogs do not stir, yet the swans swim away from the direction of the entrance of the door.

In the main room, I decided to put out seven chairs for each of the characters: 3 daughters, an uncle, a father a grandfather, a mother (although she is recovering from childbirth and does not appear in the script). I did not put out a chair for the newborn child because it is talked about negatively, and is not regarded with much respect or love, therefor does not seem to deserve a chair at the table. I also put the chairs all facing the audience, although they will never be sat in all at the same time throughout the play.

I tried to use mostly brown colors for the room, although making chairs was difficult, so I made them a little more modern. The doors are covered in material, meant to represent the intricate carvings that are often put on doors in this time. There is a large amount of space for the characters to move around. This is helpful for the director in case he wants to make the character ‘death’ an actual character and have him move around the room without actually interacting with any of the characters. It also helps the focus to stay on the characters rather than the things around them. I designed this to be more of a universal setting, although it had some European colors of the time it was set in that were used.

Because the mood of this play is darker and more negative, the brown colors used are appropriate because they are more dramatic and generally reflect less light. The ceiling also helps this mood to come across because it encloses the audience and makes the whole scene more intimate.

Most of the scene is balanced so that the audience will be more focused on the characters. This is important because there is not much that happens in the room itself, but more of it is to do with the characters used and the sound effected that effect what happens in the scene.

Collage – Drama & Design

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My collage is a representation of my room, but to me my room has always been a representation of myself. In this way the collage is really me in a piece of art. My room is bright, colorful, disorganized to everyone but me, and very messy. My brother even jokes about my room being a nuclear cleanup zone that is costing the government thousands of dollers in tax payers money. I am proud of my room however, mostly because it is mine and no one else’s. The things I find in my room doesn’t include things like frogs or flowers however, so they are a sort of representation of the things I sometimes find in my room, like an old candle or SD card. In this way, my room is sort of made up of random things, as is my collage.

I wanted to put a symbol of myself in the space, and make it noticeable. I did this by drawing a girl with long blue hair in a beanie, and used line to make this stand out. the hair draws the attention of the observer down to the rest of the collage. I saw a photo of a girl with light blue hair and a dark blue beanie on tumblr and thought it was cool because it couldn’t be judged on her face but only on her hair. This makes it interesting because it raises questions. I also thought it was appropriate because when I made this collage I had blue hair despite it fading very quickly. I also made my collage change color as it went across the page, to show how colorful my mind as well as my room is. I’ve also always liked rainbows to the point that when I was little I liked how my name had six letters – one for every color for the rainbow. It is also full of random things, which is why I used so many objects and filled up the space completely, leaving no space other than the girl. I don’t really like my room because it is a place I go to hide from the world but it also is the main thing connecting me to bad memories from my childhood. I decided to attach the idea of my childhood to my collage using the bright colors, and the idea of being a teenager from the colored hair, which is a big part of who I am. When looking at this project, it is meant to make someone feel like theres so much to do, even in your small word. I used photos of a scuba diver, as well as multiple photos of cities at night, and an upside-down photo of the beach, showing the kind of things that can be imagined. This collage is supposed to have a sense of being alone but being comfortable like that. I like my collage quite a bit because I feel like it represents me as well as my room and is nice to look at because of the colors I used.

Drama Journal 4

Topic: Time, Language

Over the last week or so, we have been working on time and language. Time is the setting of the scene, and is often defined by the language used in the piece. It also changes the way the characters move and how they might act towards each other. For example, a party set in the late 1800s would most likely have characters who are careful about manners and being as proper as possible and would use more sophisticated words, whereas a party set in current times would be much more casual, and use the kind of vocabulary we use now.

In class we worked a but on some language exercises which I found surprisingly difficult. In one of them, we had to tell a story and the opposite person would say random words that we had to incorporate into our stories. I was paired up with Leo, and every story we made seem to make no sense because it had no real storyline, and would go off on tangents constantly, so anyone listening would have no idea what parts of the story were more important than the others. This was really bothersome for me because I like to have things have a coherent ending, so listening/telling a story that seemed to be about nothing at all was very annoying.

Another exercise we did about time was where four students acted out a scene, and then  acted it out again but set in a different time. I found this very difficult mainly because with so many actors we had to be careful about who had the attention and keep people from talking all at once, yet we all wanted to say something, so I thought that made it more difficult to perform. The actual scene changing was interesting for me because we all had to work together to create the same scene with different items. For example, in one scene we were a group of motorcyclists, and when we went back two hundred years, we were cowboys in the wild west. We all had to pay attention to how each person changed what they were doing so that we could work together and the scene made sense.

Drama Journal Entry 3

This week in Drama, we looked at the ways actors use focus and place/space in performances. Focus is helping us learn how to focus the audience’s attention on one particular point on the stage during a performance. Learning about place/space helps us to do this because we learn about where certain activities should take place on the stage (more intimate/deep moments should happen close to the audience, group things should happen in the middle).

There were a few activities we did when we were looking at focus, but mostly we looked at how different things can be placed on a stage and how the focus can change depending on where they are. For example, Solon and Kosei did a short skit where they were playing in a sandbox as little kids, telling each other a secret. Because of the intimacy of the scene, they placed the sandbox downstage, where they were close to the audience. On the other hand, Kent, Jaap and I did a skit where Kent was a princess in a tower. We put the tower upstage left, partly because it makes the tower look far away and partly because it is a less intimate scene and more focused on J saving Kent, so it is more action based. After we did some performances of our own, we watched some videos of what people in past years had come up with. There was on that stood out to me about a ritual. It was interesting because they put the alter up closer to the audience, even though it was more action/tension based. They did use height very well, having the sacrificial victim higher up, as well as chanting to make the tension rise. All of these short scenes are good examples of how a scene is set up differently depending on what will happen in it.

Both focus and place/space are vital parts of any performance, in both film as well as plays. When setting up a scene in either of these cases, one must be aware of what is going to happen and how it is going to effect the audience. The attention of the audience should be brought to a certain part of the stage if something important is happening, and staging is very important so that the audience does not miss important things from the play that may be smaller or at first look less important.

Drama Journal Entry 2

This week we did quite a bit of work on tension and how a director and actors can get the audience on the edge of their seat. Tension is the anxiety or excitement that builds up to a certain point which, used in acting, can help capture and keep the audiences undivided attention during a performance.

We did some activities on what makes tension and how we can use it to entertain an audience. One activity we did was called the holy hat. It was a sort of ritual where everyone sat around a hat and sort of worshipped it. This was one of the hardest activities for me because I found it difficult to keep a straight face in such a silly situation. I noticed that some other students stared at one place and concentrated most on not laughing, but I felt that doing this seemed to relieve the tension as I was not really ‘in the moment’ so to say, so I was not really playing the game.

Another activity called Medusa’s diamond included one student standing at one end of a room while the other students tried to make their way to a diamond guarded by the single student. The idea of the game was to get the diamond from one end of the room to the other. But if ‘medusa’ turned and saw someone move, they would be sent back to the beginning. It uses expected tension because the people attempting to get the diamond are constantly anxious about when medusa will turn to look at them. When I was medusa, I fund it interesting because of how much control I had of the room. There were times where I gave the players more time than normal to move the diamond but found they had barely moved in anticipation of me turning sometime sooner.

At the end of this week, there were some performances based on tension that we did. I thought some other groups did really well in building expected tension, and did a really good job of keeping my attention. For example, in a performance based on a mayan ritual, when Garrel was about to be killed, the whole class was quiet in anticipation of the event. I thought his was a really good example of building tension because we all know about how gory mayan rituals were, and we are captivated and horrified by some of these rituals, and enjoy seeing them reenacted.

Drama week 1

This week in drama we worked on expressing relationships through actions and body language. We talked about how people with a higher status might act towards people with a lower status, and how to express that. We did some activities that would help us to learn about reacting to being higher or lower in status. For one of them, I was paired up with Mira and one person had to act out what the other person told them about themselves. The idea was to bring someone down and then build them up and to watch them react to being insulted/complemented. I thought this was relatively interesting because you can watch the different levels of feeling happy/sad, depending on how kind/mean the complements/insults were. From this activity, we learned how to react to comments depending on who your character is or what role you have in acting. I thought the most difficult part was not using language to express feelings or ideas using tone and language. Another Activity we did was to have one character go to another character with a problem and the second character ends up needing help with another problem that the first character helps them with. It is about the roles of people switching, and how people react to that. I was grouped up with Kosei and we were doing a skit where I was an economics student unhappy with my teacher talking to him about ways I can improve in school, and he got a called to be told that he lost money in the stock market, so I, as an economics student, told him I would help him to get his money back. I didn’t like this skit so much, mainly because as a college student I am a lot lower than the head of the school, so to rise up and offer to help someone with a status so much higher than mine is very unnatural. Both of these activities apply to real life because often times as you talk to someone, your role might change depending on what you’re talking about or if you’re helping them.