Realism, the Stanislavsky system; the definitions of situation, conditions and circumstances in relation to acting, directing & theatre in general.
1. Key Idea (Explanation of a concept explored)
2. Approach (Process in class or in rehearsal)
3. Outcome (Achievements, Problems, Solutions)
4. Connections (between ideas, skills and practice > even live theatre)
For the past few weeks in our drama class, we have been working on our own set of the play “The Intruder” We have created our own set from zero. We researched what kind of Furniture works or what kind of color will match the theme in the play. Then we created our own floor plan. We looked at the space and chose what needed to be in the middle and what needed to be on the side. After that we started to create our very own stage set.
When creating the set I imaged myself being in the scene. Then I was able to see what kind of items and things connected to the main theme. In the play Sofa and the window played one of the hugest role as a furniture. That is why we put a big sofa in the middle where everyone can see. After that we made sure that the windows were very visible. When making decision on where to put the item, we made sure that we didn’t mess up the play because some parts of the stage must be there or else the play will be messed up. We left the door open in the set so we can create the image of “Intruder” even though they will shut the door, if we kept it open in the beginning, it would have a big effect on the play. We put in total of 3 doors. One was to get to the stairs, one was to go to the room on the right and the other to the left. We didn’t have much choice on the doors because on the play it said where to place them. We made sure that the clock is in the middle too because the play has a big turning point when the clock goes off. (I’m not going to spoil the play for you 😉 )
We made many connections while creating this box set. In class we’ve learned about how color can change out people think about a room and how it feels like. We’ve also learned about staging. We’ve learned about how middle and the left side will get more attention than the right side. First we used the knowledge of color in the set. As you can see in the photo’s we made sure that the walls are black. This has a big affect on people because when you are surrounded by black walls people get feeling of oppression. For staging, we made sure that the important items are in the middle. Not only that we made sure that father and the uncle are on the left side because they have many lines and they say a lot of important parts in the play. On the other side we made sure that the sisters are on right and close to the window.
For drama, we are now starting to look at the staging and how it works. In this assignment, we had to create our own room on the paper as a “set” of the play. We had magazines and cloth to create a collage on a white paper. We had to come up with ideas. The theme was “My room is my…”. I think my room is my relaxing room. There aren’t many things on my paper (room) That is because my “relaxing” room has to be very simple in order for me to just sit there and rest. I don’t have to be doing something to be relaxing.
The first thing I did with my work is that I cut out things that was in my room and that was also my favorite things. I also looked at what had good combination with other things because since it is my relaxing room I had to have color that was too strong and stop my me from getting rest. Not only that my room will look unorganised and dirty. In my work I left many white space. That is to show how my room can be spacey so I can rest and do things I want to do. I added two sports in the paper. Baseball and Basketball this is because they are the two sports I play a lot and like. I wanted to add volleyball because that is also one of my favorite sport. However sadly I couldn’t find any picture of volleyball. I also had some knives and deodorant because I have some of them in my room. So I had different type of things on my paper.
Overall I think I did pretty well with my work because I was able to balance out things I have and the space I had on my paper and it didn’t feel super packed. My bed was hand made because I couldn’t find any picture of it. However it described my bed pretty well because my bed isn’t anything fancy. It is just simple and just for sleeping. The bed I made on paper is just like that. It is simple and nothing special. It also created a feeling of my room being is simple and nothing complicated.
Key Idea: For the last two week we concentrated on language. Language is very important to drama since it is one of the way to communicate with the audience. For last two weeks we looked at voice and the way people changed the way they talk with little kids and adults. However verbal isn’t the only way actors communicate with the audience. Facial expression and body language was really important too. The body language changed a lot when the person was talking to a little kid compared to adults. Depending on the character the actor is acting as, the characters would use certain words or not use some certain words. Language helps us as actor because we can show what the actor is trying to act out and their personality.
In class we acted out a scene where a little kid and their parents were at a movie theatre for the kid’s birthday. One of the parent came in late and the other had to act out how to use language with kids and with the other parent. It was interesting to see Mira, Kana, and Solon’s group because Kana had a different usage in language, body language and facial expression when they had the kid and when they didn’t. When Kana and Solon had Mira near them, Kana wouldn’t show the anger out but as soon as Mira went to the bathroom, Kana started to shout at Solon, showing all the anger that she had. However as soon as Mira came back and started to cry because they were fighting, they “solved” the problem and became happy again.
What we achieved from doing the work is that we now know how to react to people in front of different audiences. Not only that now we can use this skill to create comedy. If we can master the skill of know when to use the appropriate language for different audiences, then it is really easy to control the mood of the whole act. However there were some problems, few of them were that we didn’t know how to react to little kids naturally. When we tried to using the little child appropriate words, it wasn’t really natural. So we had to practice a lot to make it natural and to keep it fluent.
Usage of language and tension can be connected since language can be one of the way to create obvious tension. If we can use words that is really baby-ish in front of people who are really old, it can show that they are making fun of them and it can create tension between people. Not only that it is really important for creating focus too. Using different kind of language can create focus on the stage and it is really useful when there are many “talking” going on on the stage.
Topic: Focus and/or Place/Space
Key Idea (Explanation of a concept explored)
We learned many things in drama this week, however the main three things were focus, placing and space. When performing, it is really important to know where people are going to focus on since you can use that to show something with out making it too obvious. Then we can use the focus and create tension. (We learned how to create tension last week!) The placing on the stage is really important because some places are easier to get the focus of the audience. On stage there are 9 parts to it. The parts are upstage right, upstage center, upstage left, right, center, left, downstage right, downstage center, downstage left. The main focus for most of audience is downstage right, downstage center, and downstage left. The set up for the names are from the performer’s point of view not the audience’s . This is called blocking and it is really useful for back stage work and rehearsals with technical aspect which I am good at.
Approach (Process in class or in rehearsal)
I only attended half class of drama this week so I am not a master of focus, placing, and space however we did some activity in the first half of the class. In the class we were in groups and we were suppose to make a scene of bank robbery with only have 1 person saying 3 words, 1 saying 2, and 1 say 1 word. I was in the group with Garrel and Kosei. This was a good activity for focus because we had to choose the right words and we had to be focused. In the scene Kosei and Garrel was robbers and I was the bank clerk. They would come in and scream at me since they were robbers and they had to act strong. Garrel said 3 words and Kosei spoke 2 words. It was really tough for me because I have to respond using 1 word.
Outcome (Achievements, Problems, Solutions)
As a class we did a focus activity. There were three scenes and there were different focus and tension in each one. First one was just walking normally and there were no focus no tension nothing. No one made eye contact no one did anything. The second was scene was finding a pen. It was really interesting that as an audience we were looking at kent’s hand and where his eyes were looking at. This was a good activity to know about how people can create focus with just a simple thing. The third scene was about bomb. Yes BOMB 😀 In this scene Kent became a person who takes out bomb. However he first had to find where the bomb is. As an audience, we looked around the whole stage to see where the bomb is. Not only that we looked at his movement since bomb is dangerous and it had tension. When Kent screamed out “I FOUND THE BOMB!” Everybody in the audience looked his way and was concentrated. This showed that if there is tension and there is a small ignition material then it can create the whole play to have a excited mood.
Connections (between ideas, skills and practice > even live theatre)
Key Idea: This week’s key point was tension. Tension is a way to make the audience get hooked and get interested into the show. A good way to see if you have tension in the play is to observe the audience and see if they are getting hooked into the scene or not. There are many kinds of tension, there are expected, unexpected, task, mystery and many more.
Approach: In class we looked at tension by playing many useful games. For example, The Holly Hat, Medusa’s crown these games showed us how tension can be made in different ways. In the Holly Hat, the tension was unexpected because no one knew when Mr. M was going to scream or what he was going to do. What made the game so hard was that we weren’t allowed to grin, smile or even make unnecessary movements. The other game, Medusa’s crown was also an unexpected game because we didn’t know when the Medusa was going turn back to see if the other players were taking the crown or not. The objective of this game was to get the crown all the way to the other side of the room. However when people were caught moving or caught with the crown by the Medusa, they had to go all the way back to the beginning line. Going back to Holly hat, it was interesting how people reacted. In our class there were few kinds of people. There were people who bursted into laugh because of tension broken by Mr. M’s singing or random screams. There were people who bursted into laughter because of other starting to giggle and there were people who stayed calm even if anything happened. First time there were many of the first type and the second type. However when we did it the second time, the tension became more of the expected side so there were less people bursting into laughter. However some people for example Takumi still bursted into laughter even after he has seen what was going to happen.
Outcome: As a class split out into 4 or 5 groups and made 2 minutes play for a summative project. In the play we were required to create a lot of tension. In our play we made a ritual by having a scarifies. Our main tension was task. Tension of task is where the task is really hard so if you make a mistake people can get killed or get in trouble. In my opinion, we have successfully created tension in our play since there weren’t many people talking while we did our part that had lots of tension. Not only we had tension of task, we also added tension of the unexpected because we thought it was interesting to have more than one kind of tension.
Tension is often used in movies but also in books. In books authors uses words to create tension but in theatre people can use the way people act, sound effects, and lights. This is where my favourite part of drama comes in, lighting. Lighting can change the scene’s mood dramatically. The mood can be changed with tension. If I can get light set up to be gloomy and dark then it is more likely that people are going to feel the tension.
Overall I think I did a good job this week on creating tension. Our group have done well on our summative project even though we could have done a bit better with the plot.