Drama Journal #6

The Key Idea for this week is movement. Movement is the dramatic element we looked into during the previous two lessons. Movement can refer to a type of dance or mime. Movement covers how we move around stage, downstage, upstage, avoiding masking another actor. Movement helps characterization. For example a confident person would walk smoothly in big steps. Movement also explains how the characters move in relation to each other on stage. Characters can move in a friendly manner, or threateningly depending on their personality and the situation happening on stage.Movement helps create a balance and contrast between movement scenes and having scenes with dialogue only. There are many types of movement humans can do, such as standing, walking, reaching, leaping, crawling, kneeling, etc. When looking at movement, we have to concentrate on the symmetry, whether the scene is symmetrical or A symmetrical, the proximity, if the actors are close or far apart. We have to concentrate on levels, as well as the tempo, if the character is moving slowly or quickly, smoothly or jerkily.

For the Approach, we chose a word to represent as a movement freeze frame. When doing this we had to consider the level, proximity, symmetry and tempo of movement. Movement is all about how we use our bodies to represent ideas, so we mainly focused on that. We also had to represent more complicated ideas such as conformity, isolation, independence and freedom.Next, we created 4 freeze frames on the growth of a human: birth, child, adult and old age. We used movement to represent these four stages symbolically, instead of using speech. For example, instead of physically bending our backs to show we are old, we have to find a more surreal way to communicate ‘old age’ to the audience. We also had to use movement to make transitions and connect the freeze frames together.

This weeks Outcome came from when we worked on the ‘birth, child, adult, old age’ scene, it was fairly simple and straightforward to make freeze frames for birth child and old age. We struggled a bit when we created the ‘adult’ scene. We ran out of ideas. We solved this by giving the freeze frame a ‘leaving’ kind of image, where Claire is the adult, walking away from family, and friends as if there is a new start to a new life, and the others would pull and hold on to her, as if we didn’t want to let go. This worked out pretty well because we were able to effectively use space and different levels.

The Connection is that it is important to know how to incorporate movement into theatre. In theatre it is good if there is a contrast between speech and movement. Also, sometimes movement can explain a meaning or symbol better than words. The audience also decides and judges what is happening on stage based on the movement the characters are doing. Movement is significant for characterization because the way characters walk or move would have an effect on their personality and relationships between other characters. For example, if a character is being controlled, the character would be kneeling on the floor and slouching to show that they have a low authority.

Drama Journal #5

This weeks Key Idea was symbol. Actors use symbols to represent a deeper meaning that is beyond the symbol’s appearance or common impression. Symbols can be incorporated into live theatre in many different ways. Actors use props, gestures, expressions, costumes, lighting and settings to represent different symbols that help show the storyline and main theme of the play. Symbol is one of the most complicated elements of drama. This is because the use of color is helpful for the audience to distinguish symbols, however colors such as red can mean either anger or love, which is controversial.

This weeks Approach was we got into pairs and we all got a different symbol drawn on a piece of paper. Around the symbol, we wrote all the words that had an association with the symbol. We also wrote down what feelings we could get from the symbol and any scenes that could be made based on the symbol. Next, we made a group of 4 with another pair. Olle and I decided to make a group with Moe and Leo. Our symbol was a clock (time), Moe and Leo’s group had a 100 dollar bill (money) symbol. We had to find a group that had a symbol that could somehow be connected to ours. After creating groups we had to come up with a scenario with 2 scenes, one scene including one symbol, the other scene using the other symbol. Our of the many ways symbols can be  incorporated in the scene, we represented the symbols in the scene as props.

This weeks Connection with theater is that symbol is extremely significant in theatre work. The reason why I think this is because sometimes the actors should have a contrast of showing and telling. The characters in a scene should not always tell the audience what is happening or make the central theme or motifs in the scene too clear. It is more interesting for the audience if they can figure out deeper meanings from symbols themselves. The audience can think about the feelings they feel from the symbol and connect the feelings to what is happening on stage. Overall, symbols are also a quick way to explain concepts happening on stage. Also, instead of the character telling the audience what is right or wrong, symbols are controversial, therefore the audience can interpret the scene in whichever way they want to.In real life symbols are everywhere on the streets, representing different things.

Drama Journal #4

This weeks Key Idea is on how language has an effect on our performance. Language is important as it is needed in order to communicate the story to the audience. As well as using voice to expressively, the story can be communicated non-verbally, by using body language. Depending on the character the actor is playing, the characters will perform certain words used by the story’s writer. Language should allow the audience to understand the personality of the character, such as their relationship between other characters, thoughts, fears, etc. The different types of language used helps differentiate the age, cultural or geographical meanings of each character.

This weeks Approach was to change our language when we talk with different characters in different loyalty levels. To explore this, we did a scene with 2 parents and a child. It is the child’s birthday and the family is supposed to watch a movie together, but the father is late. This scene shows a contrast between how the parents talk to the child, an how the parents talk to each other. Sometimes the tone of voice changes, or sometimes the same tone of voice is used, but a weird facial expression is used to show a certain emotion.

The Outcome of the first exercise we did was quite a good outcome. I saw another groups performance and when the mother talks with the kid, she has a small and kind voice. On the other hand, when she talks with her husband, she has a loud and scary voice. The transitions in between scenes were not that smooth, and the whole scene did not seem very realistic. I liked how Kana’s group dealt with this problem. Kana was the mother in her group. Kana got mad at Solon (the dad) when Mira (the child) was still in the scene. Kana did said ‘we bought it last week, remember?’ in the same tone as she would use towards the child, however changing her facial expression to let the father understand her disappointment. This worked out very well since Kana did not change her tone of voice, the child did not notice that her parents were fighting.

The Connections that I made this week with theater is that language is important in order to identify the relationships between different characters on stage. With the human context in drama in which we studied first this year, the type of language and tone of voice a character uses relates to the status and relationship of the person the character is talking to. The character on stage would speak more informally to his/her best friend, using slang words, whereas the character would speak more politely and formally to his/her teacher. The same applies to real life situations. When any person talks to their teacher, the tone of voice used automatically becomes softer and nicer, and the language used to communicate would be formal and respectful. After school, when any person hangs out with their friends, their tone of voices becomes harsher and the choice of words used would be less selective and more random. In the future, paraphrasing is important when we will work on devising. Also, when delivering speeches or writing stories/essays in real life, we try to get our point across by using as less words as possible to be concise.