We spent our session this morning discussing the things I brought up earlier regarding the educational content of our piece and how we might be able to edit the script to add this additional information in to it. I thought by calling a group meeting with Erica sitting in as well, and actively discussing this and making plans there and then, we would make more progress than by simply running what we already know over and over again.
I started by bringing up the idea of including some more 3D shapes such as the cylinder and the cone, and explained how these are areas that children often struggle with as they are made up of more than one type of shape. The group as a whole seemed to feel quite reluctant about making changes to the script at this point as we are already so familiar the original script and story, however I tried to explain how the point of the protect was to meet the demands of the key stage 1 curriculum and actually teaching the children something and not just presenting them a nice bit of entertainment. After having this conversation and explaining that we wouldn’t have to change much or cut anything, we would simply add in brief descriptions of the other shapes at various points in the writing.
I also took this meeting as an opportunity to raise another concern of mine, which was the length of the middle scene in the play (where ESC and SK are looking through their sac if shapes and explaining how they’ll turn them into the 3D versions) as this scene went on for several pages and dragged considerably. My fear was that because of the length of the scene being so long and including the majority of the leamrning information, that the children would become bored, lose focus and therefore not absorb the information as there is so much to understand in a short space of time. Originally there was a short scene between Sherlock and Isabella half way through ,which split the long scene between ESC and SK and offered some variety and a change of scenery, however this was cut early in the process as the scene wasn’t necessary to the story. However, after watching our read through back we realised that the scene was now too long and had the potential of causing an information overload!
So with the help of Erica we rearranged some of the scenes to split up the extra long scene and distribute some of the educational information up slightly. Now the extra long scene cuts between Isabella and Sherlock starting their journey and meeting Dollysmith with ESC and SK at the castle. We also madd the decision to cut out one of the descriptions of the Cube where Dollysmith explains it to Isabella, as this wasn’t necessary as it had been explained several times beforehand, so instead we usee it as an opportunity to check the children had absorbed the information by asking them for help.
As briefly mentioned earlier, we simply add in teaching the properties of the cylinder in the last scene where Isabella and Sherlock enter the castle and see Gollysmiths Cirlce being turned to a sphere and Woodworths square as a cube. We invented a new character in the town who had their rectangle stollen which is then used to make the body of cylinder. We brainstormed lots of ideas of how we could integrate this into the piece and how it would best fit into the structure however this seemed the easiest way of doing so. Other ideas were:
- the cylinder being the tin container for sherlocks dog biscuits
- simply being incorported into an activity in the workshop
- the 3D shape already being in ESC’s castle which Morgan forgets what it is and so has to be told
However we felt that it was easier to include in passing with the other shapes as a way of avoiding information overload.
I was really happy with what we achieved in this session and that the changes had been made as I really think it will help the structure of the show and also solidify the learning objective and understanding for the children. I know that this may have seemed like an unnecessary thing to do at this stage, but I really feel that by listening to the feedback we received and taking this on board to meet our commission brief more directly and adapting areas to suit our audience more, is part of the process and will benefit the piece and us as devising actors in the long run.