Performing and Production Arts Year 2 – Theatre in Education Rehearsed Readings
Faye, Zoe, Chloe, Vicky
Story of the four seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn and the weather and special days of each time of year.
Personifying each season as a character is a really good concept and will make the children care more as they can relate to them and it seems more fun and on a level they can understand.
Dances need to be more consistent in length as some were really short and others went on for far too long and although they were lovely to watch they distracted and confused the narrative a bit.
Use your faces when dancing as it will automatically make them more engaging to watch and you’ll be able to portray the feelings of the characters through your movement and facial expressions together.
I don’t think getting the children on stage at the end is a good idea as it was slightly hectic and there was no real reason to why you did it?
The children may feel left out if they were not picked to go on stage which could cause potential arguments and upset – instead maybe do something which still invites the audience to join in but collectively instead if singling children out. Maybe you could encourage them to get up on their feet and sway with you or do a really simple move/actions along to the song which they can do from their seats.
Dragging the children up on stage unwillingly is probably the worst move you could make as it can be quite a nerve racking and uncomfortable thing for someone to have to do.
Musical Theatre Group
Tom, Jess, Scott, Sian, Sophia
Collecting paintings from all around the world that were taken by a Genie – the learning aim is to teach about geography and famous landmarks.
Clear character types within the School children (geeky, leader, dumb), but it feel the other characters could be more defined as I didn’t realise the tour guide character and the Genie’s brother were separate characters played by the same actor!
The learning objective wasn’t particularly clear as they weren’t sticking to just one topic and therefore included random information about other subjects which would most likely confuse the children. For example, it seems the main learning topic is famous places and countries but at one point someone mentioned maths which is irrelevant to the learning objective of this particular TIE piece.
The songs are really strong and work well in delivering information and capturing the audiences attention and keeping their interest. Particularly in the taxi rap song as there was more movement than in the rest of the piece and was more interesting to watch.
Using a tune everyone knows is a really good idea as the children may join in and will be able to remember the teaching in the song more as the won’t have two many things to concentrate on.
Actor Group 1
Lou, Jack, James, Emma, Hannah
The message of the piece is that more children should read and strives to promote reading as a good thing to do.
Although the message is clear, I don’t feel there is a learning outcome as of yet. Perhaps it would be beneficial to teach more about what happens in each story in more detail.
It is a little two repetitive at times and it feels like the protagonist enters the situation and then it is solved immediately without the struggle that would traditional be in a quest style narrative.
The rhyming works really well and gives the idea of being in a nursery rhyme or fairy story – but be careful not to let this encourage monotone speaking due to the rhythm of the text as it makes it sound quite boring and even sinister, instead use a wider pitch and tone range.
They have taken on the notes given to them the day before about making sure the mother figure is not a push over but is not too mean which worked a lot better and showed that you have to compromise and can’t always have it both ways.
At the moment the story doesn’t have much development and is over really quickly before was an audience get the chance to fully commit to the characters and story as a whole.
Actor Group 2 – Myself, Josh, Harry, Leah, Daytona
The responses we received from the other groups were generally positive and a massive improvement from the day before when lots of the comments were quite negative.
As a group we had made an effort to take on board the notes given to us and work on these aspects before the performance today. The areas we focused on was the pace and energy of the piece overall, as well as the characterisation of ESC, making sure he doesn’t come across too angry or aggressive.
Josh really took on board all the pointers we made regarding how he could animate the dialogue without making him come across too harsh. I spoke to Josh about thinking of the character as someone who desperately wants to be Evil but is actually quite soft and silly deep down – much like the misunderstood villain character.
Daytona also did really well with her characterisation and had made so many improvements to her physicality and voice, although I think there is still space for her to go a lot further with it. We decided it might help for her to practice her scenes wearing a funny hat and big coat or something to help her feel more like the character; I think this has helped a lot, and has given her the confidence to put on the dopey voice and the wide stance walk without feeling as embarrassed.
Harry has excelled with his voice work for the part of Sherlock Bones the Dog-tective and has really started to find the balance between the characterisation needed for a dog and the stereotypical character of detective. Although some of the feedback we received said that he needed to hone more of the dog like traits and focus less on the detective side, I disagree and think that with a costume it will all become much more obvious that he is in fact a dog. I also think this will make the moments where he has to snap back into dog mode more numerous and effective as there will be such a clear distinction between the two.
Lots of the feedback we received noted that Leah’s voice was very hard to understand and because she delivers so much of the essential information that sets up the story it is essential that we work on this over the next few rehearsals. I understand that Leah has not had long to work on this due to being absent from rehearsals quite a lot, however this is something she also needs to practice in her own time. I’m personally not sure that putting on an accent to show her character change is the best method if we run the risk of the children not understanding what she says. Leah needs to work on slowing down the pace of her line delivery and articulating every single word as she has a tendency to role all her words together in a slur. I think this will be quite a challenge for Leah to do as she has to focus on both the delivery of her normal speech and then adding characterisation to differentiate the two characters on top, whilst still being able to decipher what she is saying!