Looking through I have realized I have spoken more about myself and my thoughts more than the course in itself, so far we have looked at various types of theatre and different methods, the most recent was Verbatim theatre, but we have also looked at Forum theatre (linked in with Cardboard Citizens) and Story telling.
Verbatim: This was a totally new concept to, I had never heard of this style personally was compelled as it sounded like an interesting approach due to its intimacy and naturalism, as personally have always preferred true “stories” in all aspects of reading, and watching, and have always been pulled in more by the emotion, as I know that this is actually what someone has been through and experienced.
The facts presented are word for word opinions of people, some which people may find disturbing or offensive, but in the end are facts which need to be “heard”.
In the lecture, we were given examples of Verbatim scripts and the two that stuck in my mind the most were "Black Watch" where the soldiers were based in Iraq and lost 2 of their comrades, and "Cancer tales" which as its title suggest is about cancer sufferers, mainly focused on women though, I think these two stuck in my head the most, because these are two of our most current situations, but also because the majority of us have had to deal with the cancer issue or know someone that has, and personally I know a lot of people who are in the army and have or are fighting in Afghanistan or Iraq as I write this.
Our topic for our own Verbatim Theatre project is Binge Drinking, the main reason is that not only is it an issue in St Mary's College but nationally, and not only amongst students. We were asked to try and base our around St Marys as much as possible, as at the moment we have an issue with the ambulance crew, as they were called out many times during Freshers week due to excessive drinking, one person needing an ambulance twice in one week.
Story telling: basis of this lecture was to look at how we tell stories, different techniques and methods used to bring the story to life.
We paired up to do an exercise where we told each other a memorable night out, good or bad, however with one story we had to ask questions to get as many of the facts as we possibly could, with the other, we just had to let it flow naturally, with both we had to take notes and recount it to eachother.
It was a good exercise, however it did feel weird having someone telling you what had happened to you!
Also, when I was telling the story back to my partner it felt quite strange, as some of the notes did feel rather personal, so made me think about privacy issues.
Forum Theatre: Before picking up on this, I didn’t know too much about this sort of theatre, however, watching the cardboard citizens production opened my eyes to it. None of the actors were drama school students, however, managed to portray, only watch can be described as an emotional, touching, educational and eye opening piece of theatre. They told us three stories, about a social worker having a rough time, a philipeano woman taken to England to work as babysitter but was treated badly when she started and a boy in care, who was rather rebellious, though from what I understood only wanted to be loved by his mother.
As an audience we were given the opportunity to look and “re-do” one of the stories as if it were us in that situation and we decided on the womans story. We picked out the bits we thought we felt could have been done differently. So we would go down and be the woman, and do it how we felt we would have handled it, however, the cast would act like a blockade, and make it difficult.
Forum theatre is a good method of showing a group of people how to do things differently, even if they don’t always end up with the desired outcomes, as it’s a true to life experience, that can sow us life is not always as easy, as ifs and buts.
After the show, we had the opportunity to ask the cast questions, and the main issue for us, was the issue of offence as many of us have had a relatively simple life and can say we have never experienced life like others, however, I don’t think the one answering the question really understood where we were coming from as when she answered she referred to her own experience, and didn’t really answer our question.
Also in our lectures we have looked at various warm ups to warm up the body and mind, and loosen the muscles, and played “games” that involves the whole group working as a team, verbally and non verbally, and having to stay alert!!!
These include cat and mouse, stanging in a circle shaking our whole body, again in a circle, throwing a ball at eachother, having to think of something on the spot to do with a particular theme, we also had to do a type of hierarchy game, where we weren’t allowed to talk but we had to stand in line, first tallest to shortest, then dark to light hair colour, and finally warmth to coldest of hands. All this had to be done without words.