During this coursework, I intend to write a description of the activities that I have taken part in during the assessment period. I will try to analyse what I’ve done, why I have done it and how it has helped me to understand the play “Antigone”
The first thing that the class did was to sit as a group and discuss a news report on a curfew for under-16’s. I felt quite strongly against this, because I felt like it was infringing on any of the under-16’s rights. Miss Denton then informed us afterwards that the whole story was made up, but even though the stimulus was fake, it still provoked a very real emotional response in disagreement from the class.
Next lesson, we sat around the room with our eyes closed and Miss Denton provided us with a verbal stimulus about being ‘trapped’ somewhere. We were then asked who we were and who we thought of when we heard the stimulus. When I heard it, I instantly thought of Nelson Mandela, and felt like I could almost associate with his plight. I was really drawn in to the character in my mind and almost actually ‘became’ the person. This stirred up a large emotional build-up inside me and by using the monologue I was able to release the ‘tension’ that I had built up.
In the monologue, I went on to say that I was imprisoned somewhere for wanting equal rights for both coloured people and white people. And although I didn’t know exactly where I was, I presumed that I was probably in South Africa in the early 70’s or in America in the 50’s.
The next time the class had drama; we were all given 2 sheets, which was our introduction to the play of “Antigone”. One was a conversation between Antigone and Ismene, and the other was Creon’s long speech. Both of these gave us an insight into the minds of all three characters.
As soon as we had finished reading the sheets, I immediately sided with Antigone, because she was demonstrating that her family was the most important thing in her life.
After this, we were asked to go into groups of about 2 or 3, and to improvise the confrontation between Antigone and Creon. I partnered up with Amy Collins for this, and we used a number of dramatic techniques, but we mostly used the roles and status (so that Creon was at first in control, but Antigone eventually overpowered him), and I, as Creon, circled Amy a lot to show that I was around her and there was no way out without an answer.
During the forum theatre, I took on the role of Haemon, Antigone’s fiancï¿½, who was torn between Antigone, and his father, Creon.
I found this type of technique very useful as it let people give their opinions and makes it easier for the actors to make decisions and take the play in whatever way that they’d like it go. Although the down side of this technique was that it took a long time to produce the play.
I found that this helped me understand the play better because I could see what other people’s perspectives were on what we were doing in the play, and so I could think about the scene from a different point of view.
In the chorus and messenger lesson, we formed a group of 8 and set about in different groups to re-create the story of a girl that had been kidnapped and killed, using her friends as the chorus and her headmistress as the messenger, who in the end of the play delivered the message that the girl had been found dead.
The chorus’s main interest was what was going on in school, and not of the girl that had gone missing, as they were obviously not great friends of the girl, but did however know about her disappearance.
In the final lesson of this section, we were asked to perform an abstract version of the story of Rosa Parks, the black woman who refused to give up her seat on a bus.
To do this, our group of 6 used the ‘angels and devils’ technique, so that both characters (Rosa Parks and the Police Officer) had the perspectives of what they thought was right or wrong.