Throughout this term our class has been studying the theme of love. By studying this theme, we should complete our knowledge so to enhance our understandings and appreciation of different texts. To help our comprehension we used some drama techniques, which are explorative strategies. These techniques are very important to boost our acquaintance on the theme, characters and set. To do this in steps, we worked on certain workshops, in which everyone had an explorative strategy (or more), involved.
The first workshop involved the introduction of the theme. We were divided in groups and every group was provided a large paper, and we had a certain amount of time to write on the paper everything that love represented to us, to the society. Lots of different ideas came up, some that I had never thought about, for example, narcissism (Narcissus – a man who fell in love with his own reflection). This was interesting because normally we think of love as a heterosexual love, between men and women, but there is a huge variety of different love.
The second workshop was an explorative strategy called, still Image. This is to produce an image where individuals are put to create any kind of relation with the others, in this case involving love. Each still image was created by any word written on your paper. After producing the image we were tapped on the shoulder to tell what we were thinking at that moment, this is called thought tracking.
This was our second explorative strategy used. Thought tracking is when you stop individuals during a role play or still image and ask them to reveal their thoughts at that moment. We again had a variety of thought tracking, all involved with love.
The other workshop was based on looking at a set on stage and writing down everything came into your mind. Every detail should be written down, and so always trying to be as close as possible to how might love have changed that scene. My notes were:
“Catastrophe, wedding cancelled, hysterical bride made a mess in the house, confusion, doubts, memories, frustration, anger, old times, possibly fixed marriage. Man left bride alone in the church waiting for him, he didn’t go. Loved another woman (maybe), woman got extremely angry, went back home and destroyed everything in her way, took wedding dress of, tarred it all, couldn’t accept loosing the man of her life, created chaos”.
After the whole class finished writing their thoughts, some improvisations were made on the set provided; usage of all props was required. After the improvisations were made the use of the third explorative strategy was put in. The class was divided in groups again to do some role plays.
Role play is when an individual pretends to be someone else, characterizing this person and imagining what he thinks, says and acts. I worked with Julio and Leo on the play. We wished to show that love was not only between men and women, so we decided to show friends love. The play itself was consisted of many explorative strategies: role play, cross cutting, thought tracking and monologue and a narration in the end. Cross cutting was used especially in the past and the beginning to show passage of time. There were two monologues in the play to show the characters feelings (thought tracking) and the end had a narration to cause an impact and give a resolution to the story.
After the presentations we read a poem called “Something I lost”. We read it first as a whole class and discussed it as a group. Then we were divided in three groups and each group was responsible for a stanza. We were supposed to produce a still image for every “something” in the stanza and we had a narrator to read the poem. We decided to use both present and past in the “play” showing how it was before and comparing to nowadays.
It was good to do this, because we could enhance our knowledge on the poem and so understand things we didn’t when we read it on our own, also we could see things we weren’t able to capture by reading alone. We also discussed the poem, to get our ideas flowing on what was going on in it.
Our final task was to produce a role play according to the whole poem now. It was a different kind of role play as we couldn’t use anything like props, speeches and neither sound, the only exception was clothes, which had to be similar for all characters. The play should last three minutes. Our play was about the contrast between life and death. Julio and I represented death, and therefore we were dressed in black and Fernanda represented life so she was dressed in white. Eduardo and Tatiana were dressed in blue, for no particular reason, and they represented the real human beings. We wanted to show that death is always present in the life of a person, in any circumstances, and you have to cope with it.
It was interesting to do this because we had never done it before, also it was to practice our physical skills and movement, and show that a play is not based only on the lines but also on the movements. We had a surprise because when it got to the time for us to present the poem was sung and we had to the same we rehearsed ignoring the music. And after doing it we found out it fit really well the play and we managed to finish on the exact time as the music.
With the aid of the explorative strategies we were able to enhance our knowledge on every aspect involving the workshops, was it characters, space and plot. It is also helpful to create a better drama piece giving for entertainment for the audience, and interesting effects.