I performed a devised piece of drama on the 30th of April. My piece was 4 different, true stories of survivors of the holocaust, which we performed as verbatim. We performed the piece in a traditional black box dome studio to so people on a raised stage. We felt that this would make the performance more intimate and therefore more poignant. The audience sat around the Thrust stage which was covered in chicken wire to remind the audience of the setting as well as creating interesting lighting effects depending on whether the lights shone inside or outside the cage. Our target audience for the piece where aged 14 and above because we felt that the disturbing theme would be inappropriate for younger people. The piece was set in World War II in Auschwitz concentration camp. We used a variety of different techniques to perform the verbatim stories, for example tableaux, and mime, however, the performance was predominately physical theatre, making the piece non naturalistic. However due to the truth behind the stories we performed the dialogue in a naturalistic way. My involvement in the piece was as an actor. We also wore blue pyjamas decorated with the Jewish star, reminiscent of what the people would have actually worn.
I applied my acting skills to our piece or course work. I felt I was particularly good at my characterisation, which created believable characters, which consequently engaged the audience. In one specific scene, my character – Miriam, was being separated from her family by Dr Mengele. This scene was very intense, and I felt it was appropriate for me to use my characterisation skills to portray the emotion that my character felt. In this scene I was a different level to Mengele. In his presence I kept my head down and avoided his eye contact, therefore conveying his higher status. I tensed my brow and narrowed my eyebrows to show the pain my character felt when being separated from her family. I kept my mouth slightly open, conveying my characters disbelief at the cruelty that was going on, as well as breathing heavily to show panic. My eyes were wide and unfocused to show that my character was crying. I clenched my fists to convey how my character was angry at what was happening. I also hunched over slightly, rounding my shoulders, as well as sinking my body weight into my knees, to show how Miriam was physically week, and stood with a narrow gait to emphasis her vulnerability. By using these acting skills I portrayed how my character was feeling during the separation, therefore provoked the audience to feel sympathy for my character and hatred for Dr Mengele, therefore the scene was more emotive.
In another moment of our piece, my character was describing what happened in the crematoriums. I felt that I needed to develop this further as an actor, to make what I was saying more believable and emotive. I listened to an interview where the real Miriam spoke the words I was to say. I identified an emotion of disgust. To portray this using my acting skills I looked down my nose and narrowed by eyes. I upturned my mouth, and tensed my jaw, clenching my teeth together. I also tensed by brow. I tipped my chin upwards also. This showed how my character looked down on what was being done however I added pauses between the full stops in the line: ‘We smelt it. It stunk. The smell of rotting flesh lingering in the air constantly”. This added deep emotion but also conveyed the difficulty my character hid with recalling this painful memory. I used my voice by having a loud volume, as if to make a statement, however becoming softer to show how upset I was. I fluctuated my inflection creating a morbid tone and emphasising the effect that I was crying. My pitch was low to show sincerity and devastation. As I spoke my lines I looked at the audience, focusing on their faces, therefore engaging them with what I was saying,