In this essay I will be explaining the different things we did in our six assessed weeks in our Drama lessons. We were exploring the play ‘The Tempest’ throughout the six weeks. I will be explaining fully only some of the activities, the things I enjoyed and didn’t enjoy about it and exploring the difficulties of turning the text of the tempest to a performance.
The purpose of us doing this unit was to use the practical drama methods and techniques we had learnt about like Commedia del Arte and many more. Also to explore the meaning of our text and find different original ways of interpreting it. Before we started studying The Tempest we saw ‘One Man Two Governor’s’. In my opinion this seems a very different style of play to The Tempest. One man two governers used commedia del arte, improvisation, exaggeration, slapstick and many more, whereas The Tempest is quite formal and ‘Shakespearian’ and seems much more ‘serious’ but this helped us decide to use an ‘alternative’ way of presenting our Tempest play and the characters to bring out the comedy and to help us to understand and present the characters. We also saw and animated film version of The Tempest, which highlighted the fantasy, and magical elements of the play. The film versions can show all the magical elements because they can edit them but doing it on stage will be a lot harder, so we will have to find more inventive ways of staging the ‘magic’ by Prospero and the magical characters such as Ariel.
In the first session we were doing an activity related to the storm in the first scene. We selected the key lines in the scene that create the language of a storm play. We then arranged them in a order we thought would ‘tell a story’. We practiced saying our allocated lines in different ways to create an idea of chaos, panic, and different reactions of different types of characters for example brave, frightened, drunk characters. We experimented vocal and physical noises such as screams, cries, loads claps, stopping feet to give a ‘theatrical’ version of the shipwreck. Lastly we added percussion instruments to make a ‘drama soundtrack’ of the storm. I particularly enjoyed this session because we got to act it out as if it was actually at the scene, but it wasn’t even acting it out it in a conventional way was all vocal sounds and instruments using key lines in different emotions. I didn’t think you could put something across to sound that dramatic with just a few percussion instruments and screams here and there.
In the second session we used our soundtrack of the storm scene from the session before but added a ‘set’ and movement to make a visual play, including the sounds we had used already. My group used blocks to make a ship and had people falling off the ship into material that was being waved and being wrapped into it to represent the sea. The blocks all got pushed over to show the storm wrecking the ship and killing people. We had people in the background with random screams here and there, crashes with percussion instruments and made it look and sound very chaotic. The first scene is suppose to be dramatic and the show the storm but in Shakespeare’s day they did not have particularly advanced technology so the lines of the scene convey the idea of the storm.…