This year, we will be devising our own Theatre In Education performance, but this wasn’t the case last year. Each group last year were given their script to work on so to get an idea of the pieces last year worked on, the purpose of this session was to look at one of the scripts with the aim to get into groups and act a small part of it out.
The script we were given was called ‘The Magic Book’ and the section we looked at was where the main character is transported into the world of Cinderella. I was in a group with Emma and James, I played Cinderella, Emma played the Ugly Step Sister and James played the Prince. While we were rehearsing, we had to think about how we would perform this to a young audience, because we have been looking at how to perform to children in Lynn’s voice classes, we were able to take ideas from that. While rehearsing, we spoke how we would if we were performing it, ranging our tone, not speaking too loud but ensuring our voices were clear.
We were able to work our way through the script well and worked well together to make sure the scene was not too complicated. By this I mean we tried to have one focus while on stage instead of two things happening at once because especially for children, they will get distracted and may not hear the important lines. This was something that I noticed the other group didn’t do and it was commented afterwards that we got distracted by different bits of action at the same time, the comedic part was not the most important but I found myself watching that anyway. The importance of not doing this was highlighted so in future pieces, we will know to only have one point of action.
I learned during this that we have to think about where our audience are going to be, while we sat on a chair during the first group’s performance, we realised that the children won’t be sitting on chairs. Therefore, for our performance, everyone sat on the floor, this was important for me as it made me speak to the floor instead and not look straight out. I didn’t think about this at first so started off by speaking out as if they were sitting on chairs, it was only when I got halfway through that I realised this wasn’t right. When I did start talking down, I noticed that I was moving my head around much more to get that eye contact with my audience and ensure they are focused on the piece.
Our performances are below:
Afterwards, we watched this script get performed by last year’s group on the Conservatoire EAST YouTube page and we highlighted two things. The first was that the audience interaction needed to be greater, all that happened was that a young girl was brought on stage, was spoken to but she didn’t do or say anything, it seemed pointless. Secondly, clarity and speed was a massive problem as we couldn’t hear what was being said all the time we knew what was happening because we read the script. This is something we will keep focusing on and if we have audience interaction, we will either communicate with all the audience or if we get someone up, we will interact with them and perhaps give them a task.