When I first heard that I was going to perform our devised piece in the theatre festival this May, I was a little confused. My initial thoughts included questions like will people understand it? , what does this even mean? and is this even theatre?, but I soon realized that the interpretative-ness of the piece is what made it fit perfectly into the theatre festival– it's what made it work for the audience.
We started the process really simple: we each picked an abstract image that we liked, and we brought that to class. The point of the abstract image was so that we were left wondering what the image is telling us. In class, we analysed them all and showed what it could mean to us and what questions arose from the images, and then we went ahead and started to reenact the images. Gradually we added transition movements and sounds. Right about the middle of the process, we were each tasked to come up with a fitting story to our movements and sounds. Finishing touches like background music was added, and finally we decided on the order and practiced the piece.
Some of the strengths that the team had, was that we each put ourselves into the story; we each added our only little toch to the piece so that it would become diverse, interesting, and "our own". As an actor in it and (probably) as an audience member, the variation that each person brought to the unified piece shone through and enhanced the piece.
A problem that the team encountered, was being on the same page with things. Some members would be on the story writing process while others were forgetting movements. Although it didn't impact the process that much, it was still something that was unnecessary, as it took away from practice time. The way it was solved was that if you didn't finish something, you had to do it at home. If it still wasn't done, then it was done in class, and the team waited by practicing individually. I think that that would be something that I would change in the process; just making sure we're all ready to move on to the next step.
I think the performance went quite well; there weren't any major slip ups or people forgetting things. I think everyone felt prepared and confident in doing it. I know that when I perform, I don't really think about it that much, as if I'm floating between my movements and sounds, and it was nice to perform something again. The group did great as well, and I think that the performance was one of our best ones yet, due to our concentration and readiness.
When I did my moves, I did them exactly how I practiced them, but I think I could have added more energy to them. Perhaps I could have been more jerky and sharp so that the movements stand out and are clear to the audience.
Something that I think I did well, was that my sounds and movements were diverse, which I think caused a story to form. I started with simple but bold movements, then I became louder and more energised, and then I calmed down and returned to the 'beginning'. I also think that the movements and sounds were clear and audible to the audience, which is always important in theatre.
Festival Reflection Understanding and Realisations
As a whole, the festival was really interesting. There were pieces showed from a wide range of ages, type, and skill, which was great to see.
An act that stood out to me, was Why? by Sofia and a few other sophomore girls. It was about this girl who was going through simple actions, and these three ghosts from her mind kept asking her questions and critiquing her on her decisions. The issues present in the piece were body image, societal standards, our insecurities and negativity that we direct towards ourselves. When I was watching the piece, it really hit me. As as spectator, I can easily say that it was well crafted and that it really made me think about myself and the people around me. As an actor, the strongest and most powerful parts were aspects like tone of voice and facial expressions. I could see that exaggeration and being very dramatic really strengthens the piece. Overall, the piece was very well done, and it even made me cry while watching it.
Some realisations that I came away with from the festival, is that theatre is so vast and everything can be interpreted in completely different ways. Like the 3 Truths piece by the IB Theatre class, you could conclude that the same dialogue can be completely different simply depending on the way it is acted out. All in all, the festival was really great to watch and be a part of, and I'm looking forward to next year!