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ART ACTION TECHNIQUE NO.3

THEATRE

MCAC ART ACTION TOOLBOX TECHNIQUE NO. 3

INTRODUCTION

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This guide takes you step-bystep through the process of using theatre, as a technique for creatively exploring global Q\Z[PJLPZZ\LZ4H`ÄLSK Community Arts Centre uses this technique to engage young people in the creation of public art that communicates messages of importance to them. Theatre can be used together with other visual arts techniques, for example as a way of developing ideas for murals. WLOVWL`V\ÄUK[OPZ guide useful and inspiring!

BEFORE YOU START! Theatre can be done with very few materials and in many different types of spaces. When starting theatre with a new group take plenty of time to warm up with games, get-to-know-you activities and physical exercises. This guide was written by young people from Ma]½IPH’s Peer Education Programme.

STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE Step 1: Brainstorming First brainstorm as a group…What words come to mind when you think of ‘performance’, ‘dance’, ‘theatre’? What do you think a performance is? What can you bring to the performance?… Personal strengths, enthusiasm, experience etc…

WHAT YOU NEED YOU WILL NEED; ˆ A large bright space ˆ Some props such as hats, sheets of fabric, sticks. ˆ Resources on drama exercises are useful, such as Augusto Boal’s “Games for Actors and nonActors”


Step 2: Warming Up This is the warm up stage…It opens your mind to feeling comfortable with using your voices and your bodies. We used a variety of activities to do this… Sound and movement game (10-15mins) Materials: A large space Aim: It is a great way to overcome your shyness of using your vSMGIERHXSFYMPHGSR½HIRGIMRI\Tressing yourself How: Lie down in a circle on your backs so you can’t see one another. Everyone pick a sound to make and build a chorus of sound together. After a while people can get up and add a movement to their sound and begin moving around the space. Childhood song (10-15mins) Aim: It gets people more open about using their voice How: Everyone pick a childhood song and sing it in three different ways eg. loudly, childishly, quietly etc. You can start it off and get the group to join in with you. Step 3: Developing Theatre Skills Follow the leader (10mins) Aim:This is a good activity to make you more aware of everyone in the group and more focused and observant… How: Line people up behind each other and walk around the space in a line. You are only allowed to look at the person in front of you. The person at the front of the line begins to make a subtle movement eg. clicking a ½RKIr. The movement is passed on through the line. Each person can only do the action when the person in front of them does it. When all of the group have received the action the leader moves to the back of the line and the next person becomes the leader. Remember… actions can’t be repeated... avoid walking in one direction…use all the space... try to think of subtle movements to make people concentrate. Talk in the role of a character (2mins each) Aim: To help feel comfortable performing in front of an audience and to get used to being in role. How: One person gets up on stage and sits on a stool. They are given a character and start talking in the role of that character, letting what they say come from their stream of consciousness.

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Step 4: Choosing a theme If you don’t already have a theme for your performance, brainstorm ideas that people are interested in and then decide as a group. Discuss the theme in more depth…ours was the theme of inclusion and exclusion. Step 5: Developing Your Piece This is the stage for building up actual scenes for the performance. Again we used activities that help devIPSTGSR½HIRGIERHQEke it easier to crIEXIE½RMWLIHTMIGe. Freeze frames Split into small uneven groups. Everyone thinks of a line and a pose to do with the theme eg. ³,ELE´ERHTSMRXMRKE½RKIr. A volunteer gSIWYT½VWXERHHSIWXLIEGXMSRERHLSPHWXLITSWe. Someone else from the group joins them until eventually a frozen scene is made of everyone’s poses Try this activity a second time with no lines planned and just letting each person respond to what action the person did before them. Mini-drama scenes Split into small groups of 4 or 5. Each group develops a short minidrama based on the theme (no more than 5mins) using only 3 words per person. Show each of the dramas to the other groups and develop them further. Pick the best ideas from each and combine them to create one piece. We carried on discussing ideas for the piece as a group and came up with ideas for full scenes. Our control of the piece developed as we grew as a team with less assistance and monitoring needed from the facilitators. We practised REPEATEDLY! Before performing we tied up loose ends like when to enter the stage / exit etc. Finally we came up with our individual, personal descriptions of the piece.


Art Action Toolbox Technique: Theatre