Bronte Sisters: Independent Reflective Study

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Play Folio
On the 22nd and 23rd of October 2012, our Theatre Performance will be performing our end of year showcase, Brontë: The life and the literature. The plays performed within the showcase will be Brontë and Jane Eyre. The two plays were chosen because Brontë explores the lives of the Brontë sisters and mentions their literally achievements and Jane Eyre, written by Charlotte Brontë (adapted by Polly Teale), explores the struggle of a woman choosing between her head and heart, a pressure felt by all the Brontë sisters. I play the character of Anne Brontë in Brontë by Polly Teale.

Polly Teale is a British award-winning playwright. Since 1995 Teale has been working with the theatre company Shared Experience. Teale has gained acclaim through her plays based around the Brontë sisters, After Mrs Rochester and her adaption of Jane Eyre. After writing these successful plays, she thought about her inspirations behind them; the Brontë sisters. Once Teale did intensive research she wrote a play based on their lives called Brontë.

Brontë is an expressionistic piece of theatre. The play starts with a group of actors who are intrigued by the Brontë sisters, and after discussing their research in the first scene, they slowly cast themselves as each character and start embodying them. It is set in a non-liner timeline and jumps in and out of different times to explore the main events that occurred during their lives and influenced each person. Themes of Brontë include the importance of family and the restrictions of being in a lower class family and a woman of the era.

Anne Brontë is the youngest sibling in the Brontë family. Throughout the non-liner time line we see Anne in childhood at 5, all the way through till her death at 29. The Brontë family lived in Yorkshire. Two of Anne’s older sisters and mother are deceased. The remaining family members, Patrick, Branwell, Charlotte and Emily lived in Haworth parsonage. The family lived in harsh conditions, in a large cold house without curtains or carpet, as their father, Patrick was afraid of the threat of fire. Patrick had a different approach to education, and knew that literature was imperative. “My father couldn’t read or write… but he knew, he knew that those words that he couldn’t read were the only way out.” This led his children to live an isolated life and the only way they felt they could escape reality was when they immersed themselves in their writing. Anne’s objective is to seek happiness and contentment. Very different to her sisters objectives. Charlotte’s, of being highly successful and Emily’s of find out emilys objective. In trying to achieve these objectives, Anne experiences obstacles. Being of a lower economical class restricted Anne’s opportunities. Anne was well educated and in a sense this was a cause of frustration. The only job available to them was to be a governess, due to the social restraints of the time. Due to her education and resulting intellect, the domestic servants did not accept Anne in her employer’s household. However, Anne did not have the financial means to ascend to a higher social sphere, so she was left feeling isolated and excluded in the job she had to work in all day everyday to earn very little money.

Initial thoughts of Anne, boring, after research, reading play, realized just caring nature.

Monologue Folio

The monologue I will be performing is ‘Beatrice’ from William Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing. Much Ado about Nothing themes include lying, deceit, love and reputation. The scene, from which my monologue is taken, focuses on honor and the importance of it in the era of Shakespeare. Much Ado about Nothing is a romantic comedy writing by Shakespeare in 1599 exploring how love does not always run as smoothly as one may have hoped.

Beatrice is the cousin of Hero, and Leonato’s niece. Beatrice is in a love-hate relationship with Benedict, the man she is directing the monologue to. Hero is engaged to...
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