The stimulus material we were initially provided with; and that we continued to assemble ourselves; was crucial in the developing process, particularly in creating a specific form, content and structure for our piece. At the outset we were provided with numerous stimuli open to our own interpretation. One of these was two ‘spells’, and another was a CD, to which we listened to some of the tracks and then concluded what emotions it provoked, and the overriding one was fear. So we took this emotion, and discussed what other sounds/songs we felt provoked likewise. Ideas brainstormed were that such as church bells and other religious sounds (partly inspired by the ‘spells’), wind, silence, scratching and screaming. We created a sound scape entailing some of these, and when experimenting found that darkness accompanying the sound increased the emotion of fear greatly. As a result we decided it would need to be a key factor within our piece if wanting to create this emotion. Another was sketches by different artist’s interpretation of witches/witchcraft/witch hunts. Many of which were what could be seen as ‘typical’, of old women burning at a stake, or on a broomstick. However a particular image by Linda Sutton, adopted an alternating portrayal. The ‘witches’ do not look unfriendly, and their state of exposure forms an essence of vulnerability. Furthermore they appear to be more contemporary than traditional witches. This inspired us not to necessarily focus on positive themes, but to consider an alternating stance than the conventional one of witchery may concur. Once we had gathered a significant amount of material to make generalizations, we mind mapped all of the themes that were inspired from such. We then furthered to organize these under specific headings, as by doing so we could see the genre the collection of themes that interested us most. We then narrowed this down to one in particular- isolation. Each of the stimuli had allowed us to conclude what we wanted to focus on in terms of content, whereas by depicting the themes we were then able to narrow down the performance route we were going to take. Furthermore, based on the research we concluded our interpretation of witchcraft was “Societies rejection of those who do not conform to communal and cultural expectations”. We then drew focus upon situations throughout history in which this interpretation is applicable, such as The Holocaust, Apartheid etc. Although the one that struck us the most, was the admission of people to mental asylums. Not purely because the topic interested us, but it corresponded most with our chosen theme of isolation. This lead to further research into the history of mental asylums and any related stories we could find, which brought us to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s nest. Kenneth Kesey was inspired to write his novel whilst working in a mental institution, and spending time with patients who he did not believe to be insane, but rather had been rejected by society for not conforming. We decided to use this as a structure for our performance, and in portraying the element of ‘the witch hunt’ and the innocent.
How effectively are you personally exploring and developing your roles?
My role within the creation of the piece
During the research strand of the development process I was in charge of researching into the ‘Gothic cult’, one social group we saw as being isolate by society for not conforming. I did so by looking into different elements of the cult, such as music, hobbies and historical movements, so we could gain a broader understanding and portray it well within our piece. The directors role, which in this particular strand of the course is crucial, is something which comes naturally to me and I am happy to adopt, and it naturally developed that way due to individual strong points and...