How is the material being researched and developed at significant stages during the process of creating drama? Our stimulus: Madness
When we first got this stimulus, everyone focused on the common idea of madness as an illness and based at mental institutions, as madness is socially constructed and everyone differs to different people, we decided not to follow that path as there are many people who doesn’t fit the set meaning of insane but are still regarded as insane and this also made us question ‘who is insane/sane?’. Our initial ideas were developed through researches about madness. Firstly we agreed to base our play on personality disorder, that the main character would be someone with 5 different personalities and have each person play the different personality in this characters life, with this idea we researched this disorder and started developing our play around this but every time we tried to improvise, it didn’t work and we didn’t progress much because we realised that we all have different personalities and identities anyway. From this idea we thought about people who could be regarded as insane due to extreme multiple personality but isn’t institutionalised- through research and sharing ideas we came across dictators, we researched famous dictators like Adolf Hitler, we also watched ‘The Last King of Scotland’ which was very useful as it is a true story of a famous dictator, it showed key moments in his life, his intentions and this answered some of our question about dictatorship. We felt this was a good way to show a different side to madness. As we developed this idea, we choose to address a contemporary issue of immigration because the audience would relate to this very well and we have more knowledge on this issue to explore. After we received feedback from teacher and classmates, we decided to change the ending it was not as powerful as we hoped because our play dramatically builds up on the dictator’s life and having a suicidal ending, where George kills himself makes the energy of the play drop. We realised that most dictators doesn’t commit suicide they meet a horrible death, we made it realistic by having him beating up and killed. The final performance assured us that the ending was more ‘effective’. We also improved the ‘train scene’ as we didn’t achieve to get the message across and the audience didn’t understand the importance of the scene, we developed it by using stereotypical drunk racist characters which the audience could relate, after this change audience was more responsive to this scene and we achieved our aim.
How effectively are you exploring and developing your roles? I played George’s wife, someone who is victimized and confused, as she married the man she thought was her perfect man but later realises she was just a show wife. At first, I found her character hard to act because when I researched this role, there wasn’t much to develop on. I decided to put myself in her situation, I imagined what I would do if someone I love and hope to be with forever promised me happiness but everything was a lie and they only married me for their image, I asked questions like – what would I feel? What would I say? How would I act? With all my questions answered I improvised this role and took notes of how I felt and what I was saying. I decided to have a repeated action for her character, which was to keeping turning her wedding ring on her finger and I also had a mantra in my head which was the promise made by her husband when he married her, by doing this it formed her character and it made her supress her anger towards her husband for lying to her and using her for his image, I portrayed her to be a calm and rational person. In contrast, I played George, the dictator in the last scene when he dies, this was a movement scene, and I couldn’t really develop this character as we did that through the play. What I found good is all I needed to do playing this role was to reflect on his...
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