Monday, 27 October 2008

Getting to Grips: Part 1

I have been a bit behind with my blog entries the last couple of weeks and I can honestly say I have got myself a bit worked up.. not just with community theatre but 3rd year in general. But after much deliberating with myself that I WILL get through it and I WILL do the best I can, I have managed to get to grips with the course and began to think about what I would like to do next semester.

I am going to write this blog about last week's workshop and then continue tomorrow about this week and what amazing progress I have made!! (If i do say so myself!)

Last week we spoke about 'Cardboard Citizens' and what forum theatre can achieve within performance. As I didn't see the play, I was intrigued to hear what people thought about it. There seems to be mixed feelings about the performance and forum theatre in general. It was clear that everyone could tell they were 'amateur' actors and were open in telling the audience they were or had been affected by homelessness. The debate that led from this touched upon the idea of causing offence. Because they had been affected by homelessness, it seemed to give them the right to create a performance around it. Does this then mean that you have to have experience of something before you can create a performance around it, in order not to cause offence to those who have? 

The idea of forum theatre allows the play to be both open and flexible, allowing the audience to make the changes they feel necessary. Therefore, the issue of causing offence surely has to be by-passed. A way forum theatre can monitor this is how well it is structured. If the outlines of the play are clear and defined, whichever way the story goes, the actors can handle the adjustments and the audience are still grounded to what is happening.

Toward the end of this session, Mark brought up a great point, and I can't actually remember how it came up or what it related to!! However, reading back on my notes I still want to add it here, as I remember strongly agreeing!!
There are two kinds of people:
  • people who judge you for every action
  • people who see what you intend to do
Whatever, it related to, I thought it was so true!!

I have little experience with forum theatre and from what I have seen it is great within workshops for team building, character development and improvisation. Without seeing a performance using this technique it is hard to judge whether it would be good to use within a performance of my own, but would like to try out plenty of techniques like these before making a decision.

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