The objectives I set were:
- Remind ourselves of last week and everyones names
- Develop concept of 'play'
- Introduce Improvisation
- Express our creativity through action
- Develop imagination both consciously and subconsciously
- Develop awareness and observation
- Learn to reflect and evaluate work
I split the session into two, games and then improvisation exercises. I set more active games this week as we looked a lot at observation and awareness the week before so wanted to get everyone moving a bit more. I had two members of the group missing for different circumstances, however I did have an extra member join. As well as having the pleasure of a new member, she fit in really easily and was really eager to join in which was great.
We started with simple games like "what are you doing?" and "name check", then moved onto slightly more improvisational work such as "the puruvian ball game" (where you pretend you have ball in your hand, pass it on and then try to find your ball after a few exchanges, and a status game, (where you picked a card from a deck and whatever that card was, you were that status in relation to where that number is in line (ace being the lowest, king the highest). This went really well and the group started to look at how the body can speak so much volume in comparison to speech. One particular lady was really good at showing a low status, by backing away from the group, body language etc.
We then started looking at group exercises and making short pieces to present. I had 4 bowls full of lines of paper with text on. For the first exercise of the second part of the workshop, each group (decided by themselves) picked a line out of the bowl which said something like "Door salesman trying to sell to an elderly man", and they had to act out this situation. Instead of putting them on the spot i thought it would be best to give them time to think about it and practice. This went really well and everyone took to acting and improvising like a duck to water! One woman was laughing so hard she said her sides hurt and had to start the piece again several times! She said she hadn't laughed like that for years, and that laughter was the best medicine.. Definitely the best bit of feedback received so far.. Made me feel so good about it all!!!
Then we used the same 'tombola' method but each person in the group chose a character (e.g. musician), a prop (e.g. a wonky chair) and a location (e.g. a petrol garage) and with these had to also make a sketch. Some found it easier than others, as some couldn't get passed making it longer than a couple of lines long and some were stuck for ideas.
The last exercise we worked on was 'first or last line' which was yet again the same method but one person chose the first line of the piece and the other chose the last. Similarly, some took to the task straight away, where others couldn't really get their head around what was asked of them. We didn't have a lot of time by this exercise so i rushed into presentation and told them we would so this exercise again next week. However, they all tried really hard and put in so much effort!
Overall, everyone said they really enjoyed this week and was looking forward to doing similar techniques again. Certain things I will keep in mind for this week are:
- Body awareness - a lot of work was rigid and not a lot of moving, I have planned for a lot more movement and non dialogue this week so hopefully this will help body and audience awareness too.
- Time keeping - its really easy to get carried away with the exercise at hand and not realise that we had gone over. I will make sure that we move on after the first hour to make sure we have plenty of time for the things that people most enjoyed.
Overall it was a great week and has really made me look forward to this week. I am all prepared and hopefully it will go equally if not better than the last!!