Devising Celebration
 

Home


About this site
Welfare State


Giant images
Masqued Ball
Mumming
Puppets
Shadow puppets
Site analysis
Site decoration

Bands

Street parades
Worksheets


Case study
Papers
Research links

S A F E T Y
The practical work involved in devising celebrations requires the occupational health and safety practices associated with the visual and performing arts. Always put safety first.

 

Worksheets

These worksheets have proven useful for practitioners on a variety of levels. Amongst these would be:

  • For forging a common vocabulary amongst company members within any given production.
    This vocabulary can grow a grammar which can be practiced in rehearsal and tested as a multi-dimensional communication with audience.
  • For the value of their implicit challenge to theatre-makers to create...!
  • For their potential to enrich perceptions concerning of artistic agency and degrees of thoughtful creative control that are necessary to communicate ideas, themes, moods, etc.
  • For their value as a reminder of concepts that we have "forgotten" we "know" ...

Of course, this vocabulary is joined by other terms that can assist people to reflexively yet critically engage their theatre-making as a production praxis. Those terms will emerge from within the group experience and should be a topic for a dialogue that is tested in improvisation and in rehearsal.

So the ways in which you use these documents will vary according to need, purpose, theatre convention or genre... Experiment!

The worksheets are also available for DOWNLOAD as a Word document.

Contents:

  1. Activity statements
  2. Categorisation of form
  3. Worksheet for play analysis
  4. Political-dramatic themes
  5. Laban - Analysis of effort
  6. Stanislavski methods

Activity Statements

Discovering Ideas:

apprehend

attend to

be aware of

be conscious of

collect

compare

conceive of

consider

detect

discern

distinguish

draw upon

encounter

examine

experience

experiment with

explore

feel

fantasise

find

get the idea

grasp

handle

hear

identify

imagine

interview

investigate

know

let

listen

look

make out

notice

observe

perceive

react

recall

recognise

record

respond to

search for

see

sense

smell

survey

taste

touch

undergo

use

view

watch

witness

work with

 

Transforming Ideas:

adapt

adopt

alter

amplify

change

compose

convert

create

distort

elaborate

enlarge

exaggerate

expand

experiment

express

extend

generate

hypothesise

imagine

improve

improvise

interpret

invent

invite

modify

originate

plan

propose

rearrange

redesign

refine

reorder

represent

reshape

revise

select

shift

simplify

symbolise

test

       

try out

Working with Media:

assemble

build

collect

combine

complete

construct

control

devise

do

employ

erect

execute

explore

fashion

form

join

make

manipulate

operate

practice

produce

put together

render

select

shape

test

try out

use

   

Perceiving and Describing Performance:

account for

analyse

apprehend

attend to

be aware of

be interested in

categorise

classify

compare

differentiate

discern

distinguish

examine

emphasise

encounter

group

identify

look

mention

name

note

notice

observe

pair

point out

recognise

respond

see

select

sense

       

view

Interpreting Performance:

ascribe meaning to

attibute meaning to

characterise

cite

declare

determine

disclose

explain

form an opinion

get the idea

give meaning to

generalise

hypothesise

imagine

invent

infer

propose

speculate

suggest

theorise

translate

understand

verify

 

Judging Performance:

accept

admire

appraise

appreciate

approve

argue

assess

cite

criticise

debate

decide

determine

disapprove

estimate

evaluate

favour

form an opinion

give reason for

justify

like

order

prize

rate

reject

respect

think highly of

weigh

     

Forms of Unity:

of CONTINUATION

of UNION

of COLLECTION

of Continuation

of Tying

of Grouping

of Expansion

of Binding

of Gathering

of Openness

of Weaving

of Piling

of Dilation

of Joining

of Layering

 

of Bracing

of Heaping

 

of Matching

of Bundling

 

of Stopping

of Tightening

   

of Grasping

   

of Felting

of ARRANGEMENT

of ENCLOSURE

of Pairing

of Wrapping

of Distribution

of Enclosing

of Complement

which Surround

of Surfeit

of Encirclement

of Discard

which Hide

of Scattering

which Cover

Forms of Adaptation:

of FLUIDITY

of THE NATURAL

which Droop

of Natural Things

which Flow

of Inlay

which Swirl

of Firing

which Rotate

of Texture

which Smear

of Impression

Forms of Change:

of

REDUCTION

by

TWISTING

of

SEVERING

of

TRANSFIGUATION

which Are Rolled

of Twisting

of Tearing

of Simplification

which Are Creased

of Twining

of Chipping

of Difference

which Are Folded

of Dappling

of Splitting

of Disarrangement

of Scoring

of Cumpling

of Cutting

of Dancing

of Bending

of Shavings

of Severing

of Shading

of Shortening

 

of Dropping

of Open-Work

   

of Removing

of Splashing

Forms of Force:

of SUPPORT

of CURVE

which Support

of Circling

which Hook

of Curve

of Tension

of Curvature

which Suspend

which Rise

which Hang

 

which Spread

 

 

Worksheet for Play Analysis

 

I. Given Circumstances

A. Environmental facts. Discuss under the following headings:

1. Geographical location, including climate

2. Date: year, season, time of day

3. Economic environment

4. Political environment

5. Social environment

6. Religious environment

B. Previous Action

C. Polar attitudes of the principal characters, both in the beginning and at the ending.

II. Dialogue

A. Choice of words

B. Choice of phrases and sentence structures

C. Choice of images

D. Choice of peculiar characteristics, e.g., dialect

E. The sound of the dialogue

F. Structure of lines and speeches

III. Dramatic Action

A. Titles of the units. Number the units in the scene or play and give a nominative phrase as a title for each unit.

B. Detailed breakdown of the action. Do this before going on to (C) because the verbs will help you do the summarising of the units. Separate the action into numbered units. Express the action in ach line speech) by using the initial of each character followed by a present-tense verb. Example: N pleads, P simpers, M barks with authority.

C. Summary of the action. Summarises the action of each unit by following the number of the unit with a compound sentence expressing reciprocal action. Example: A (present-tense verb) to B and,

B (present-tense verb) to A.

IV. Characters

Treat each character under the following headings:

A. Desire

B. Will

C. Moral stance

D. Decorum

E. Summary list of adjectives

F. Initial character-mood-intensity at the scene-opening expressed as:

1. Heartbeat: rate

2. Perspiration: Heavy, light, etc.

3. Stomach condition

4. Muscle tension

5. Breathing: rate, depth

 

V. Idea

A. Meaning of the title

B. Philosophical statements in the play: Cite actual quotations

C. Implications of the action

D. For the scene in preparation: Cite its purpose and use in the play

VI. Tempos

After the number of each unit, designate the rate of speed for that unit by using a rate word. Examples: fast, medium slow, largo. Also make a horizontal graph of the tempo re ationships by inserting connecting perpendicular lines to a horizontal line in order to show the peaks and valleys of tempo change.

 

 

 

TEMPOS

         

 

 

UNITS

1

2

3

4

5

 

VII. Moods

After the number of each unit express the mood for that unit in two categories:

A. A list of mood adjectives with one for each of the senses

B. A mood image

Politics

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

Supplication

Deliverance

Crime pursued by vengence

Vengence taken kindred upon kindred

Pursuit

Disaster

       
 

7.

8.

9.

10.

11.

12.

Misfortune or cruelty

Revolt

Daring enterprise

Abduction

Enigma

Effort ot obtain

   
   

13.

14.

15.

16.

17.

18.

Hatred of kin

Rivalry of Parents

Adulterous murder

Madness

Fatal imprudence

Involuntary crime of love

   
     

19.

20.

21.

22.

23.

24.

Slaying of unrecognised kinsman

Self-sacrifice for an ideal

Sacrifice of a loved one

Everything sacrificed for one passion

Necessary sacrifice of loved ones involuntarily

Superior and inferior rivalry

       

25.

26.

27.

28.

29.

30.

Adultery

Crimes of love

Discovery of loved oneâs dishonour

Thwarted lovers

Loving an enemy

Ambition

         

31.

32.

33.

34.

35.

36.

Wresting against the divinity

Mistaken jealousy

Error of judgement

Remorse

Revering of a lost one

Losing a loved one

Laban

EFFORT

TEMPO

DIRECTION

DEGREE of WEIGHT

FLOAT

Sustained

Flexible

Light

SLASH

Sudden

Flexible

Heavy

GLIDE

Sustained

Direct

Light

WRING

Sustained

Flexible

Heavy

DAB

Sudden

Direct

Light

THRUST

Sudden

Direct

Heavy

FLICK

Sudden

Flexible

Light

PRESS

Sustained

Direct

Heavy

 

 

Consider: "Certain movements can be considered derivatives of basic actions." (p. 69)

Basic Action

Derivatives

Float

Strew, Stir, Stroke

Slash

Beat, Throw, Whip

Glide

Smooth, Smear, Smudge

Wring

Pull, Pluck, Stretch

Dab

Pat, Tap, Shake

Thrust

Shove, Punch, Poke

Flick

Flip, Flap, Jerk

Press

Crush, Cut, Squeeze

 

 

Consider: "As an experiment... try to pronounce the word "No" to express different shades of meaning... with the following actions, each producing a different sound qua ity and expression." (p. 94)

"No" with a

Floating action

Gentle

Sustained

Flexible

"No" with a

Slashing action

Firm

Sudden

Flexible

"No" with a

Gliding action

Gentle

Sustained

Direct

"No" with a

Wringing action

Firm

Sustained

Flexible

"No" with a

Dabbing action

Gentle

Sudden

Direct

"No" with a

Thrusting action

Firm

Sudden

Direct

"No" with a

Flicking action

Gentle

Sudden

Flexible

"No" with a

Pressing action

Firm

Sustained

Direct

 

"By accompanying each of these sound expressions with a gesture of the quality indicated, the reader will become aware of the connection between audible and visible movements." (p. 94)

SPACE

Elementary Aspects Needed for the Observation of Bodily Actions

 

Directions:

left-forward

left

left-backward

forward

 

 

backward

right-forward

right

right-backward

Levels:

high

medium

deep

Extensions:

near

small

normal

normal

 

far

big

Path:

straight - angular - curved

 

EFFORT

Survey of the Aspects of Weight, time, Space and Flow Needed for the Understanding of Effort

Motion

Effort Elements

Measurable Aspects

Classifiable Aspects

Factors

(fighting)

(yielding)

(objective function)

(movement sensation)

 

Weight

 

firm

 

gentle

Resistance:

strong (or lesser degrees to weak )

 

Levity:

light (or lesser degrees to heavy )

 

Time

 

sudden

 

sustained

Speed:

quick (or lesser degrees to slow )

 

Duration:

long (or lesser degrees to short )

 

Space

 

direct

 

flexible

Direction:

straight (or lesser degrees to wavy )

 

Expansion:

pliant (or lesser degrees to threadlike)

 

Flow

 

bound

 

free

Control:

stopping (or lesser degrees to releasing )

 

Fluency:

fluid (or lesser degrees to pausing )

 

Stanislavski-based Rehearsal Methodology

1. Write out a personal history:

A. Born 15 ??

18 ??

19 ??

This personal history must be based on research.

B. Relate your personal history to:

Political - Economic - Social - Cultural factors relating to your time.

Ask yourself:

    • how have these things affected me?
    • ... if not, then why not? (this is just as important!)
    • how have these things affected others? Why? What is the difference between us (yourself and other characters) because of these factors?
    • why to I think/feel/talk the way I do?

C. Allow this material to feed your imagination as you:

    • claim aspects of your character; and
    • endow other characters with certain qualities
    • start to see the world that way;
    • let go of your own perceptions, ideas, etc., and start to become your character;
    • start to bring aspects of this into you day-to-day affairs; note the difference between what you think and what your character would think (guard against thinking that you completed this process!)
    • Listen to others (with your eyes & mind) from the standpoint of your character.
    • Compare your daily routines to the way your character would deal with them; experiment by altering between yourself and your character in the way that you approach these daily activities... experiment.

2. Keep rough notes on HOW and WHY you have the RELATIONSHIPS that you have with the other characters:

    • What is your general status?
    • What is your specific status in a given unit?
    • Why does it change? Does it change?

    • What value does a given relationship have for your character?

be specific: friendship, love, family, sexual, lustful but unrequited, commerce, envy of wealth, convenience,

nuisance, elder or youth to elder...? etc., etc.

    • Has this relationship always had such value/s? If not, why? How did it change? When? Why? What are the consequences of these changes?
    • What is the dynamic of any given relationship in the source of the play? (make your analysis from unit to unit here)

    • Compare notes with the other actors. Discuss extensively and argue your position from the evidence of the text and on the basis of your research into time, place, and culture.

3. Approaching the Play:

Get to your "now" of the play... by getting to your "now" of each unit.

    • Start to play with choices
    • Can you justify a given choice to serve the intentions of the action?

    • The Linear Sense... what do "I the character" mean by these lines? These words? Am "I the actor" sure of this judgment?
    • What is the Objective Sense? Use a dictionary (where you are even slightly unsure of word meanings) ...for what seems obvious - especially for what seems obvious.
    • What value do I give these words? How do I claim them for me? Or is it, ÎI would never have said that or put it that wayâ... If this is the case, why is that so?
    • What shape does the speech have? (builds to a point, makes point then explains, etc.)

Find the IMPULSE for:

    • your words
    • your physical actions
    • your behaviour
    • your silences, and observations

4. Preparation for a Unit or Units:

    • What is my objective? (be specific: i.e., what do I want to achieve?)
    • What are the obstacles? (identify them as being internal/external)
    • What are my actions? (these are linked to your characterâs objectives*)

This is time consuming but necessary. Find one for every line of thought... i.e., "To [active verb]... affect another and/or others."

(NB: Usually the best verbs cue very physical ones).

Use a Thesaurus and/or a Dictionary and build up your list of ACTION words.

    • Given my specific objective within a unit of action... what is my super-objective? (There should be an inner logic running through to the super-objective).
    • When these issues are defined... do my objectives give me a "spine" that "stands", of have I twisted the "shape" of my character? (If your answer is the latter then you need to redefine, "realign" your objectives. Your character must be free to "stand", i.e., you "have the right to be here" - irregardless of how other characters (or the audience) see you.
    • In brief: establish your through-line with great care.

    • What is the main event of the unit? (make an ACTIVE choice)
    • How does your character relate to this event?
    • What is your story in relation to this event?

Within any given unit you should ask yourself (as character):

    • How did I get here?
    • Where did I come from?
    • What time is it? (Does that matter? Be specific!)
    • Why am I here?

As you travel on your journey through the play distinguish between on-stage & off-stage reality... and recognise that two minutes on-stage could be six months in the lifetime of your character... define/be clear about the plasticity of these on-stage/off-stage moments.

Generally:

Given Circumstances: Who am I?

Where am I

When is it?

What do I want?

How do I get it?

What is in my way?

What is my right to be here?

Respect your fellow actorsâ right to make their own explorations, especially during rehearsal.

There is no need to be solemn backstage. But donât be frivolous... Donât allow your concentration to lapse!! Each actor will have her/his own approach here: Respect one another.

4. On Learning Lines & Stage Directions:

Most serious actors like to get lines down quickly in order to be free of the book and ready to make creative explorations. Dividing the play into units of action allows us to do this reasonably easily.

Each person will learn lines differently (e.g., read, re-read, run them with someone esle, tape them, write them out, paraphrase their meaning, etc.).The main point is to get them securely in your memory and to do this early on in the rehearsal phase so that the company can attend to more important matters relating to their creative interpretation.

It is particularly good to get your lines "reflexed" into your subconscious by running them as you go to sleep, or while you are doing something else like washing the dishes. Thus, even should you "dry" on stage - the fact that your lines have become "reflexed" - you will enable you to have a better chance of clicking into "automatic pilot" in the sense that they will take care of themselves by bubbling to the surface of your consciousness.

 

 

 

 

    © Copyright Charles Sturt University & NSW Department of Education and Training
Informed by original material © Copyright John Fox & Sue Gill (Welfare State International)