Ideas & Inspiration

The Noble Art of Observation and the Power of Silence

[caption id="attachment_926" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Director sitting nicely, brain engaged and keeping quiet (for now) Director sitting nicely, brain engaged and keeping quiet (for now)[/caption] Listening and watching (in a positive way) are very underrated. In a previous 'life' I was a therapist (remedial massage mostly) and I spent many years teaching others how to assess the varying conditions of their clients. Listen, watch and, in the case of a physical therapy, get your hands on (but even then you are listening with your hands). In theatre, observation is everything - but not just in theatre. The same applies if you just want to help a friend. Watch .. listen. Where are they? (more…)

By Barbara, ago
Games

Clues and Challenges – an Offbeat Gaming Event

[caption id="attachment_676" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Now there's a challenge! Now there's a challenge![/caption] You remember the days when you used to play 'make-believe'? Ok, some of us don't actually stop doing that, but I'm talking about a time when you could be immersed in a game and it became almost real for you. I remember playing in the woods and in my mind the place was inhabited with all sorts of mythical creatures and beasts that became a part of my story. It was magical. You could go for ages getting wrapped up in your own wonderful world. In theatre I try to recreate some of the potential in that sort of creativity with theatre games. I started, some years ago, running longer games and improvisation sessions with my youth group. We could run a game for hours and not get bored or run out of ideas. It's brilliant to see people constantly creating a new world, spontaneously responding to situations and relationships with others without breaking character. I have a few 'event' type games that I'll post up over the next few weeks, but this one is played in a similar way and is very engaging to take part in and to watch! (more…)

By Barbara, ago
Games

Theatre Games – Introductions 2

[caption id="attachment_529" align="aligncenter" width="800"]How much fun is it safe to have in one game? How much fun is it safe to have in one game?[/caption] In my post Introductions I mentioned that the game can get a lot more complcated and challenging. It can and this is how: First - read the previous post so you know the basics! Then adapt what your group do and make it progressively more complex Make sure your group are thoughtful and considerate to each other as possible! They will laugh at each other as well but try and keep them from embarrassing each other or making fun of each other - that could lead to a backwards step in the group dynamics. After each idea the group always copy the person speaking/acting as faithfully as they can. I won't keep putting that down - but don't leave it out! Important that the group act as one when they copy, especially in early days. (more…)

By Barbara, ago
Games

Theatre Games – Introductions

IMG_2037 I know .. there are loads of ways to introduce yourself when a new group first gets together. And there are loads of ways to start a rehearsal with a group of people not used to working with each other. This is one of my favourites and it rarely fails to get everyone in good humour and out of their respective shells so you can start to work on other, more testing activities! The photo is actually a photo taken at the beginning of a rehearsal for Beauty & the Beast and shows the cast enjoying this very game. So .. to start off (more…)

By Barbara, ago
Games

Theatre Games – Slow Motion Race

[caption id="attachment_393" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Ok. Not a slow motion race at all... but if you ignore most of it .. it just could be ... Ok. Not a slow motion race at all... but if you ignore most of it .. it just could be ...[/caption] So .. theatre games? Love them - or don't see the point? I LOVE them. If you have a group that meets regularly and you want them to learn how to work together, improve performance skills, gain confidence and awareness on stage, you need to play games. The word 'games' conjures up an activity that is designed to amuse us. Ok, we may be aware that on some level we're being tested, but generally you can find a game where to 'play' doesn't take too much effort (or you could just opt to lose if you really can't be bothered). But theatre games are not only fun, they are the lifeblood of our performing skills and ensemble work. Over the next few months I'm going to write about the games I really like, the ones I find useful and engaging and the ones I've devised for youth theatre/school sessions. (more…)

By Barbara, ago
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