Breathing Exercise

Today we did loop breathing while looking into someone’s eyes. I was partnered with Jasmine because our characters (Arscott and Caesar) are alliances.
It was interesting to me. Through breathing I got so zoned in that I zoned out. After a few beginning interruptions, I was so focused on my breath and Jasmine that I was completely blind to anything happening around me. I heard no external noises. Then I went even further into the exercise. I became so absorbed by my breath and the breathing pattern that I could no longer even entirely see Jasmine sitting across from me. Her eyes blended together as we breathed and my focus was below my consciousness.

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Rabit Proof Fence

\text{Images}\Longrightarrow \text{Emotions}\Longrightarrow\text{Impressions}

  • voices uses a small range of tones
  • voice is deep for a woman
  • barren land
  • hawk is spirit bird to the natives
  • clothing is similar to a potato sack
  • long sleeves shirts with buttons
  • skirts for girls
  • shades of dust
  • warm temperatures
  • aboriginals are barefoot
  • calligraphy
  • white people are dressed properly and conducting official business
  • male speaks disconnectedly
  • woman follows his orders without question
  • white man works at the store
  • woman and children fun from the police
  • cries
  • open mouths
  • eldest woman hits her head with a rock
  • proper
  • projector used
  • woman wear hats with ribbons
  • “in spite of himself, the native must be helped”
Emotional Visual Oral Behavioral Brutal Suit and tie Crying Children taken Traumatic Hats with ribbons Howling Mother attempts to keep them Controlling Projector Annuciated spit Presentation before a room Black and white images on the screen “In spite of himself, the native must be helped” Pressed clothes Dust Shades of brown

Catching Up

I have missed the majority of the last two weeks of class and with that all of the lessons and assignments.  Now I’m finding I’m a bit behind and confused in class.

I still plan to study Brecht theater using the play Mother Courage and Her Children.  Link to Wikipedia Page Although I do not have the play.  Jane,  do you have a copy?

Also just recently I found out that I will be John  Arscott in the play Our Country’s Good.  At first, I was a bit upset and disappointed about this casting choice. I did not want to play a man. Although after reading his lines I’m beginning to really like the character. In a strange way I think he is a man who is easy to connect to. He uses the same phrases multiple times. He says “There’s no escape!” and “Sir, if you please” repeatedly.

Our Country’s Good

Today, we were introduced to the script of Our Country’s Good. We learned that within the play the characters are performing a play. This makes the storyline similar to A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This also means that it is a play about theater and acting techniques. I look forward to learning more about theater going through the process of preparing the play for a reading and also extracting insight from the text itself as the characters learn about theater.

Jane will be casting the play. She will decide based on a number of criteria. She will look to what she thinks our strengths are and what skills she thinks we should evolve. Jane will also subjectively choose based on similarities she sees between us and the characters in the script.

Talking about this play sparked a conversation about censorship and what is appropriate for presentation. Some of the language in the text may be unsuited for our audience. This led to talking about One Acts and how some of the content is a bit controversial.

 

After reading the play I’m not sure which character best suits me. I don’t think I got enough of an introduction to the female roles. Although I did find a couple of lines that were particularly insightful and pertinent to our conversations from earlier today. Tench said, “The content of a play is irrelevant.” Ironically, just hours ago, our class was talking about some of the content in this play may not be fitting for a high school production.

“The theatre is an expression of civilisation…. It will remind them there is more to life than crime, punishment. And  we, this colony of a few hundred will be watching this together, for a few hours we will no longer be despised prisoners and hated gaolers. We will laugh, we may be moved, we may even think a little.”

Hamlet

Today I started reading Hamlet for IB English. It’s interesting to me how Shakespeare can be examined from a theatrical point of view and from a literary one. I look forward to seeing the differences between how the text will be approached from each lens. Perhaps some of what I have learned in IB Theater will lend itself to the study of Hamlet in English class.

Origins of Theater

Determining the origin of theater is not an entirely objective investigation. Much of the theories are based on speculation. The most prominent and widely-accepted theory claims that theater finds its origins in ritual and myth. Many years ago people did not have the scientific explanations for the world around them like we have today. People looked around for connections between the natural environment and occurring events.  Many events were attributed to supernatural or magical forces. Groups would engage in an action which would then be followed by a favorable event. These people would find a supposed connection between the two. This would thus lead to them repeating the action in hopes to receive the same beneficial outcome. As people continued to do this their actions became more elaborate and theater as an art form was created. Those engaged in the rituals would embody spirits by wearing costumes or masks. This showed separation between the mythical characters and the humans. Simple rituals to evoke actions transformed into entertainment valuing the aesthetic nature of the performance.

\text{action} \Longrightarrow \text{favorable event} \Longrightarrow \text{supposed connection} \Longrightarrow \text{repetition of the action} \Longrightarrow \text{sophistication of the action}

 

Another theory that lends itself to the origin of theater is founded on the idea that theater came from storytelling. Relating to each other as people via conversation is seen as a fundamental desire. People are naturally inclined to tell stories. these stories are accentuated by gesticulation and impersonation. The story comes to life as voices are adopted for different characters in the story. The retelling becomes life like. Some experts say this instinctive tendency is what evolved into theater.

 

Similarly, theater as an evolution from the natural desire for fantasy and a break from reality is another claim. One author describes it as, “the theatre, then, is one took whereby people define and understand their world or escape from unpleasant realities.”

Ragtime

The show was absolutely phenomenal. I was completely absorbed from the time the curtain opened until it closed.

The set was rather minimalistic. There were a few main planes that hung from the ceiling and could be moved, but otherwise there were no large set pieces. Plain four legged wooden chairs were used in many scenes.

The singing was outstanding.

I had had the luxury of meeting and talking with many of the cast prior to seeing the show. It was a very interesting experience to go to a show with background knowledge of the people on stage but no knowledge of what the play was about. It was like I was simply going to see these people rather than a performance.

 

Review in progress…