Evaluate the ways in which ideas were communicated to the audience Essay
Evaluate the ways in which ideas were communicated to the audience
Our central concepts and ideas for this piece were: Search for answers, desperation, fall of economy and society, fight for survival, obligatory ignorance. We wanted to communicate that in a downfall of the economy society will collapse; society needs money to survive, to be precise the human race needs things. Through this idea we wanted to show that once the financial system was taken away it came to down to survival of the fittest, people adapting to survive and breaking the taboo in order to do so.
We also wanted to communicate that the protagonist was following his basic instincts to discover and learn, driven on a journey catalysed by the loss of his partner. As well as showing that there are often no answers, no matter how much effort and toil you are put through, we decided on showing how people can deal with what happens when they aren’t provided with what they want to know, that some people jump and take themselves out of the situation rather than having the weight of ignorance on their shoulders.
Most of the members of the group were aware of these messages, but we made sure that every single one of us portrayed them through our performances to the best of our abilities so they could be carried across to the audience, even if they didn’t recognise them straight away. A few of these messages certainly did carry across but not to the extent we would have hoped. A lot of the younger members of the audience didn’t follow the plot completely, even after an explanation of the story.
The older members also admitted that it was quite difficult to digest, and that it might have needed a second viewing to reiterate the plot and distinguish the deeper messages. A couple of them said, however, that the messages seemed to sink in and play on their mind over the next week and, when thinking of the amount of content we had actually performed in 45 minutes, realised how much we had put into it and how innovative it was. During our humorous scenes the audience were extremely engaged, laughing for long periods of time to at the certain bits of action or speech, this was exactly how we wanted and expected the to react.
At the beginning they seemed to be quite agitated and were picking up the pictures that had been dropped from the catwalk above, this was again expected. At the rape scene they were very uncomfortable we could tell by the amount of tension left in the room, shuffling during the scene and the uncomfortable silence after the scene, we expected this kind of response, however we didn’t think it would be so extreme. I felt that we successfully conveyed the ideas of piece to the best of abilities but some members of the audience seemed to have received the messages we were trying to put across more than others.
This was noticeable when talking to them afterwards as a lot of the audience; especially younger members found the plot difficult to follow. This meant that their brains were more intent on figuring out the plot that they missed key sections that were conveying these messages. The content was clearer to our teachers as they’d had the benefit of seeing the performance numerous times, this allowed them to digest the plot and, upon watching the play again, deconstruct and understand the meanings.
I think we could have communicated the meaning clearer to the audience by either simplifying the plot or creating a more consistent and distinct narrative device. Our narrative device that appeared most often was the voice of the company, I think that exploring this character into more detail and having it recite pieces of text that suggest a story line more often would have made it clearer to the audience about the journey.
We didn’t do this because we thought that the plot was more interesting without using a narrator thus leaving the audience in suspense and creating an unpredictability to the piece. The performance taught me that to create and present a great piece of drama you need perseverance, a good group dynamic, that discussing ideas relentlessly without taking action doesn’t get you anywhere, that you shouldn’t be afraid to tell a member of the group that an idea isn’t good enough, it’s better to come out with a great piece of drama after a fall out than have some mediocre.
Also every scene has to stand alone before it can start to hold together as an entire piece. Our ideas surrounding obligatory ignorance were less obvious than some of our others but none the less proved effective in our performance we know this as they provided an under pinning to the plot that was hinted at but never directly addressed this helped to create a consistency throughout the piece that was obvious to the audience.
Other, more directly tackled ideas, such as searching for answers, desperation, fight for survival, the fall of the economy and the fall of society. Idea/Theme How we attempted to communicate this to an audience How effective or communication was Fall of economy and society: This idea provides the starting point and is the catalyst for the plot. We have included this theme to explore a hypothetical world in which the economy collapse causing the downfall of civilisation and how it would be dealt with.
We communicated this by beginning the piece with an ’emergency service announcement’ that pronounced that the economy had collapsed we had a 3 minute monologue from a member of the group speaking over air raid sirens and standing in front of flashing police lights. This was extremely effective as it was a clear concise obvious representation of an epidemic, the audience responded to it very well and said, after we talked to them that they got this bit. Searching for answers:
This idea is the catalyst for the protagonist’s journey, this would mean that his tragic flaw would be ‘a need for answers’ as this ultimately leads him to his death. We included this idea so that the protagonist had a purpose to go on this journey that is, basically, the plot. This is communicated through the plot by sending the protagonist on this journey that is filled with multiple characters and dangers, yet he still goes on through multiple challenges just to find a way to understand, this is also represented in his confrontation with the bosses, persistently asking them question and insisting they tell him.
This also carried over very well, they knew what he was doing why he was going, the only thing that confused them was if the protagonist knew about what happened to his partner as the photos we used with the words ‘eliminated’ on them weren’t visible to numerous members of the audience. Obligatory ignorance: This idea basically surrounds the idea that the protagonist will always, knowingly, be left in the dark about the events surrounding the loss of his partner, which also relates to the rest of the characters who are introduced in plot.
We did this to convey that the people who the protagonist meets are people who have dealt with this forced lack of answers in different ways and that the characters in each scene will always be completely opposite to ones in a previous or following scene. We attempted to communicate this by confusing the audience, we showered them with pictures to intrigue them and want to find out answers like the protagonist.
We wanted make it infuriating so that when the protagonist was denied the information he wanted from the Wise man and the bosses they would be equally as distraught. Audience members were definitely infuriated about the lack of answers that were given, which is exactly what we wanted. This made sure that they would be thinking about the play after they’d left and, hopefully, relate it to the current day. Fight for survival: This idea is providing an obstacle for the protagonist to face, making the plot interesting.
We included this theme also to explore the primitive nature in which the human race would have to revert to in order to survive without the security of something that no longer exists. This is communicated through the challenges the protagonist face i. e. the prostitute scene, the war scene and the memory scene. In the latter the last person to speak reveals the dog eat dog world and kills herself for recessing to her primal instincts. This was definitely clear, talking to the audience afterwards a member said ‘That [world] as a bit rough wasn’t it? ‘ so it carried well.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 7 July 2017