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The final section under ‘spontaneous improvisation’ was ‘extended improvisation’. We only did one title under this topic it was called ‘Going to the Moon’. We worked in-groups of six for this piece. In my group were LeRhonda, Reuben and Kristen. LeRhonda and I did the countdown and the rest of the group were going to the moon. After mission control had done the countdown the rocket blasted off. The other four people set up a spaceship out of four chairs.
When they were taking off they pretended to shake and they looked as if they were really taking off. When they got into space they acted like they were weightless and they took large steps around and acted like they were floating. To improve the improvisation we used different characters. One character was an astronaut who acted like he had done it a million times and the other pretended to be frightened yet excited about going to the moon. This made the scene seem funny. Also we used facial expressions of amazement and excitement. The scene worked very well as the group worked well together.
For the next section we used text as a stimulus. We used the Falstaff by Robert Nye. Shakespeare created the character and he is an overfed comical and offensive man. It was an extract from his diary in the last 100 days of his life. In my group were Reuben, Erica, Tiffani and Kristen. We had to create a visual image to define any line. Then we had to make up a freeze frame with a caption to represent what we think boyhood is. The lines we did were “Boyhood is whipping top”. We did this scene by all having faces of happiness and amazement on our faces. We all froze like we were whipping top with our arms extended, whilst kneeling on the ground like little children.
The second line we did was “Boyhood is listening to the stars fall”. We did this by all lying on the floor pretending to have the covers pulled up to our chins and we all had happy but sleepy looks on our faces. The third line we did was “Boyhood is flying kites”. We did this by holding our arms extended from our bodies holding them like we were holding a spool of string and we looked amazed and happy. The fourth line was “Boyhood is playing hide and seek with little Margaret”. For this we created a linen basket out of four chairs and all acted as if we were looking for something. Also one boy was in the linen basket and he said the line.
Then we did what girlhood is off the tops of our heads with a freeze frame and a caption. For this task all the boys in the class were put into one group together. The captions and freeze frames my group did were: “Girlhood is having sleepovers”. For this we all lay on the floor facing each other and acting happy. Also we propped our heads up with our arms as if we were talking. The second freeze-frame we did was “Girlhood is putting on make-up”. For this we all sat as if we were looking in mirrors and poised out hands near our faces as if we were using make-up. One person opened their eyes half way and pretended to be putting on mascara.
Another person was pretending to be holding a lipstick and they curled their lips as a girl does when she is putting on make-up. The third freeze frame we did was “Girlhood is checking out guys”. For this we all stood with our hands on our hips with looks of admiration on our faces. The fourth freeze-frame we did was “Girlhood is going shopping”. For this one we all stood like we were holding heavy carrier bags. The fifth freeze-frame we did was “Girlhood is talking on the phone”. For this we all put our pinkies to our mouths and our thumbs to our ears to symbolise talking on the phone. I enjoyed this piece because they enabled us to explore the themes in both a stereotypical way and then gain more understanding about what really makes childhood.
The next thing we did was do a scene illustrating the effect Falstaff had on other people in his childhood. We did this by having a Falstaff on his deathbed and all the people he had done something too walking round saying what he had done. We had the goose he plucked saying “why did u pluck me, little Margaret saying why did you knock me up. One of the boys he got in fights with saying why did you beat me up?. Also we had the butterfly which he killed saying why did you kill me. We walked around him at first whispering our lines then we got louder and louder until we were screaming our lines. Then the Falstaff screamed and we all fell down as if he had woken up. This piece worked quite well as we all collaborated well together.
After this we did a nightmare sequence using the whole class. At first we all whispered our lines to Ashley who was in the middle and we all walked round her in a circle sometimes moving forward to whisper in her ear. Then slowly we did a crescendo and kept on going until we were all screaming line at her going faster and faster as we got louder. Then at the fever pitch Ashley screamed and we stopped. This sounded really amazing and being in the little must have been quite scary. The effect of a few simple lines being repeated conveyed the effect Falstaff had on others. It was one of the best moments in this unit of work.
Our next topic was using images as a stimulus. We worked in pairs and threes to create a scene, which represented the photograph. My first photograph was of a little baby crying. Me and my partner LeRhonda did this by pretending I was a lost little girl who couldn’t fine her mummy. I did this by screwing up my face a lot and acting sad, also I spoke in a very timid was and a babyish tone. LeRhonda played the part of a caring adult by talking in a very easy to understand soothing way. We walked around a small area pretending that it was a park and looking for my mother.