Drama: Daydreams and nightmares
The issue we were set to explore in the lessons was daydreams and nightmares. I enjoyed doing this topic because it allows you to act out scenes that are not real and what normal people think about in their everyday life. It also allows you to express your own thoughts. I think that nightmare chair is a very effective way of putting across to the audience what has happened during the course of the play.
We started the topic off with nightmare chair. In groups of six we had to make up a play with the second scene as nightmare chair. Our group found it very hard to think of a nightmare to do. So we ended up with our story being about a boy called Jack, who dared his friend, Paul, to walk across the railway track. However while Paul was walking back a train crushed him. This meant that Jack, who dared his friend, was having the nightmare. Jack had to sit in the middle and everyone else in a circle around him. We were chanting things like ‘ You shouldn’t have done that’, ‘you killed my best friend’ and ‘you killed my son’.
We then had to develop our plays so that they had the beginning of the story, then the nightmare chair, and then the end of the story. We had to have a monologue at the beginning of the story, but it could not tell the whole story. I found that making up the beginning and the end was harder to make up then the nightmares was. This was probably because we had the middle of the play and had to work around that.
We then began the daydream part of the topic. We started off by reading a few pages of a play, Ernie’s Great Hallucinations. This play was about a boy who used to daydream a lot however in his hallucinations they actual came true. The part we read was when Ernie and his Auntie May had gone to a fair, and the go to see a boxing match. The boxer want to win loses and the winner challenges anyone from the audience to go and fight him. No one from the audience goes so Auntie May goes in. that’s when Ernie starts to daydream that his Auntie becomes the world unofficial champion and she does. We got to read the play once and then had to make our own interpretation of it from memory. This helped us to give us an idea of how we could do our next task.
In different groups of six we had to make up our own versions of Ernie’s hallucinations. We had two choice of how to do our plays. We could either have the daydream affect real life or just have it as a normal daydream. We chose to have the daydream affect real life. The play was about a girl called Edwina who wanted to become a super model. One day she was in her maths class and she started to daydream about being a world famous model and winning an award for being the worlds most beautiful model. Then the next day at school teacher asks for Edwina’s homework and tells him she did not do it because she was modelling we then realise that her daydream was not actually a dream but did actually happened. When we first started doing the play no one liked it.
In the nightmare chair play I did not have a very big part. I was the passer-by at the railway station. When Paul gets crushed I offer Jack my mobile to call the ambulance. When Jack is having a nightmare I walk around him saying ‘you shouldn’t have done that.’ My character thought that the boys should have had more sense than to play near the railway tracks. She was always looking up from her paper as she thought they were up to no good whish they were.
When I offered Jack my phone I had to make my voice sound panicky and had to rush my words to show that she was thinking quickly about what to do next. When doing the nightmare chair I had to make my voice sound flat and cold, so that it sounded like we were all blaming Jack for killing Paul.
I think my performance as an individual could have been improved by me learning my words correctly and knowing when and how to say them. I think I could have also improved my performance by making my actions clear and confident, because I was not sure what I should have been doing all the time. As a group our performance could have been improved by making sure everyone knew exactly what they were saying and when they should be saying it, so that we did not have so many pauses. We have made our actions more confident.
In our play about Ernie’s hallucinations I played the part of Eddie Edwards. I was the boxer that lost. My character Eddie was a boxer and probably thought of himself as a tough and very good boxer. However he was not because he got knock out during the first round.
In this play I did not have to speak, so I did not have to change my voice to suit the part I was playing. However I was mainly acting, so my actions had to good. I had to keep my hands in a tight ball, and close to my head. I also have my back slightly bent in order to give the affect that I was boxing.
For our main play I played the part of a clever girl in Edwina’s class, and I was a person watching Edwina’s fashion show. My character in Edwina’ s class always had her hand up to answer a question. She was a very clever and liked to show off she was not a very interesting person.
As a little girl in Edwina’s class I had to make my voice hi pitched and sound child like. When I has to recite my two times table I had to make my voice quite loud and make my mouth movement bigger like a young girls would. As the person watching the fashion show I did not have to say much. My actions as the little girl had to be different too. When I was sitting down I hard to sit up straight and place my hand straight up in the air when a question was asked. When I was playing the person watching the fashion show I had try to act posh. I tried to put this across when I clapped at Edwina. I had to clap very delicately and with my tips of my fingers.
Making my voice louder and not being so self-conscience could have improved my individual performance. I could have also made my actions more precise and confident. I think everyone learning their lines so they do not stutter and leave long pauses could have improved the whole groups performance.
When we were first trying to make up the play no one really like it, and we had a lot of problems acting it. No one could put in the effort to make the play look and sound good, but after we listened to everyone’s ideas and thought of better ways to end it I think we made a very well acted performance.