Four Strong Words in the Poem: Love, Hate, War and Peace
When I first walked into the stimulus room, I initially felt it was very much associated with time. There were the sound of clocks ticking in the background, there were also many pictures of clocks scattered on the floor. As I looked around the room I noticed it was clearly divided into three different sections. In the right hand section of the room, divided off by police tape, there was a television playing a video showing a baby in a womb, children playing, and then a pair of eyes. The video then showed the children grow into adults.
This was followed by a sign being put up about adoption and fostering and then went back to show the image of the baby in the womb. The images were repeated continuously. Also in the section was a baby in a cot, nursery books, a hopscotch marking, several newspapers on the floor with the headlines about ‘Rape’, a mirror, empty wine bottles, a train ticket with the destination, ‘To meet my first born’ and also written on the floor was ‘ Dear Diary, Today I met up with some of my friends… ‘. I think the overall theme of this section of the room was the ‘past’.
The baby, nursery books and hopscotch marking all represent childhood and growing up. I also think there were many more themes within the section; the hopscotch could also represent the journey through life or the stages of life. The train ticket with the destination ‘To Meet My First Born’ could represent life as a journey. The mirror could represent reflecting back on your past, similar to the ‘Dear Diary’, this could show how you reflect back on your past or your childhood through a diary you may have kept.
The newspapers, ignoring their headlines, could show how you can look back on the past, but not go back. The police tape dividing off that section of the room could also mean that there’s no going back, you cannot cross the police line back to the past. The baby and the nursery books, I think simply show the beginning of life, where it all began and highlighting the innocence of a young life. The empty wine bottles, I think show the stress of growing up, the bad times of your past. The newspapers with the headlines about ‘Rape’ also show the darker side of your past, something you may want to forget.
The video playing a continuous loop shows the life cycle, the baby in the womb, the children playing, then growing into adults. The flash of a person’s eyes could mean the images on the video were being looked at through someone’s eyes; it was perhaps their memory of growing up. The scene showing a sign about fostering and adoption could show perhaps that the baby in the cot was adopted, or that as you grow older you may not be able to have children. Often couples have to think about adopting or fostering a child. The whole section could represent one person’s life.
Perhaps they are reflecting back on their life after realising they in fact were adopted. They may look back realising that most of their life was a lie, many parents who adopt wait until their child is eighteen before telling them they were adopted. This could show the child looking back at his or her life, adjusting to the fact he or she did not come from where they had been lead to believe they had. The empty wine bottles could show the stress of learning the truth about your past. The mirror could show how they reflect back at their life, or that you are still the same person within throughout your life.
Although your physical appearance changes, and that’s what the mirror shows, you still remain the same inside. The quote, “Give me the child until he is seven, and I will show you the man” explains how you develop your characteristics by the age of seven and they remain with you for life. As I continued to look around this section of the room, I started to think more about the newspaper headlines, ‘Serial Rapist’. I started to see a pattern immerging, the headline about rape, the police tape, the empty wine bottles.
This could all show a story about someone getting raped, perhaps the baby in the cot was a result of this and then put up for adoption, the mother may have turned to alcohol to deal with the trauma of being raped. The mirror, as well as reflecting back on your past could represent simply looking at your reflection, feeling self-conscious. Perhaps as a result of rape, the girl could feel very insecure and unhappy with her own appearance. The mental torment of being raped could lead her to believe that the image she sees in the mirror is worthless and damaged due to being raped.
In the centre section of the room, there were lots of paintings of melting clocks scattered on the floor, a globe, a large drawing on the floor of a clock without any hands, there was also a real clock on the floor. There was a large projection of the painting ‘Scream’ by Edvard Munch, a table set out for two people, there were lots of newspapers along the right hand side of this section and also newspapers with only a headline but no other text along the left side of this section. I think the overall theme of this section was the ‘present’, but like in the past section I think there are many more themes within it.
The paintings of melting clocks could show how time is running away, how fast life can go at times and that you should live each day to the full as you don’t know whether it’ll be your last. The large drawing of a clock on the floor, with no hands could back up the idea that this section of the room is ‘present’ as there is no time in the present because when you have a fixed time, it is in the past. It could also represent ‘any time’, the fact that there are no hands could mean that you don’t know when anything will happen, you cannot predict the future.
The real clock on the floor shows the reality that time really is slipping away, seconds tick by all the time, everything you do will suddenly become the past and you cannot change that. The ‘Scream’ painting shows a person standing on a bridge with their hands to their face, screaming. This could represent trauma and crisis in life, the person on the bridge is perhaps thinking of ending their life and jumping into the river below, or maybe just needed a place to escape to, to reflect back on his or her life. The fact that the person is screaming could mean they are going through a hard time or they are thinking back to a scarred childhood.
Like the wine bottles in the past section it could just represent the unhappy times in someone’s life. Many other paintings by Edvard Munch include the same bridge or pier, maybe this is a reflection on Edvard Munch’s life, it could be a place he liked to go when life was getting on top of him, to look back at his own life. The painting can represent many other things, for example the fear in people’s life, perhaps it represents death, or the fact many people are afraid of the idea of death although everyone has to face it.
The newspapers bordering the past and present section means that whatever is printed in the newspapers is always in the past, you can look back at it by reading the newspapers but you cannot visit it. Whereas the newspapers with only a headline and no other text represents the present and future, there’s nothing to write in the newspapers because you don’t know what is happening at this very moment or what is going to happen next, as soon as it has happened, when you read something in the newspaper, it is already the past.
The table for two, set out neatly with two plates, two sets of cutlery and two wine glasses I think represents the opposite of the ‘Scream’ painting, the happy times in life; love and friendship. It could represent a marriage, or even just two close friends. The globes could show the journey through life, or the fact that all over the world everyone is living at the same time, everyone has a past, and a present. Everyone has their own problems in life and however big and important yours are, somewhere across the world someone has their own to deal with and your problems are of no significance to them.
I think this section could link into the storyline of the past section, the ‘Scream’ painting could represent the trauma the rape victim went through or even how the child felt after finding out it was adopted. The table set out for two could show the happier times in their life, maybe the reunited mother and child after many years apart or it could represent a life getting back on track after a terrible event, sharing times with friends and family. The melting clocks show how time was dripping away and how you can never get it back, years would have been wasted being depressed and recovering from the trauma of being raped.
In the left section of the room there is a table set out for one, a train ticket with a destination ‘To propose to Fiona’, a large question mark drawn on the floor, a coffin draped in a black cloth with a rose on top, a vase of flowers, a bundle in a black cloth next to the coffin with a rose on top, a gravestone with no name or date, the words ‘Dear Diary.. ‘ written on the floor but with nothing following and on the floor, there was a white cloth. The overall theme of this section of the room was the ‘future’.
The table for one, is linked to the table set out for two in the present section of the room, this could show death of a partner or divorce or even friends falling out. The white cloth on the floor could show the blank future, nothing has been written on it yet. It could also represent heaven and peace when you die. The coffin represents death, the black cloth draped over it could show how many people fear death. The coffin had a rose placed upon it, this shows love and how when you are gone, there’s always someone still alive, missing you. The coffin could be linked to the table for one, it could explain that the partner or friend died.
The black cloth next to the coffin could show something connected to the person in the coffin next to it, their soul or personality for instanced and how that is no longer there when a person dies. The rose upon this black cloth again can represent the love of someone you’ve left behind. The large question mark drawn on the floor could represent many things, how the person died or the fact that its unknown as to what happens when we die, or that we don’t know what the future holds. The ‘Dear Diary… ‘ without any thing written after shows that we don’t know what is going to happen to us in the future.
Our diaries are blank until we write in them; our future is blank until we live it. The train ticket again shows the journey through life. The destination is ‘To propose to Fiona’ , this could be linked to the table for one, maybe the man went to propose to Fiona but she didn’t feel the same, leaving him alone, represented by a table set out for one. The gravestone had nothing written on it apart from: RIP In loving memory of: Born: Died: I think this shows that we don’t know when we are going to die, or who is going to die, when. This also shows that everyone will die, even though we don’t know how or when.
The flowers represent the love for someone, when people lay flowers on a grave at a funeral it is because they want to show their respect and love for the person who died and how there will be a part of their life missing without them. This section of the room could also link into the storyline of the other two sections. The bundle of cloth next to the coffin could represent an abortion, perhaps the rape victim had chosen to have an abortion. There would be no coffin because the baby was unborn but the rose still shows how there was still love for the unborn baby.
The gravestone again could represent an abortion, there would be no name, or birth date as it hadn’t been born. The large question mark could represent the unknown mother and father perhaps of the adopted child, it could have been an abandoned baby. It could also represent the unknown rapist and link to the past section with the police tape. On the tables, at the side of the room, not in any of the sections were several poems; ‘Time after time’, ‘Funeral Blues’ and an extract from ‘Ecclesiastes’ in the bible. All of these tie into the three sections of the room and the overall theme of time.
They also relate to the many other themes in the room, ‘Funeral Blues’ by W. H. Auden is obviously related to death. It shows the love for someone who died and how they will miss them now they are gone. ‘He was my North, my South, my East and West, My working week and my Sunday rest’ It is from the point of view of someone left behind, someone now alone left to cope with the death of a partner. This could relate to the table for one, a partner dying and how the person will miss them. ‘I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong. ‘
The extract from ‘Ecclesiastes’ in the Bible, links into the idea of past, present and future. It shows how in your life, there will come a time for everything, ‘a time to be born, and a time to die’ It elaborates the idea that everyone will one day die, everyone has their time. Nobody should be afraid of death, it shouldn’t something to be scared of as one day everyone will face it. The poem also includes many opposites, love, hate, war and peace, and explains that in everyone’s life there will come a time to do all these things. ‘a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. ‘
The first piece of practical work we developed from the stimulus room, was based on the Ecclesiastes poem extract from the Bible. We focused on four particular lines from it: ‘a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. ‘ We had to create a tableaux image of the four strong words in the poem; love, hate, war and peace. The first image out group started to work on was ‘love’. We decided each member of our group would hold a still image that represented various kinds of love. Georgina and I held a still image of two parents cradling a baby, showing their love for that child and each other.
In this image I played the father, holding the baby whilst Georgina played the mother gazing lovingly at the baby, our facial expressions were happy to show our love for one another and the child. We also started to think about different kinds of love, not only love for other people but love for other things in life. Eliot decided to hold the image of someone eating a burger; this was to represent someone’s love for food. Whilst holding an imaginary burger to his mouth, his expression was content to show how much he was enjoying it. Andy and Fiona held the still image of two people getting married in a wedding ceremony.
Looking lovingly into each others eyes, they showed their love for each other, the most common kind of love. Katie played a screaming fan at a concert, overjoyed to show her love for a particular band. We then started to think about the still image we would hold for ‘hate’. Georgina and I, instead of cradling the baby, we held the image of two separated parents, fighting over custody for the child. We represented this by, Eliot playing the child and Georgina and I pulling at each of his arms to show our love for one another had gone and now we hated each other because we both wanted care of the child.
We weren’t facing each other or the child and our facial expressions showed we were very angry yet determined to be the parent looking after the child. Andy, Katie and Fiona held a freeze frame to show a big argument, they all had raised arms and very angry expressions, this showed their hate for one another. The next still image we worked on was ‘peace’. Instead of all holding different still images to represent this, we all stood in a circle and held hands. This showed that everyone in that circle were friends, there was no war or conflicts between us, everyone was happy and smiling.
The last freeze frame we had to create was for ‘war’. We decided to show different kinds of war, the typical kind of war and also conflict and war between friends and family. We represented the typical kind of war between countries by Eliot laying dead on the floor whilst Andy and I stood over him holding guns, we had hateful looks on our faces as we looked down to the man we had killed. Georgina, Katie and Fiona represented war and conflict between friends and family by all standing with their backs to one another, with stern expressions.
We also had to use the convention of ‘melt and morph’ to link each of our four images. We decided to create a still image that we would start, finish and use between each of our four images. Our image that we would use to morph between the four freeze frames we created was all of us, standing with our heads down facing inwards, in a circle. This was to show the state of nothingness, no war, no peace, no love, and no hate. We evolved from this into each of our images and then back afterwards. I think the way we linked the images worked effectively because it showed four definite states; war, peace, love and hate.
Also it showed the easy transition from peace to war, love to hate and represented how easy it is to go from one to the other. The characters I played in this piece were; a father in the still image for ‘love’, a father in the still image for ‘hate, I was part of the circle in our representation of ‘peace’ and I played someone having just killed another person in ‘war’. In the first image, I stood as the father looking very happy and lovingly at my child with a big smile on my face. In the second image, I had a more serious and hateful expression, despising of my ex-wife and determined to get custody of my child.
In the third image, I stood as part of the ‘peace’ circle, we all held hands and smiled to show there were no conflicts between us and we were all friends. For the last image, war, I had a very angry but satisfied look on my face as I stood over the body I had killed. The next piece of practical work we did was based on the same poem but we had to concentrate on the lines of war and hate. We were asked to think about why it would say in the bible that hate and war are justified. We then had to create a scene or imagery to explain why hate or war would be justified.
The storyline our group came up with was about a very happy family, until the mother of the family was killed in a car crash. The father is left to look after the children on his own and eventually decides he cannot cope and walks out to leave the children alone. The children then start to argue over control of the family and the two eldest boys walk out to leave the last of the family, two girls alone. The girls, left alone, hate their father. This is justified because he walked out on the family just after their mother had died, when they needed him most.
He left them on their own just because he felt he couldn’t cope with being a single parent with four children. We based this story around a family photograph. Our first scene showed a typical family photograph, everyone smiling with arms around each other, the mother and father standing at the back with their four children kneeling in front of them. Everyone spoke occasionally saying things like, ‘Smile for the camera! ‘ and ‘Say cheese! ‘ From this perfect picture we went to the scene where the mother died. We all went and sat on chairs set out like a car, the children in the back and the mother and father in the front.
The children were arguing in the back and, I, who played the father, was reading the paper in the front, leaving the mother to drive and control the children. Soon after, there are screams as the car crashes, we represented this by all slowly moving forward, we froze with our heads on our knees for a few seconds then gradually sat up again, looking weary and in pain. Fiona, who played the mother, remained with her head on her knees to show that she was dead and not going to sit back up again. We then moved back to the family photograph, this time without the mother.
Here is where we included some sad music to emphasize the feeling of grief and unhappiness in the family. We again stood in the same position, ready for a photograph to be taken. I, playing the father, try to get everyone to smile saying, ‘Come on now kids, it’s what your mother would’ve wanted, smile for the camera’. We then all froze for a few seconds to show the photograph, everyone looking deeply unhappy and not like they wanted to be there.
After this I step forward, walking through the children, I turned towards them and said, ‘I’m really sorry, I just… an’t cope’ and then walk out of the picture. Here we went back again to the family photograph, this time it’s only the children in it. The two oldest children, who Eliot and Andy played start to argue about who should take control of the family, who should be the man of the house and then they both leave the picture as well. Then we are left with Ruth and Katie sitting on the floor, reflecting on their family falling apart, imagining what it would’ve been like if it was their father who died instead of their mother.
At this point the family is reunited as if it was I, the father, was dead. Fiona and the children stood in the picture position while I sat where Fiona was sitting in the car with my head on my knees. In this performance I played the father, in the first picture I was as happy as the rest of the family, enjoying having their photo taken. After the crash, in the next picture, my character was grieving his dead wife, I showed this by looking very upset, but forcing a smile to try and encourage the rest of the family to smile for the photo.
After this the father had decided he couldn’t cope, as I walked through the children I held my head low to show he was regretting his decision and not wanting to look his children who he is abandoning, in the face. The father is a coward and as I said that I couldn’t cope I spoke very quietly and slowly. We used many conventions in this performance; flash back, tableau (freeze frame) and slow motion. A flash back is where you move from one scene to another scene in the past. We used the flash back when we showed how the mother died and why she had dropped out of the picture.
This worked well as it informed the audience as to why she wasn’t in the next family photograph and why the family started to fall apart. We also used slow motion. Slow motion is when characters in the play act a lot slower than normal. We used this when we showed the car crash. I think it made the performance look more professional, rather than all falling on the floor, we all fell forward in slow motion and the fact that the mother didn’t get up showed her death, I think this worked well. A tableau or a freeze frame is where characters on stage freeze in fixed positions.
The freeze frames we used on every family photograph worked well because each one was different. There were less family members on each photo and for the remaining family members, their expressions grew sadder to show how distressing it was to see your family, leaving. We also added music after the crash to add more emotion and sadness to the picture. The music grew louder and stronger until it stopped when the family was reunited. I think all the conventions worked really well with our ideas and added more emotion and feeling to the piece.
The next part of the stimulus room we created a performance from was the ‘Scream’ painting by Edvard Munch. We had to create a piece of drama explaining how someone would get into such a state to pull this ‘scream pose’ and then the aftermath. Firstly, we brainstormed ideas as to why we think the person in the painting was screaming, who he was and what happened. We came up with many ideas about the person having no friends or family, maybe being out of a job or just being generally depressed about his life.
For our performance, we firstly had to create a walk of the character down the pier as shown in the painting. Eliot played our main ‘scream’ character; we had to do this first movement piece to music. To begin our piece, we decided not to have the character walk down a ‘pier’ but instead to walk through the passage way of a train. The central character had to be slow, and all the other people in the performance were going fast around him, this is so the focus of the performance is on the main character. We decided to show this on a train because we could emphasize the reasons as to why he is depressed and lonely.
As Eliot went to sit down at every seat on the train, someone would walk that little bit faster and sit down in it before he could, someone even hurried past him and sat on one chair and put their bag on the one next to it. All the other characters on the train completely ignored Eliot. As the central character was slow he would never manage to get a seat and ended up standing up on his own. This is where he held the ‘scream’ pose for a few seconds. The next part we had to do was 10 seconds of slow motion. For this we showed Eliot’s anger building up, he was sick of being ignored, sick of being the one to stand alone.
In this slow motion we showed Eliot raising his arms and screaming at the other passengers on the train. We showed this in mime as we thought it looked much more professional. The passengers he was shouting at simply glanced at him thinking he was a lunatic and carried on with what they were doing. For instance I played a man sitting on the train reading a newspaper, when Eliot started to scream at me, I looked up once and then went back to reading my newspaper. This all showed the build up of Eliot’s anger and the exact reasons why he is so depressed and lonely and summed up why he is screaming in the painting.
After the 10 seconds of slow motion, of Eliot screaming at the passengers, we had to do 10 seconds of what happens next. Here is where one by one, the passengers get up out of their seats and go, leaving Eliot standing alone in the carriage, even lonelier and upset. After the train scene, we were told to create scenes to describe what has lead the character to the scream, what has happened previously in his life to make him feel so sad and lonely? We showed this by creating three scenes that are flash backs to his earlier life. We started with a flash back to when he was a small child.
Eliot and Ruth as his sister went running up to their mother, played by Fiona, to show off paintings they had both done in school that day. The mother immediately dismisses Eliot’s and leaves the room with his sister, constantly praising her work. This scene showed he was in constant competition with his sister for their mother’s attention, but how Eliot was never appreciated by his mother and was left standing alone in this scene. Our second flash back scene showed his life at school. He was the typical ‘geek’ and had no luck with the girls.
Our scene was set in a school disco where Eliot finally plucks up the courage to ask a girl he likes, to dance, when he was pushed away by another boy who the girl ended up spending the dance with. Everyone was dancing with their partners at the disco and Eliot was left standing alone, again. For our third flash back we showed Eliot a lot older, in his job. Here we showed him presenting an idea to his boss, but his boss ignored the idea and soon after gave the tea lady a promotion in front of him. This showed Eliot, again, not being appreciated, this time by his boss.
In all of our flash backs we showed Eliot being ignored and not appreciated, he always ended up being left to stand alone. After these flash back scenes, our group stood, spread out, around the stage. Eliot walked up to each one of us but as he did, we all turned our backs on him. This was to symbolise his life, no one being there, everyone turning there back on him and ignoring him. This short scene could perhaps represent Eliot reminiscing on his life and leading him to walk along the pier. After this scene, we showed Eliot, walking along the pier, like in the painting.
Eliot walks up to a line and stops for a few seconds, then he finally steps over the line. The line symbolising life and death, him stepping over the line showed his suicide, jumping off the bridge. At this point everyone who had turned their back on him turned around and held an outstretched arm, as if to try and catch him. After this scene we had to create a scene to show peoples reactions to finding out about his death. We did this using the rest of the group, who had stood there with outstretched arms, forming a line. Each person in turn said something in character as one person from each of the flashbacks we did.
For example, I played the boss in the flashback of the job and in the line I said, ‘I should’ve given him a chance, I never listened to him’ and then we repeated the flash back to his job as we did before but changed the detail so his boss looked at his ideas, and gave him a promotion. We did this with all three scenes we flashed back to before and changed them all so Eliot wasn’t being ignored but being fully appreciated, this was to show the ‘what if’ scenario, what if they had listened, what if they hadn’t ignored him, he wouldn’t have taken his own life.
Then realising it was too late, there was no going back, everyone in the line held the ‘scream’ pose themselves. This was to symbolise the way they felt, guilty. It was they who had contributed to Eliot eventually taking his own life. In this piece of drama I played a man sitting on the train and also Eliot’s boss in the flashback. For the man in the train, my character was very self-contained and just simply wanted to get from one place to another, reading his paper and not being disturbed.
When Eliot began to scream and shout at people, I focussed harder on the newspaper to ignore all the goings on in the carriage, despite it being a man, very depressed and alone, letting all his anger out. I played this character very upper-class, sitting up very straight on the chair, turning my nose up at the goings on in the train and acting very frustrated when I had to raise my newspaper that little bit higher to completely block out my surroundings. When I played the boss in the first ‘real’ flash back, I wasn’t interested in Eliot’s ideas, more so interested in the cup of tea I was soon to be enjoying.
I completely dismissed Eliot when he came up to me, exited to tell me about his new idea. I did not care about his feelings or whether it would be a good idea. When I played this character I was very snappy and couldn’t be bothered to look at whatever he had to show and dismissed him with a wave of my hand. When I played the same character standing in the line, I was very regretful and ashamed of my actions towards him, when I said that I wish I had been a better boss I held my head low to show how ashamed I was and spoke quietly and slowly.
In the ‘what if’ flash back I was a very happy and considerate boss, welcoming his new idea with opening arms, I played this very kindly towards Eliot and always smiling. The conventions we used in this piece of drama were; slow and fast motion, freeze frame, flash back, mime and also used music at the beginning of the performance. We used fast motion to show every one carrying on with their lives around one focal character walking down the train. Fast motion is the opposite of slow motion where characters act faster than normal. We used the fast motion on the train scene with everyone else on the train apart from Eliot.
This helped make Eliot stand out from the other characters. This symbolised that the world is still carrying on with their lives, no matter how terrible he is finding life. We then used a freeze frame when Eliot did the ‘scream pose’, this worked well as it showed the link to the painting we used as our stimulus. We then used slow motion and mime in the aftermath of the ‘scream’ pose and the reactions of the others on the train. Mime is where you act as normal but without speaking a word, but still moving your lips as if you were, we used this when Eliot is shouting and screaming at those on the train who eventually walk off.
I think the performance looked more professional because the mime added more emotion and also symbolises the character in a way, he is shouting and screaming but the audience can’t hear a word of it, just as many people ignored him in his life and never listened to anything he had to say. We then flashed back to Eliot’s past to show why he felt so alone. The conventions all worked really well with the piece and helped the audience understand why the character is feeling the way he is. For our next piece of drama, we looked at a theme within the stimulus room. We looked at the ‘childhood’ theme found in the past section of the room.
We firstly had to brainstorm what we thought linked to childhood in the room. The hopscotch, the baby, the nursery books and the children playing on the video all tie into the childhood theme. All these objects relating to childhood had a sense of innocence and youth. We brainstormed significant memories of our own childhood and chose 6 ideas to create scenes upon. Our group came up with many ideas for this but the 6 ideas we chose were:
- A school nativity play.
- Playing in the school playground.
- On a bouncy castle at a party.
- Learning to ride a bike.
- Writing letters to Father Christmas.
- Telling scary stories at a sleepover.
We firstly had to create tableaux images or short scenes of these memories. For our first scene, the nativity play, our group all stood in a line as if on stage at a school play. Georgina and Katie were arguing loudly about the role of Mary shouting, ‘I wanted to be Mary! ‘, Ruth played a young girl, transfixed by the audience, smiling stiffly and waving, I played a young boy on stage desperately needing the toilet and dancing about ready to wee myself at any moment and Eliot played a young boy who walked off stage half way through.
We all acted very childish and how you would expect very young children to react on stage in front of all their mums and dads. In our second scene, playing in the playground, Eliot and Ruth were playing with a skipping rope, Katie was playing hopscotch alone and I was running away from Georgina who was chasing me in a game of ‘tig’. For our third scene, on the bouncy castle, we were all bouncing happily apart from Ruth who is sitting on the edge, too scared to go on it.
Eventually most people left the bouncy castle but I continue to bounce there quite happily on my own. Our fourth scene, learning to ride a bike, showed Eliot learning to ride a bike, being taught by Georgina whilst the rest of us played parents and other adults watching him learn. I played the father of Eliot and we all cheered when he rode the bike on his own. For our fifth scene, writing letters to Father Christmas we all laid down on the floor reading as we wrote.
I lay there and as I wrote was saying, ‘Dear Santa… I have been a good boy this year.. We made it very clear we were children by speaking very slowly as we wrote it and also by fidgeting whilst we were writing. In our final scene, at a sleep over, we all lay there and listened to Ruth telling a ghost story. As it ended we all gasped in horror and eventually turned over and fell asleep. After we had created the 6 original scenes, we had to repeat them all but with one thing different in each; the scene had to be tainted with a bad memory. For our nativity play scene we showed Eliot playing a young boy running off crying because his mum hadn’t came to watch in the audience.
This could show how his mother not turning up, could perhaps leave what should be a happy memory of a school play, tainted. It could even perhaps be a first of a long line of memories in the boy’s life of people not being there for him and he may find it a lot harder to trust people in the long run. A small difference in the past could affect the future a lot more. For the playground scene, Georgina who was chasing me in the playground, deliberately pushed Katie over when she was playing hopscotch and carried on running.
This could affect Katie’s adult life, by having this memory tainted; Katie might feel more insecure as an adult and live her life in the shadow of others because of a small bullying incident when she was very young. For the bouncy castle scene, instead of me being left alone quite happily enjoying bouncing along, I was left alone but this time lonely and sad. This tainted memory of being left on your own while the other children go off and play somewhere else could have a big affect on later life. My character would not want to venture to new things on his own, for fear of being lonely.
Perhaps he might follow other people around when he’s older so that there’ll always be someone there. In the repeat of the learning to ride a bike scene, the adults weren’t as interested as the child achieving to ride the bike but instead all walked back inside, leaving the child outside alone, struggling with the bike. This tainted memory could be very influential in later life, the boy may not want to try new things, won’t want to tackle challenges in fear of being left alone to try and cope with them.
In the repeat of the writing letters to Santa scene, one of the children shouts out, ‘Santa’s not real! , although a small, laughable incident, looking back, this could change a child’s life in that they won’t be able to trust or believe other people as much and find it difficult to rely on other people. In the tainted scene about telling scary stories, after we had fallen asleep one of the children had a nightmare and woke up clutching her knees and shaking with fear. She was the only one awake and felt scared and alone after hearing the scary story. This could affect her adult life, as she could be easily scared and worried that she will be alone.
After creating 6 scenes of childhood memories and 6 scenes of tainted childhood memories we had to create a scene that shows a character from one of the scenes in the future as an adult. We decided to create a scene that showed all the characters from the nativity play scene, in adult life. We kept it similar to the original scene in that the characters were all waiting on stage in a theatre, ready for the curtains to go up. Each character said their own thoughts aloud before they went on stage. For my character I said, ‘Oh why didn’t I go to the toilet before I came on?!
It’s too late now! ‘ This is similar to the character I played in the nativity play, needing the toilet on stage. All the other characters said their thoughts, similar to the actions of those when they were children in the nativity play. For example Georgina who wanted to be Mary said, ‘Why does she get to play Juliet? She always gets the good parts’. Eliot, whose parents didn’t turn up in the nativity play said, ‘I know they’re not going to be there, they never turn up’. This shows how the tainted memory of the nativity play has been affecting him in later life.
From this scene we flashed back to the childhood nativity play scene, this worked very well as we stayed in the same positions and the transition was clear by our sudden childish behaviour on stage. The characters I played in the piece of drama are; a small boy needing the toilet on stage in the nativity play, a boy being chased in a game of tag in the playground, a boy bouncing on the bouncy castle, left alone at the end, a father watching his son learn to ride a bike, a small child writing a letter to Father Christmas, a small child at a sleepover listening to a scary story and an adult waiting on stage, desperately needing the toilet.
When I played the boy in the nativity play, needing the toilet, I played it with a very desperate face, embarrassed that I’m on stage and I need the toilet and also by bugging the girl next to me to tell her. I played the boy being chased in the playground with lots of excitement, full of energy, dodging behind chairs and people trying to hide. When I played the boy on the bouncy castle, for the first memory, I played him really happy and exited, enjoying just bouncing up and down, not affected when everyone leaves.
On the tainted memory, when everyone leaves my face turned sad, I stood there, still bouncing slightly, looking upset, wondering why all my friends had ran off without me. When I played the father in the first memory of the boy learning to ride a bike I played it full of joy, a big smile on my face watching my son learn. On the tainted memory I acted like I wasn’t interested, more interested in talking to my friend about the football than watching my son learn how to ride a bike.
When I played the small child writing a letter to Father Christmas, the first memory I played I looking really happy and exited to be writing to Santa and also very much looking forward to Christmas. On the tainted memory I played it very upset and shocked when someone said that Santa wasn’t real, as if my dreams had been shattered and betrayed that I had been lied to about it. For the small child at the sleepover I played it very interested in the story being told and exited about what would happen next but scared at the same time.
And finally when I played the adult on stage waiting to go on but desperately needing the toilet, I played it very nervous, thinking why I had made such a mistake again. When I said my thoughts I said it with nerves in my voice and embarrassment saying, ‘Why didn’t I go to the toilet?! ‘. The conventions we used throughout this piece of drama were; flash backs, freeze frames, repetition and thought tracking.
We used the flashback to go from the adults on stage to the tainted memory of the nativity play, this worked very well as we were in the same positions and the change between our adult characters and child characters was visible even though we had the same qualities. We used a freeze frame to separate our childhood scenes; we ended each scene with one. Repetition is where you repeat something you have already performed, often with a small change to it. We used repetition when we went from one childhood memory to a tainted childhood memory; the scene was the same apart from a few details.
Thought tracking is where you hear characters thoughts aloud. We used thought tracking when the adult actors are waiting for the curtain to rise and they say their thoughts, relating back to how they felt when they were children. The conventions added more depth to the piece, the repetition showed the clear difference between the normal and tainted memory and the flashback showed how the tainted memory had effect in later life. The freeze frames detached each scene from each other and I think gave it more of an effect of being someone’s memory.
For our final scene, we had to choose one object or theme from the stimulus room and create our own performance piece on this idea. Our group chose the newspapers about rape in the past section of the room and the table set one in the future section of the room. The story our group developed was about a girl called Katie being raped. It showed the life of Katie in a ‘what if’ situation. If she hadn’t taken the detour on the way home from the pub, would she have been raped? Our piece of drama started with Katie, playing Katie and Eliot, playing the rapist, walking towards each other.
Katie was walking alone back from a night out at the pub; she was a little tipsy and seemed in her own world whilst walking along. Eliot walked towards her from the opposite direction; he was also alone and had just come from a night out with the lads. Georgina and Fiona took the roles of narrators and introduced the characters as they walked to the centre stage. Georgina told the audience about Katie’s bubbly personality, how she was always up for a good night out. Fiona introduced Eliot as a typical ‘lad’, told the audience his love for women and how he’d go for anything with a pulse.
This introduced the characters as they met. When they both reached each other there was a freeze frame. Katie held her arms in the air, protecting her self whilst Eliot held the position of someone about to attack her. They were not touching; this would leave the audience in suspense, left to think about what this freeze frame was suppose to show. As our stimulus for this piece of drama included the newspapers about rape that was what the freeze frame represented although the audience would not know that for sure.
As they were frozen, Georgina, Fiona and I walked on stage and started circling the freeze frame, we all acted as if we were going about out daily lives. I was on the phone talking to a friend, Georgina was reading a newspaper and Fiona was talking as if to a friend. This was to represent that the whole world carries on with their lives whilst the rape was happening, perhaps tying into the representation of the Globe in the stimulus room. We included in our story, a way of being able to freeze what was going on, on stage and being able to talk to yourself or your thoughts aloud or to the audience, this was done by clicking the fingers.
I think this added suspense as the drama could be immediately stopped at any precise moment and also made the audience feel more involved. As we were all circling the freeze frame, Ruth who played the same character of Katie walked on stage and clicked her fingers. We all froze. Ruth, looking at the scene in front of her, looked distressed and confused. She was saying things like, ‘this is not right, it’s not like this’ to herself as she walked up to the frozen scene. As she reached the scene of ‘herself’ getting raped, she started to change it. She straightened up Katie’s jacket and did up Eliot’s tie.
She stood in the scene to show that it was her it had happened to, then Ruth’s character of Katie got a phone call from her boyfriend, this is who I played. I was asking her to come back to the house because there was something I wanted to ask her. This was where the story was spilt. There was now a ‘what if’ scenario. The second Katie had got a phone call to go back to the house, so she wouldn’t have ever met Eliot in the alley and it wouldn’t have happened at all, The first Katie didn’t get a phone call from her boyfriend before she took the detour down the alley and ended up getting raped.
As our performance continued, we showed the same character, Katie, in two different lives, one went home to her boyfriend the other had been raped. Ruth’s character of Katie who had received the phone call went home to meet her boyfriend. As she opened the door she was greeted by me on one knee. I took her hand and began proposing, I started saying, ‘I’ve been thinking about this for a long time now, I want to spend the rest of my life with you… ‘ Ruth then clicked her fingers, I froze and she walked towards the audience. Ruth began to say her thoughts out loud saying things like ‘Is he really going to do this? and generally showing her excitement to the audience that she was about to be engaged. Ruth then returned standing in front of me and clicked. I carried on with proposing, ‘Katie, will you marry me? ‘ Here is where we froze, Ruth left the scene but I stayed in the same position. The first Katie, who had been raped, walked in. I acted exactly the same and began to propose, ‘I’ve been thinking about this for a long time now… ‘ Katie walked on by, ignoring me, her boyfriend, muttering quietly, ‘I don’t want to talk right now’.
This Katie is very distressed after being raped that she walked straight past her boyfriend proposing, and out of the room. Here is where we represented the table for one, Katie’s boyfriend has been left on his own, he was about to ask the most important question of his life and his girlfriend, who he doesn’t know has been raped, walked straight past ignoring him. After this scene, the second Katie, who didn’t get raped is showing off her engagement ring to her friends played by Georgina and Fiona, in the pub. Although we didn’t show it, Katie said yes to her boyfriend and now she is happily engaged.
Eliot’s character, the rapist, is also in the pub. As this Katie hasn’t ever come across him she doesn’t know who he is but as he walks past her and her friends, Katie kept staring at him and can’t help thinking why she recognises him. She doesn’t know why, she doesn’t know him, but she gets a chill down her spine and has to leave. The final scene of our piece shows the narrators introducing Katie and Eliot exactly the same as at the beginning, they are walking towards each other. This time it is Ruth’s character of Katie having just left the pub.
They freeze in the same positions as Eliot and Katie had done before. So even if Katie had got a phone call from her boyfriend and went back to the house, if she hadn’t walked down the alley that night, she still ended up in the situation of rape. This shows that even with the ‘what if’, Katie got raped either way. It shows you can’t live life thinking, ‘what if I’d done something differently’ as everything happens, and happens for a reason. In this performance I played the boyfriend of Katie and also one of the general members of public walking round the frozen rape scene at the beginning.
When I played one of the people walking around the freeze frame I was talking on the phone to a friend, not knowing of the rape that was also happening, this is to represent that everywhere everyone is getting on with their lives while you maybe going through such trauma. I also played Katie’s boyfriend, who is very much in love with his girlfriend and wants to spend the rest of his life with her. When I was proposing to the Katie who didn’t get raped, I proposed to her on one knee, and took her hand in mine, with a big smile on my face as I saw her smiling as I said it.
I paused between each line until I finally said, ‘Will you marry me? ‘ which I said definitely and seriously but still smiling. When I proposed to the Katie that did get raped, I started just as I did with the other Katie, smiling as I said it until she walked on past me ignoring me, the smile faded and I got up looking very upset and confused at the same time. We used many conventions in this piece; freeze frame, narration, thought tracking and cross cutting. We used tableaux during each scene as a way for the narrator or character to speak to the audience and fill them in on what was happening.
We used narrators to help tell the story in more detail, making it easier for the audience to understand and be more involved with the play. Narration is when you speak to the audience out of role, informing them of details about the play or about the characters in it. Some characters used thought tracking and spoke to the audience in character, to show their inner thoughts; we used this whenever we had a freeze frame by clicking the fingers. Thought tracking is where you as an audience can hear the characters thoughts out loud. We also used cross cutting, from the two Katie’s lives, the Katie that did get raped and the Katie that didn’t.
This showed how taking just a small detour on your way home could affect your life completely, this added more depth to the piece, being able to see, visually the ‘what if’ scenario. Cross cutting is where you switch from one scene to another, freezing in-between. The conventions were all very effective and added more emotion to the piece, being able to hear the characters inner thoughts and also kept the audience more informed with the story and the characters in it. Evaluation For our first piece of drama, the still images for love, hate, war and peace.
We had to create four tableaux images for those words and morph between them. The most effective moment in this piece I think was our tableau for ‘peace’ and the way we morphed into it. Our image for ‘peace’ was everyone holding hands in a circle, we evolved into this from everyone in our group heads down in a smaller circle and then we all together stepped back and held hands. I think this was effective because it flowed nicely and was a good representation of the word. Our group worked very well for our first piece of practical work, everyone contributed ideas and we came out with a good finished performance.
Ideas I contributed for the still images of love, hate, war and peace were that we should include several different meanings of the words e. g. not only the typical love for another person but also show love for other things like a favourite band or a favourite food, also the way we morphed into the images, I thought it was a good idea to return to one same still image after each of the four images we showed. My ideas were effective for the way we morphed into each of the images, because it flowed well and showed four definite different still images.
I think we could have improved it by showing the typical kind of war, between countries, not by having a dead body on the floor and two men standing over him with guns. I didn’t think this looked very good and would have been better if we showed it in a less obvious way. We then had to create a piece of drama that explains why hate and war may be justified. The most effective moment of this piece of drama we did, I think was the music playing alongside the performance after we had shown the mother dying.
This was effective because as the music was slow and sad it represented the mood of everyone in the family, grief and sadness. For this piece, our group worked well together, the general picture of the family getting smaller and gradually looking more and more miserable worked well. The ideas our group came up with were effective in that the justifying hate was deep and hidden within the performance, we showed the build up and reason the children ended up hating their father. Ideas I contributed to this piece were to flash back to how the mother died.
I think this fitted nicely into the performance as it explained the reason for the mother not being in the next family photograph although I think it would have looked better if we showed her death by symbolising it somehow not sitting in four chairs laid out like a car. The conventions we used in this were; freeze frames, flash back and slow motion. These conventions were effective because the freeze frames represented the family photograph which is what we based our story on, the flash back kept the audience more informed as to why the mother had died and the reasons the family had started to fall apart.
The slow motion in the car crash made it look more professional and I think worked well. Other conventions we could have added was perhaps more thought tracking, this would have improved the performance as the audience would have been able to hear the individual characters thoughts, what that were feeling and if they did, the reasons they walked out on the family from their point of view. The second piece of practical work we developed was based around the ‘Scream’ painting. Here we showed the reasons and build up as to why this character was screaming and the aftermath of his suicide.
The most effective moment of this performance I though was when Eliot, who played the main character, walked up to each other member of the group in turn and we all just turned our backs on him. This was symbolic of his life, nobody being there for him, nobody appreciating him and everyone turning their back on him. For this piece our group worked well together, all of our ideas made up a good all round performance, when we put all the different sections of the performance together to perform it, it worked well.
The idea I contributed to the piece was to revisit the flashbacks in a ‘what if’ situation, the characters on finding out about Eliot’s death were all deeply sorry and ashamed of the way they behaved towards him. Showing these ‘what if’ flashbacks I think represented their own thoughts and was effective in the performance. What we could have improved in this piece was the beginning sequence of Eliot doing the ‘scream’ pose.
I think this could have been shown in a more symbolic way as it is symbolic in itself; the character wouldn’t have screamed like that in a train carriage but it represented the way he felt and linked it to the painting we used as our stimulus. We could have shown it somehow to be in the character’s head, his thoughts circling him screaming as he was only screaming inside, until he started to shout at passengers. The conventions we used within this piece were; slow and fast motion, freeze frame, flash back, mime and also used music at the beginning of the performance.
I think they all added to the performance, the slow and fast motion helped the audience see who the focal character was and also represented the way the world is going so fast around you. We used the freeze frame when Eliot did his ‘scream’ pose, this worked effectively because it linked the piece back to our stimulus, the scream painting. It showed how the character in our performance was feeling the same, if not was the person in the painting. The flash backs we used helped show the reasons and build up to why this person is screaming, it made the audience understand what has lead him to this and why he ended up committing suicide.
The ‘what if’ flash backs, with some details changed, showed the way the people were thinking, how if they might have behaved differently towards him then he may not have ended up walking off the bridge. Other conventions we could have added were thought tracking, we could have used this on the main character who does the ‘scream’ pose. This could have given the play more depth and emotion, it would have helped inform the audience more of what he was thinking and what was going through his mind. The third piece of practical wok we worked on was the childhood scenes.
This is where we came up with 6 childhood memories and made a scene or imagery out of them, then we repeated those scenes but with a few details changed so that they were tainted memories, we then showed a scene of some of the characters from the childhood scenes in adult life and flashed back to when they were younger. The 6 childhood memories we worked on were; a nativity play, playing in the school playground, playing on a bouncy castle, learning to ride a bike, writing letters to Santa and telling scary stories at a sleep over.
I think the most effective moment of this piece was when we flashed back from the adult scene to when they were younger, this showed how the tainted memory had affected that child in adult life and also that all the characters have the same characteristics now they are older when they did when they had stood on stage in a nativity play as very young children. It also worked well as we stood in the same positions and the only change from the adult scene and the flashback was our sudden childish behaviour.
For this performance our group worked very well, we had many scenes to put together and when we did it all flowed nicely. Ideas I contributed to this piece was to have the thought tracking of the adults when they were waiting to go on stage, I think it was effective because this showed what they were thinking and how it related to their character when they were children. Ideas we could have improved to make the performance better was to make the way the scenes had been tainted more obvious.
It wasn’t too clear to the audience how the scene had been tainted when it was repeated. The conventions we used throughout this piece of drama were; flash backs, freeze frame, repetition and thought tracking. These conventions worked effectively in the performance; we used the flashback when we went from the adult scene to the nativity play scene. This worked well as it showed the similarities between the adults and the children, also we stayed in the same positions so it was only clear that we had flashed back by our change to acting like children.
The freeze frame helped separate each of the childhood scenes and I think gave the scenes the effect of being in someone’s memory, freezing the scene, then moving to the next one. The repetition showed how a childhood memory could easily be tainted; it showed the difference between someone’s happy childhood memory and someone’s bad childhood memory. The thought tracking of the adults waiting on stage worked well as it informed the audience what they were thinking and how it related to their character when they were younger.
Conventions we could have added to improve our piece of drama could be more thought tracking, in the childhood scenes we only knew how the children felt by the way they acted, perhaps if we included some thought tracking for the children it would show how they were feeling in their happy memory and then in their tainted memory. The final piece of drama we did was our final performance, about rape. We showed the life of our character, Katie, in a ‘what if’ scenario, what her life would be like if she had been raped and if she hadn’t. We showed these two different lives alongside each other.
The most effective moment of this piece, I think, was showing her boyfriend propose to Katie twice, the one who did get raped and the one who didn’t. This showed the contrast between the two and the effect of being raped. For this performance our group worked well together and we all had good ideas that contributed to our final piece. We all listened to what each other had to say and were all happy with the final performance we came up with. Ideas that I added to this piece were to repeat the beginning scene with the first Katie and Eliot walking towards each other, at the end, with the second Katie.
This was to show that even if she hadn’t taken a detour home she would have got raped anyway so you shouldn’t go through life thinking, ‘what if I’d done something differently? ‘ It also wrapped up the piece and was a good ending. Another idea I added was to have the narrators introduce Katie and Eliot at the beginning of the piece, this worked well because it showed how Katie was a normal, bubbly girl and that rape could happen to anyone. It also introduced Eliot as a typical ‘lad’ which similarly shows how anyone could be a rapist.
We could have improved this piece by making it easier to understand, maybe by making it slightly simpler. It was a very complicated story line and is difficult to show the life of the same person with two different people, which may have made it more complicated for the audience. The conventions we used in this piece were freeze frames, narration, thought tracking and cross cutting. They were all very effective in the way we used them. We used a freeze frame in nearly every scene, when a character clicked their fingers.
This is where the characters had a chance to either narrate or we included thought tracking of the characters here. We used narration to introduce the characters, describe their personality and also inform the audience of what was happening through the story, we used the narration during a freeze frame. This was effective because the audience could not only listen to the narrator but see a still image on stage behind. The thought tracking, we included when we used a freeze frame, this portrayed the feelings and thoughts of the character to the audience at various parts of the story.
We used cross cutting when we cut from one Katie’s life to the other, this was a major part of the story, which helped show the two lives side by side. This was very effective as it could show the audience the different lives Katie would lead, if she had been raped and if she hadn’t been raped. Other conventions we could have added into the piece would be maybe a flash back into the rapists’ past. This could have given the performance more depth and perhaps reason as to why someone would end up doing such a thing, it would have explained to the audience what type of person ended up becoming a rapist.