Mount Anville Primary – Session 2 – Artist: Michelle Read

Session 2 – Wednesday 29th January 2014

This week we kicked off with some drama work. I began my career in theatre as an actor and I still perform regularly. This has given me a valuable understanding of how live performance works, which in turn has been very helpful to me as a playwright.

Drama is also a great tool for devising and exploring theatrical ideas as well as training actors. (It can also help non-actors to develop confidence for social and public occasions). We will be using drama to help us develop and create our dramatic ideas.

The girls were a little bit nervous at first, but when I asked for feedback everyone seemed to have enjoyed at least one part of it. The girls seemed to enjoy a fun “call and response” game called Boom Chikka in particular. This game allowed us all to explore using different voices without anyone being put on the spot.

At the end of the drama session the group closed their eyes and counted the sounds they could hear in the still classroom. The girls really had to concentrate with this exercise and their level of focus and attention was very impressive. They were able to hear the rain falling outside, the clock ticking and even the sound of breathing. It was so interesting to find that what initially sounded like silence was filled with layers of almost imperceptible sound. In drama this ambient sound can be used to make what is called a sound-scape. This is something that can be made from recorded sound, from vocal performance or from a combination of both. Sound-scapes help to create dramatic atmosphere and they can also tell us where we are by indicating the location of a scene.

We then took this focus on sound into writing a first scene from last week’s story ideas. The class was split into seven groups and each group worked collaboratively to write their scene including several sound effects.

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