This week we jumped straight back into the semi-devised play The Bad School Report. But before the groups started to rehearse, we talked through their ideas and made a few tweaks. I clarified that the pupil and best friend character in the play were the same age as the children themselves. This meant that any teenage stories might need to be changed (the teenage pregnancy was out).
I also explained that the reason for the bad school report had to be something that would actually be in a school report (so, a teenage pregnancy or any major criminal behaviour wouldn’t). I suggested that the children simplify their ideas and perhaps made them more realistic at the beginning. Then there would be scope as the story unfolded for things to get crazier or funnier.
The children then worked in their groups, rehearsing each of the five scenes and then the play as a whole, before presenting them in the theatre space. Considering each play was based on the same structure they were all very different, with different reasons for the bad report and different outcomes. I particularly liked the Mum and Dad characters, which were often very funny or quite strange, like the green tea drinking hippy mum, or the super angry dad with the Batman voice!
This Session – Rethinking and changing original ideas. Devising, rehearsing, directing and presenting a performance piece.