In this session the children re-formed their groups and discussed all their headlines. They then had to chose one that they thought offered the most options in terms of characters and story, as well as keeping in mind that over the next few weeks they’re going to develop the story and create dramatic scenes for each group to perform.
The headlines chosen were…
“PHOTO OF MISSING GIRL FOUND WITH CAMERA IN ABANDONED HOUSE.”
“TEENS FIND YEARBOOK IN DITCH BEHIND SCHOOL.”
“TEDDY COMES TO LIFE WHEN PET FUR SEWN INSIDE IT.”
“EXPLOSION AT TEDDY EMPORIUM – ONLY ONE TEDDY SURVIVES.”
“BRAVE FAMILY DOG SAVES CHILD FROM HOUSE FIRE.”
We also discussed what characters might exist in each story and what some of the interesting considerations might be. In one story there is a teddy that comes to life, so it would be a character, and how would be portray that on stage? We discussed that it might be a puppet. We also talked about the dog and that if it was played by a person, the play might be more cartoon-like, but that it could also be a puppet. I talked about using puppet dogs in a show I had written for adults. The puppets were in fact only the heads of the dogs which were operated by a puppeteer-actor, meanwhile the barking was created by another actor with a microphone.
Here’s a picture of Hector the dog. It’s a bit hard to see him in this photo, but he’s made of wire with some papier maché over the top. We decided to leave him only half finished, and only a head because he became very real with only those small indications and it seemed to work really well. I think that’s the big difference between film and theatre – if the performance is strong enough, everyone in the audience “fills in the blanks” in their mind and sees an Alsation.
We also talked about sound effects and how effective they can be in creating an atmosphere on stage, which was something we noticed from the play in the Ark.
This is the link to the BBC Sound Archive, which has thousands of sounds that can be downloaded for free…
And here are some sound effects from the site (I think, if the links work!). There are two clips of fire and one clip of an ambulance driving towards an emergency.
FIRE 1 –
FIRE 2 –