If using multi-role/ ensemble work:- all characters must be physically and vocally different. Playing too many roles means that none will be very well developed. Better to play one main role that is fully developed and then have one or two small cameos in a different role at most. Remember, you have to show the arc of the narrative- not just for the plot of the play but for the characters development.
Saturday, 15 March 2014
Another important skill that the performers must demonstrate is their ability to stay focused: their ability as a performer to remain concentrated during the dramatic action. Things can go wrong in a piece, especially when someone isn't concentrating or focused and fully in role. This is obvious to the examiner. If something should go wrong, the students must be able to get themselves back on track whilst remaining in character. Students should not 'play to the audience' if it alters their intended portrayal of their character. For this reason it is always wise to do a dress rehearsal performance to parents/ peers before the examiner sees it. Also note, that whilst it is a performance to an audience, it is still an exam and the importance of this should be made clear to the students and the audience.
Sunday, 9 March 2014
For G&T students you might get them to introduce and develop the idea of Symbolism in their piece: where an object or gesture or sound is used to represent something else. Objects that work well for this are - balloon, key, suitcase, book (bible/ diary etc), photograph, a ring, a flower, a neutral mask, an item of clothing or shoes or a coloured ribbon. These can be used throughout the performance or hinted at subtly, it might be used between characters to show a change in them or by one character throughout e.g one piece I saw had a helium filled plain balloon attached to a chair at the back of the room. It stayed there until the very end of the piece, when it was then released and allowed to float freely. The character that released it had been a victim of domestic violence who cracked and murdered her husband. She released the balloon when she was imprisoned to show that whilst she was imprisoned, she was no longer trapped, that this actually was the most 'free' that she had ever been.
Sunday, 2 March 2014
Students don't have to perform their exam performance in the traditional 'end on' - where the audience sits at one end facing the action format- they can also use:
− In the round: Where the audience sits around the stage.
− Traverse: Where the audience sits on either side of the action.
They could start the performance in the corridor and lead the audience in or as a full promenade performance (where the piece is performed in several locations) using the moments where they take the audience to the next location as another way of telling part of the story.