After would had received the stimulus the first thing we set about doing was discussing how to use our time efficiently and effectively. Obviously we needed to do research first on the stimulus however we felt that this should be a ongoing process rather then do it all at the beginning an then rehearse and practicing scenes which was mainly done through improvisation.We decided this because every week we had 2 hours in a classroom, were practical work couldn’t realty be done as the class room was do small and their were tables and chairs, so this was ideal for research and doing small practical things such as finding out our characters background by hot seating. while the other 3 hours we didn’t want to waste the opportunity of being able to use the space, as we were in the studio, so this time was going to be used for creating and rehearsing scenes etc. Rehearsal process:- In the classrooms sessions we would often research the mental illness that we were thinking about using.
This helped us because after looking at the symptoms of some of the illness we felt that they be extremely hard to use, as their symptoms were often difficult to interpret. This contributed to the final performance as our play was more authentic as we had researched the symptoms well and had made sure if a character was suffering from the mental illness he had those visible symptoms. We also carried out hot-seating during these sessions on our characters; we did this so we could find out more about the characters, people were playing.
During the time in the studio, we often some idea of what the scenes was going to be about, so the people who were in the scene would normally improvise the scene and the rest of us who weren’t in the scene would watch and give them idea’s and say what was working well and what wasn’t. what I think worked well with this way of rehearsing process was that everyone was contributing to the scene, and coming up with different idea’s as different members of the group always saw something or came up with something that none of us had even thought about.This obviously contributed to the final performance as their were a wide range of idea’s that were incorporated into our play, and everyone had a say in how our play was produced. Music:- we used music throughout the play to create atmosphere but also to set the tone for the scene, i. e. laughter and general noises to show we were in a busy pub.
We spent about half an hour of or rehearsal time on the music as it played a significant role in some scenes i. e. n the mask scenes when we were all doctors, the music really helped show the audience that it was being seen through the eyes of someone who has a mental illness.Lighting:- this was also used to create atmosphere and set the tone for the play, however the spotlights especially were used to good effect, during the nightmare chair, to show the extreme pressure Paige was under.
Tech rehearsal:- Our Tech rehearsal really helped contribute to our final performance as it helped get rid of any last minute problem that we had, and also gave us chance to readjust any lightning and sound problems that we were having.One thing that we changed during this last rehearsal was that we needed to mark where the chairs were going to go for the psychiatrist scene as during the rehearsal we were never sure where they should go so the spotlight was on them properly. This contributed to our final performance as these scenes would have been no where near as effective as they were Problems during the rehearsal process:- One problem that came up during the rehearsal process was the scene where Oliver has to slap Rowan. They were having trouble making the slap look realistic without Oliver actually slapping her.However by working as a team we managed to overcome this problem letting Oliver practice on other people in our group and by all of us standing at different angles around them where the audience would be, too see if it looked alright.
Eventually we managed to get the perfect angle and the timing of the slap really good. Another problem we found during the rehearsal process was that the play didn’t run very smoothly, and although we knew it would get smoother the more practiced, however the main problem was with setting up the scene with props etc.We overcame this problem by making a prop list of all the props and who what is on in each scene and then assigned people certain props to bring on and off during scene changes, for example after the pub scene I would take the block back, while Laura came and took up my briefcase off. This worked very well it made our performance a lot smoother. Character development during rehearsal performance We came up with the idea that of having someone with a split personality in the piece because one member of our group had given a presentation on Eva white, one of the first people to be diagnosed with a split personality.We felt that this would be extremely interesting to develop. We felt that it would be unique to look at how this character developed a split personality, and what things in her life could have caused such a serious mental illness.
We decided after doing research that such an illness normally occurred because of traumatic stress in their lives such as friends or families member getting injured or dying. The group then came to the conclusion that the character’s mother being killed by her abusive father, when she is a child, would be so traumatic that this mental illness could occur and would seem realistic.The group then thought about the trust that society has with people becoming parents and the fact that they just assume that they will be good parents. This is one of the plays objectives, by showing the audience the horrible things that this poor girl has to go through, we want the audience to thing about whether letting anybody have children without carrying extensive checks into their lives is a good thing. So far we had three characters, the father, the mother and the child who would later have a split personality.
We felt that the father’s figure obviously needed to be fleshed out, as it needed to show why he would kill his wife; we did this through various approaches such as improvisation and hot seating. This is where my character emerged. We came up with the idea of the father being in a pub with a friend i. e. me, to show he’s an alcoholic and that’s the reason why he is so aggressive towards his wife. The first idea of my character was to represent society, and show the audience how people who aren’t suffering from mental illness such as them react to people who are.My character would only be really bother about himself, and not really listen to any of the father’s problems.
Obviously this was going to be a very stereotypical view, as not everyone treats people with a mental illness like that. However one member of the group suggested that I also should have a mental illness, and that all of these character above, i. e. mother, daughter, father and father’s friends could all be linked by the way of a physiatrist, who try’s to treat them all.