2 GCSE DRAMAREHEARSAL STRATEGIESIntroductionRole-playCross-CuttingSoundscapingFlashbackSplit-screenForum TheatreStill ImageHot-SeatingTableauMarking The MomentThought-TrackingConclusionNarrating
3 You will learn to create characters of your own too. GCSE DRAMARehearsal strategiesDuring your GCSE Drama course you will use a number of techniques to explore issues and characters in drama.You will learn to create characters of your own too.By using different rehearsal strategies and techniques, you will follow in the steps of professional actors and directors.
4 GCSE DRAMARehearsal strategiesWhen you consider exploring techniques for devising and rehearsing plays, you will find many strategies that will assist you in your rehearsals.Different techniques will be used during the course and we are going to consider some that you may come across whilst working with your drama teacher.
5 You will need to consider many aspects of drama; GCSE DRAMAYou will need to consider many aspects of drama;SpaceRolesTechnologyYour audienceare just the initial items that will need to be on your list when you begin to plan a production.Rehearsal strategies
6 GCSE DRAMARehearsal strategiesThe important thing to remember during your GCSE drama course is that you will adopt a variety of strategies in order to arrive at the end product of a production.
7 You will also spend time discussing: Vocal effects Breathing Movement GCSE DRAMARehearsal strategiesYou will also spend time discussing:Vocal effectsBreathingMovementUnderstanding a characterExploring the meaning of the drama in groups
8 A great deal of thought and discussion goes into a final production. GCSE DRAMARehearsal strategiesOf paramount importance is using explorative strategies to create drama.Drama does not just happen. Remember, months of hard work goes into professional productions.A great deal of thought and discussion goes into a final production.One person is not responsible for the production.It really is a team effort.
9 GCSE DRAMARehearsal strategiesWorking with other people in a co-operative manner is all part of a GCSE Drama course.You will have many ideas that you will want to share with others; they too will have ideas that they want to share with you.Engaging in many of the rehearsal strategies that we shall be discussing will enable you to explore situations and to decide on the best techniques for presentation.
10 GCSE DRAMARehearsal strategiesProfessional actors and directors adopt many of these strategies when first working together on a production.When you write about your work, you will be expected to include these strategies in your explanations to show how you explored a character or scene and how the production was devised through these strategies.
11 You will not be able to use them all at once! GCSE DRAMARehearsal strategiesBy using these techniques, you should be able to explain how your understanding was enhanced of a character, situation or a performance skill.You need to remember though that the technique you use must be there for specific reasons.You will not be able to use them all at once!
12 Cross-Cutting GCSE DRAMA Rehearsal strategies Cross-cutting allows you to look at a scene from different perspectives.In other words, you can take a scene or a number of scenes and re-order them so that they take place in a different order to the one that the playwright had anticipated.You can ‘cut’ backwards and forwards to different moments of the drama.
13 Cross-Cutting GCSE DRAMA Rehearsal strategies By using cross-cutting you can explain to the audience why things happened and what the reasons were for characters to act in a particular way.
14 Cross-Cutting GCSE DRAMA Rehearsal strategies By moving backwards and forwards through time, you can make the action more poignant for the audience.A funeral scene, for example, can take place before a scene where the deceased person is still alive, making plans for the future and enjoying himself.
15 However, this can make drama predictable. GCSE DRAMACross-CuttingRehearsal strategiesMany drama productions take place in a linear timeline. In other words, time on the stage is like everyday time. It is sequential.However, this can make drama predictable.By changing the timeline and taking scenes out of order, the action can be broken up.
16 Cross-Cutting GCSE DRAMA Rehearsal strategies In this way, the audience may be aware of the significance of what a character says or does, whereas the character may seem oblivious to it.
17 You literally ‘flash’ back to the past. GCSE DRAMAFlashbackRehearsal strategiesBy using flashback, you present a scene to your audience that is out of sync with time.You literally ‘flash’ back to the past.
18 Flashback helps the audience to understand the present. GCSE DRAMAFlashbackRehearsal strategiesBy using flashback, you can communicate a story or information about a character to your audience in order to clarify the plot or the character’s actions for them.Flashback helps the audience to understand the present.
19 Flashback GCSE DRAMA Rehearsal strategies Just as you can use flashback to take the action backwards, you can also use flashforward in the same way to take the action forward in time to enhance tension.
20 The actors act out the scene, watched by a group of observers. GCSE DRAMAForum theatreRehearsal strategiesForum theatre is a rehearsal technique that can be used as you are rehearsing a scene.The actors act out the scene, watched by a group of observers.At any time during the rehearsal, the actors who are participating or the observers who are watching the scene can stop the action and interrupt.
21 Forum theatre GCSE DRAMA Rehearsal strategies Actors or observers can make suggestions about how things could be tackled differently.Someone else might even take over a role and suggest other possibilities of how to present that role.
22 Forum theatre GCSE DRAMA Rehearsal strategies The whole idea of forum theatre is to share ideas for the common good of the production.By using other people to shift the focus of the scene or to suggest alternative actions, the scene may be considerably improved.If the person who makes the suggestion takes on the role too to show exactly what they mean, this can be helpful.
23 This is not the moment for sulky temper tantrums. GCSE DRAMAForum theatreRehearsal strategiesWhen undertaking forum theatre, you need to accept that others may have very good ideas.Just because they interrupt you, does not mean that full scale arguments should break out!You have to accept that this is a strategy to improve the overall production not to have a dig at you personally.This is not the moment for sulky temper tantrums.
24 Hot-seating GCSE DRAMA Rehearsal strategies Hot-seating is a technique to deepen the actor’s understanding of a character and the role of that character.
25 Hot-seating GCSE DRAMA Rehearsal strategies This is a group technique where the actor playing a role sits in the ‘hot seat’ and is questioned by other members of the group.That actor has to answer the questions in the spirit of the character that he/she is playing.
26 Hot-seating GCSE DRAMA Rehearsal strategies By using this technique, the actor can begin to deepen his/her understanding of the character.The character becomes more believable to the actor as he/she discusses issues in the role of the character.
27 Marking The Moment GCSE DRAMA Rehearsal strategies When you have created a piece of drama, you, your fellow actors and the director may decide that there is a moment in the action that is of particular significance.
28 Marking The Moment GCSE DRAMA Rehearsal strategies It may be that the moment represents a particular significance for that character.It could also be that that moment sheds light on much of the action that has taken place up until that moment.
29 Or that moment may evoke certain strong feelings in a character. GCSE DRAMAMarking The MomentRehearsal strategiesOr that moment may evoke certain strong feelings in a character.To ‘mark that moment’ as a special moment in the play, a particular technique may be used.
30 Marking The Moment GCSE DRAMA Rehearsal strategies The action might be ‘frozen’ at that moment so every one stands completely still on the stage.
31 A spotlight might be used on one character to highlight them. GCSE DRAMAMarking The MomentRehearsal strategiesA spotlight might be used on one character to highlight them.
32 Marking The Moment GCSE DRAMA Rehearsal strategies By marking this moment, the actors send a clear message to the audience that this is a particularly important moment.
33 Marking The Moment GCSE DRAMA Rehearsal strategies Inner thoughts might be spoken out loud.This is known as self-narrating.
34 It can be spoken by a character or even a number of characters. GCSE DRAMARehearsal strategiesNarratingNarrating is a spoken commentary that accompanies the action that is taking place on the stage.It can be spoken by a character or even a number of characters.It can also be spoken by a ‘narrator’ who is standing on the sidelines and is not part of the action.
35 Narrating GCSE DRAMA Rehearsal strategies Narrating is useful for informing the audience about the action in a more neutral way than if the character narrated the story personally.It reveals part of the plot to the audience in a way that the character cannot do.
36 Narrating can take place during a scene or between scenes. GCSE DRAMARehearsal strategiesNarratingA letter or a diary could be read, for example, so that the audience has more information on the action.Narrating can take place during a scene or between scenes.
37 Narrating GCSE DRAMA Rehearsal strategies Narrating can provide background information that it would be difficult to act out or to bring into the plot in any other way.
38 Be wary though of too much narration. GCSE DRAMARehearsal strategiesNarratingBe wary though of too much narration.Audiences will not want to sit listening to large chunks of narration – they prefer to see action and interaction between characters.The narrator has to be interesting for the audience and has to have something really worthwhile to say.
39 Role-Play GCSE DRAMA Rehearsal strategies Role-play is another strategy which allows an actor to deepen his/her understanding of the character.
40 Role-Play GCSE DRAMA Rehearsal strategies The actor pretends to be someone else and takes on their role completely.By putting themselves in the role of a character, the actor imagines exactly what that character thinks, feels, believes, and how they would act in a certain situation.
41 Role-Play GCSE DRAMA Rehearsal strategies Role-play is important if you are going to make your audience believe completely that you are the character.By using your imagination as to what it is like to be that character, you will persuade your audience that you are that character.Every production you will take part in will involve some sort of role-play.
42 Soundscaping GCSE DRAMA Rehearsal strategies Soundscaping is used to create the sounds and atmosphere of a particular moment.The actor will use his/her voice and body to capture the sounds associated with the atmosphere of a situation or place.
43 Split-screen is just that. GCSE DRAMARehearsal strategiesSplit-screenSplit-screen is just that.You divide the stage into two and one part of the stage shows one scene; the other part shows a different scene.In this way, the audience gains two different perspectives on a situation.
44 Split-screen GCSE DRAMA Rehearsal strategies So, for example, the parents of a teenager could be on one side of the stage explaining a situation from their point of view.Their daughter could be on the other side of the stage explaining what should be the same situation to her friends.The content of the speeches and the understanding of the different characters may, however, be totally different.
45 Split-screen GCSE DRAMA Rehearsal strategies Split-screen is effective when one scene freezesand the action moves back to the other scene.
46 A still image can be thought of just like a photograph. GCSE DRAMARehearsal strategiesStill imageA still image can be thought of just like a photograph.One person in the group takes responsibility for positioning individuals in the group into a tableau so they are standing as a group in complete stillness.That one person is acting like a sculptor in forming the image of the scene.
47 Still image GCSE DRAMA Rehearsal strategies The group as a unit make up an image – so, for example, there may be six people on stage and by stopping the action for a moment, the audience can be allowed to look at the actors’ facial expressions and body language in more detail than usual.
48 Still image GCSE DRAMA Rehearsal strategies In a panic situation or a situation of high tension, the audience would be able to see the fear or horror on the faces of the actors.They could also examine the gestures that the actors are in the middle of making.The image is a group situation but the audience can examine the whole situation in minute detail.
49 Tableau is another word for freeze-frame or still image. GCSE DRAMARehearsal strategiesTableauTableau is another word for freeze-frame or still image.Tableau is the word for ‘painting’ in French and that is exactly what it is on the stage.
50 Tableau GCSE DRAMA Rehearsal strategies The actors adopt a pose and freeze, just as if they were in a painting or a photograph.Tableaux (the plural is tableaux) can be linked to the next strategy that we are about to consider, ‘thought-tracking’.
51 Thought-Tracking GCSE DRAMA Rehearsal strategies Thought-tracking is the process whereby a character is stopped during a role and is asked to reveal their thoughts at that moment.The character then speaks out loud his/her thoughts.Other characters do not hear this.
52 Knowing someone’s thoughts reveals a great deal about them. GCSE DRAMARehearsal strategiesThought-TrackingThis technique allows the audience to understand the character in more depth.Knowing someone’s thoughts reveals a great deal about them.
53 The audience becomes better informed during thought-tracking. GCSE DRAMARehearsal strategiesThought-TrackingThe audience becomes better informed during thought-tracking.Their understanding of the character is deepened because they are, in a sense, reading the character’s mind.
54 Thought-Tracking GCSE DRAMA Rehearsal strategies This technique can be used in Forum Theatre, when a member of the group might ask the character what they are thinking at a precise moment.
56 Together, they communicate the playwright’s text. GCSE DRAMAConclusionTo conclude, we have considered some of the main explorative strategies of drama.Each one is as important as the other to produce an overall effect on the audience.Together, they communicate the playwright’s text.The production produces the reaction in the audience.That reaction will be influenced by each technique that is used.
57 GCSE DRAMAConclusionWhen you come to create characters, you will find these strategies useful to begin to explore the character’s role.By beginning to think and feel the character, you will deepen your understanding of the playwright’s text and communicate the drama more effectively to your audience.
58 Just as an audience needs to believe in the production, so do you. By using the most appropriate rehearsal strategies for the production, you will work with your fellow drama students to create the best possible production.GCSE DRAMAConclusion
59 Each cannot work alone and produce a successful production. GCSE DRAMAConclusionEach cannot work alone and produce a successful production.By communicating with each other and experimenting with different strategies, the production will make the most of the playwright’s text by incorporating the most successful elements into the play.