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Unit 1: Exploration Notes

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1 Unit 1: Exploration Notes
Antigone by sophocles

2 The social, cultural, historical and political context
Antigone forms part of Sophocles’ Theban trilogy and was performed BC Athens was the social, political, cultural centre of Greece at this time. In 530BC drama festivals were added to the Dionysian festivals, which lasted 5 days Plays presented on south-eastern slope of the Acropolis, in daylight. Theatres far larger than today holding between 15,000-18,000 spectators –all male (the Olivier National theatre only holds 1,110) Antigone and Ismene – Spartan vs Athenian women?

3 The social, cultural, historical and political context
Aristotle’s ideas on tragedy, the three unities, fatal flaw Eternal dilemma: Man’s law vs God’s law Creon’s fatal flaw – relate to modern day examples and your own work in lessons – Gordon Brown, Tiger Woods Workshop 2 – modern version of the dilemma – photograph ‘marking the moment’ of defiance/choice. Women and slaves not allowed to attend the drama festivals

4 Non-verbal communication
Workshop 3: Antigone and Ismene – non-naturalistic exploration via movement Workshop 6 & 7: Creon and the Sentry – creating visual comedy and modern interpretation. Using cartoon strips and freeze-frames to convey the comedic function of the Sentry

5 Language Workshops 4 &5 and then lesson for group explorations of stanzas in first Choral ode Understand the functions of the chorus Language sets the mood and atmosphere of the play Understand the heightened poetic language (imagery, metaphors, alliteration, assonance, symbol) Written in verse Characters speak more literally while the chorus speak metaphorically Long speeches pose challenge for the actor – so it does not become static for the audience. Social status represented through language – Haemon is Royal and more educated than the Sentry ‘For this hasn’t she earned glory bright as gold?’

6 Characterisation Antigone and Ismene Spartan vs Athenian Woman. Naturalistic and non-naturalistic exploration. Breaking key scenes into units and objectives. Role of director to explore characters and visual interpretations Creon – how does he represent the state? As a director what casing decisions would you make? Conflict improvisation Character sheets - detailed notes on the following characters – Ismene, Antigone, Creon, Haelon, Sentry, Chorus

7 Vocal Awareness Workshop 4 & 5: Using vocal techniques to explore choral Ode 1 Pitch, Pause, Tone, Projection, union, echo, diction, emphasis Workshop 8 & 9: The Sentry’s Speech Vocal warm up Development of pace and pitch Role-playing within the speech How to vocally show his new found confidence Feedback from each group on vocal choices made

8 Response to a practitioner - Stanislavski
Workshop 11 : Improvisation in pairs – a conflict between 2 people. Select one pair - Repeat the scene and dialogue exactly. Participants stand around the room and we add Stanislavskian techniques one at a time to their scene – Given circumstances – age, setting, time of day, who are they? What do they do? Where are they going? Objectives – What do they want? How do they get it? Units – Break the scene into units of action and give the characters objectives for each unit. How has this changed the scene from the fist version we watched? Then worked on scenes with Creon and Antigone and Creon, Antigone and Ismene using techniques learned.

9 Interpretation No production can be free of interpretation. Director’s choices will affect how the production is received Anouih famously directed the play set during World War 2 Do you stay true to the text and the playwrights intentions? Do you adapt it completely to tell a new story? Technical elements? Projection, multi-media, special effects Characters and relationships

10 The visual, aural and spatial elements of the production
Designing a set: creating the physical environment where the action takes place Should underpin the themes of the play as identified by the director The play is set outdoors – outside the Royal Palace in Thebes The scene never changes so no break in the action. Tragic nature of the play – grey and intimidating? Doors to the palace – tall, heavy painted in dark colours. Director may emphasise wealth gaudy, ornate decorations to suggest arrogance and over-confidence.

11 The visual, aural and spatial elements of the production
Costume and Make-up: show status and personality of the character as Should Antigone and Ismene as sisters have similar costumes or different? What costumes would you use to realise the chorus? Would you use full masks? For all characters? Music and sound effects: triumphant music for Creon’s entrance? Classical –pomp and ceremony, echo, outdoor setting sounds, weather?





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