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“Using Examples From The Class Exercises, Rehearsal Process And Group Performance, Critically Evaluate Your Own Piece Of Theatre In Education In R...

2004 words - 9 pages

Helen Nicholson expressed that ‘T.I.E’s primary objective was to use theatre as a tool to explore ideas, feelings and values’ titling the medium as the ‘Theatre of ideas’ (2009, p24). It is within this sentiment in which our group formed its key intentions for our piece. As a company, our objective was to focus on children’s emotional response to a story based performance of T.I.E. Due to the educational aspect of T.I.E we decided upon the historical story of Pocahontas, allowing the group to retell and alter the well-known animated Disney film with an additional historical feature. The group designed and collaborated the performance to concentrate on the underlying issue of identity and to make the audience question, what it is that makes each person an individual? Pocahontas is forced to choose between her family home and a new life in England with her partner John Smith, and it is through this dilemma in which the group directed the overall performance. Desiring to create a ‘hybrid’ (Wooster, 2007, p1) piece of theatre, the group wished to include both historical and issue based techniques within the story, thus causing the children to think critically about the piece with both factual and emotional arguments. Throughout this essay I will examine the development process within our rehearsals and the group’s use of audience participation through different Theatre and Education techniques, in order to achieve our company’s aims.
Anthony Jackson states that when forming a piece of T.I.E, the first questions asked should be, ‘who is it for? And what does it say and do?’ (2007, p57), equating the group to determine that the performance was to be aimed towards lower key stage 2 pupils and also that we wished the piece to be an informative but participatory performance, causing the audience to contemplate the theme of identity. Jackson believed Theatre and Education should ‘stress the interrelationship, indeed the interdependence, of the actor and the audience’ (2007, p13) as audience participation is a significant element within T.I.E in regards to the overall form and function of the piece. Throughout the rehearsal period we designed the entirety of the piece to ‘engage and involve the audience’ (Jackson, 1993, p61), highlighting the difference of cultures around the world through each interactive section. For example, every character speaks directly to the audience, they are not merely a spectator watching the story, they are fully amerced within the tale and becomes a physical part of it. The best instance of this within our performance is demonstrated through the section in which the children are called upon to help Powhatan and Pocahontas perform a rain dance. The function of this section was to illustrate the importance of family and nature within Pocahontas’s tribe. The narrative significance of this lies within the traditions of Powhatan and Pocahontas’s tribe, as we wanted the children to experience the lives of the Native Indians so that...

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