Over the past term and a half, we have been working on creating a play based on the script, Turbine for The Suitcase Series. When I first heard about this project, my initial reaction was delight. The thought of creating our own play and performing it in front of professionals and other schools was such a great prospect. I thought it was possible to create a play about climate change and there were many ways we could go about it. I liked the idea of exploring climate change through the five stages of grief. Out of the five parts of the script, I thought the anger section was the most interesting and we could do the most with it.
We did many different exercises in non-naturalism and I believe they really benefited and helped in our decision-making. We tried exercises such as frozen tableaux, masks, sound orchestra and talking directly to the audience. I thought it was brilliant idea letting students have other roles such as director and writer. The directors were Jaime, Imogen, Izzy and me. The writers were Finnegan and Maddie. Costumes and props were Ava, Millie, Gloria and Lettie. Sound and lighting was Sam and Finnegan. I believe they were all effective in getting the jobs done. The big decisions were mainly made by the whole class but minor things were decided by the production team.
In the play, I was a director and choreographed many of the bigger scenes with the whole class and I had a monologue talking about the different natural disasters happening around the world. I was very happy with my roles as it gave me a chance to step out of the acting realm and do some more of the backstage work. I took the process seriously and had lots of fun too.
Rehearsals started with reading the script, workshopping ideas and writing the script. From there we worked on more specific scenes as the play was becoming more concrete. Sometimes the four directors took little groups off and worked with them and sometimes it was a whole class rehearsal.
The day of the performance was Friday 27 October and was performed at the Malthouse theatre in Southbank. Before arriving, I was nervous and worried. I felt we did not have enough rehearsal time under our belt and we did not know what to expect. I thought the piece was unique and different. It was an interesting take on the concepts in Turbine but there were messy elements as well. However, the performance went better than I expected. The class did their best and the audience enjoyed it. Some of the strengths of the performance were the loud voices used, the pictures made and the props used. However, the weaknesses were the lighting, cues on stage and the lack of rehearsal time. Overall, I was pleased with how it went.
Throughout the day, we watched many other schools perform their interpretation of Turbine. It was very interesting seeing their takes on the script, what parts they used and what they made up themselves.
I very much enjoyed watching the play of Turbine. It had some of the elements I was expecting but many things surprised me and made me think more carefully. There were some non-naturalistic elements such as talking to the audience, movement of invisible objects (car flipping) and imagination. I believe the actors' performances were incredible. They remembered many monologues and delivered lines in such a unique way that made me want to continue watching. During the performance, there were minimal props. The scene I thought was the most effective was the anger scene. This is because it was the most engaging and powerful in my opinion. I liked this scene because the actors used such emotion and aggression in the words that brought them to life. Watching the actors created a sense of amazement and understanding towards this part of the story. I do not believe this play overall affected me but parts definitely did. This experience has been challenging and engaging.
If I were to it again I would get the script done earlier and have more rehearsal time. However, I did enjoy this experience and would do it again with some minor changes.
Year 9 Drama