Live Blogging: Year 9 Drama

Thought I’d try a bit of live blogging from the classroom.

Year 9 Drama. Cohort: 14 year-old girls x 15 students. Comedy course exploring satire, parody, slapstick, farce.

Doing Part 1 of a two-part task exploring satire, but the notion of satire and parody not introduced yet.

Students have chosen a well-known celebrity to accurately mimic in their first performance. Aim: realistic imitation (Part 2 coming up in a few lessons time where aim will be to exaggerate the first performance).

Task origin: Centre Stage text by Matthew Clausen.

Students currently doing final rehearsal around classroom very quietly. They are taking task very seriously, which is both scary and a good thing – a very good thing 🙂

13 students remembered costume. 2 brought nothing or part-costume. Typical for Year 9, so no concerns there.

Background: first time a solo performance has been introduced in their Drama studies at school, so plenty of nerves evident! 2-minutes only – keeping it easy to start off with.

Will update as it happens.

Update: Characters:

  • Justin Bieber – the ego of the man (boy!) very evident in performance!
  • Paris Hilton – accent, long blonde wig(!), lots of hair flicking, ego evident here, too
  • Jamie Oliver – nailed his accent (spot on – research evident), cooking class, hands moving everywhere just like Jamie 🙂

Class (audience) silent during performances, as requested. Right atmosphere in the room absolutely vital.

Update:

  • David Attenborough – accent (of course!) plus the whisper, brief focus loss, hand gestures, very enthralling, drew the audience in
  • Oprah Winfrey – performer interacted with the class well as TV show audience, class really felt a part of the performance, HUGE facial expressions, Oprah very excited (about almost everything), research into Oprah’s gestures clearly evident
  • Lindsay Lohan – lots of “whatever”, “like…” and “you know….”, recent theft allegations topic of performance
  • Michael Jackson – “the” glove, interview-based performance, empathy felt by audience, research evident in student-written script, the importance of getting the subtleties of MJ’s mannerisms and facial expressions became crystal clear
  • Rafael Nadal – post match press conference, Spanish accent very good and clearly well-researched, tennis costume complete with oversized headband, very accurate mannerisms and hand movements, tone of voice etc all good

Update:

  • Eddie McGuire- local TV personality and football club President – student had line-learning difficulties and chose to perform without script although given option to use it – lesson in focus and how to retrieve lost lines as an actor
  • Britney Spears – blonde wig, not enough of Brtiney evident in performance, instead I saw a student in a wig – mannerisms and gestures needed work
  • Christina Aguilera – seating position, dialogue, hand gestures all well-researched – Aguilera’s facial expressions needed to be more obvious in order for character to be more convincing – also, emotional side of character needed work – tough call for a 14 year-old, though
  • Steve Irwin – focus issues, not deep enough into character, eyes drifting into audience, merely going through lines – all part of the learning process so nothing to worry about

Update:

  • Keisha (singer)  – on the tour bus, very well-researched actions & gestures, accurate dialogue and great accent – sounded, looked and behaved like the singer, herself
  • Julia Gillard – Australian Prime Minister  –  press conference, more facial expressions needed, too much of the actor evident in performance and not enough character, hand gestures spot on
  • Barack Obama – nerves, nerves, nerves – all part of learning to be an actor/Drama student

A lesson in-between coming up to work on Part 2 of the task. This will involve exaggerating all the four expressive skills of voice, movement, facial expressions and gestures in order to satirise or parody the celebrity character. All of these characters have “room to move” in order for the actor to enhance them – either through movement and physical actions and/or verbally (accent, tone etc). Looking forward to Friday’s lesson for the 2nd set of performances – same script, performed differently. These ought to be hilarious. Will live blog again then – Friday 18 february 11.45am AEDT (UTC + 11).

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