Drama productions at the high school level can be memorable, “incarnating” experiences both for students and for the entire school community. Since the theatrical journey is as important as the destination, we work with a sequence of rehearsal exercises designed to help students imagine characters and, ultimately, plays into being. Speech, gesture, and timing all receive special emphasis. The goal here is to offer participants an insight into why the dramatic process can be a “mini-initiation” for all involved.
- Exploring the Physical: moving through space, learning mobility, employing meaningful gestures
- Charging the Atmosphere: working with the elements, evoking and altering mood, filling the space with feeling
- Creating the Character: psychological gestures, locating “centers”, playing with props, discovering voices
- Bringing the Play to Life: finding the other characters, filling the pauses, refining timing, honoring the wholeness of scenes and of the entire play
- To give us a focus, we use scenes from Dylan Thomas’ Under Milkwood.