Drama Workshop by Actor Jorge Affranchino
Before you start the drama game, it’s necessary to do a warm-up. Our body is our working tool, so we need to activate it. This warm up is also necessary for body awareness. It’s important to focus on many different parts of the body. You can suggest to students that they should start moving the joints (hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, head, spine, hips, knees, ankles and waist). The students’ body starts to wake up. Stretching muscles is also suggested to increase body awareness.
One way to start your drama lesson is to make a circle. All students stand in a circle. This class arrangement is very effective because it has a special power. The circle is dynamic and actions around the circle flow quickly. It’s very effective to teach drama to girls and boys.
In the first place, a game is proposed to enhance communication. For example: passing an imaginary ball. To make the communication game work, it’s necessary that the person who offers the ball has a certain intention or attitude. The person who receives the ball will feel stimulated and react to that intention/ attitude.
First , this ball game can just consist in passing the ball. Later, the ball can have a certain characteristic like heavy, hot, big, small, dirty, etc). These are suggestions to stimulate the body to express itself.
A more advanced step in this game is to add voice sounds. In this way, there is movement and voice.
Receive - Process - Offer:
In drama, it is important and necessary to take your time. It’s useless to hurry. When I receive the ball, I have to be open to the other person’s attitude and the characteristic of the ball. To let myself be influenced by this stimulus, I need to take my time to process this stimulus. Once I receive the ball, I need time to process this stimulus and build an attitude in order to offer the ball to someone else with a clear intention / attitude.
In drama, there are many stimuli which can produce a reaction: a look, some music, a work, a gesture, a sound, a colour , a shape, etc. If you are receptive , it’s easier to detect stimuli. Being receptive is to be on the alert and be attentive. In order to be receptive, you need to listen with all your body.
Clown is a drama language whose characteristic is to create complicity. This complicity emerges when the clown expresses his/her emotion to the audience. The clown is looking for someone in the audience who understands his/her emotion. This action of complicity is called “AUDIENCE”, and is expressed with the clown’s look. The clown needs to share whatever happens on the stage with his/her audience.
This game is very effective. It contributes with new strategies for expressing oneself. The game consists in
a) proposing an idea, an image, a sensation, a shape, a figure.
b) proposing an energy: There are three energies : “three seconds before love”, “super star”, and “contained”.
c) Once the above is proposed, the student has to investigate what he/ she feels. It’s important not to be too rational but to focus on feelings. Feeling is what makes you move and speak.
d) Once the student has his own identity, an everyday situation is proposed: buy bread, call a taxi, etc.
Awareness of different body centres:
The Centre of gravity, TAN TIEN, is 4 fingers under you navel and 4 fingers inside your body. We can imagine a sphere in constant activity. This centre is necessary to walk, jump, kneel down, turn, fall down.
The centre of your breast , SAMSONG, is connected to the air. If we activate it in the action, we will feel lighter. It’s useful to jump.
The centre PACUI is in the upper part of your head. If we activate it , we will reduce tension in the cervical area. It’s useful for moving from one place to another, and jumping.
We work in a circle, passing a stimulus, which is a vowel connected to a certain movement. A : elbow, O: shoulder, E: palm of your hand, U: wrist, ICS: movement of the arm and the hand up and down. You start the circle with the A-elbow and later you add the rest of the vowels and movements one by one.
Controlling your breath:
We draw a circle with our hands. The movement starts and finishes in the TANTIEN. While we do the movement with our hands we say the A vowel sound. The exercise consists in making the circle bigger and bigger while lengthening your vowel sound.
Two people hold hands and let their body weight be backwards. Once balanced is achieved, we start to play by moving around. The game is very similar to dancing. First , we hold both hands and later, only one.
In drama, there are three types of conflict: with oneself, with another person and with an object.
To propose a conflict with oneself, we can play a game with chairs. I don’t know which chair to sit on.
To propose a conflict with an object: I sit down but I can’t find a comfortable position.
To propose a conflict with another character: Two characters choose the same chair.
Whenever there is a conflict , it’s necessary to solve it. Finding a solution is a good tool that generates a rhythmic dynamics on the stage.
Appearing on stage requires a special attitude and energy. We can give students an energy instruction (three seconds before love, three seconds before death, superstar, melting butter, storm, rough sea)
Rhythm of the Katak dance:
It’s a rhythmic game of feet and voice. Each step has a name. Eg-Do-Tin-Char-Panch. I hit the floor with my foot and I sing a syllable. I repeat this until I complete the 5 syllables. Then, there is a combination of hits. You can do it in that order or vary the order. It’s a body- and-music game. In class, we proposed the idea of a repeated action. For example, I sing and hit my feet: Eg-Do-Tin-Do -Tin-Do-Tin-Char-Pancha. You can do as many repetitions as you wish. It’s necessary to combine voice with hits.
Use of Space:
It’s important to have actors use different parts of the stage so that the scene is more dynamic. The back of the stage could be the past and the front could be the present.
On stage, you should think of the whole of the space. There is empty space and occupied space. These two types are equally important. The actor’s job is to give life to empty space. For example, space between two characters, space between the character and the audience, space between the character and the scenery. Having in mind this empty space will enhance the atmosphere of the play. We create empty space (you are about to sit on a chair) to create tension and interest.
Marking out is an expression that refers to stage management. We should consider space is like weighing scales. The weighs are varying constantly. For the stage manager, space is like a chess board where it is important how to move the pieces. It is like a canvass where a painter draws his lines.
We use convention (picking a flower) to create an atmosphere (the forest).
The Cue is the word in the script that triggers off an action.
Repetition is very important. To repeat the scene over and over until you achieve the desired result. When actors and actresses repeat the scene, they start to forget about marking and start playing with it. The first markings are the itinerary or land where the character moves. However, once the actor knows his/her way, he will have more insight into the identity of the character and then , he will be able to combine his identity with the space around him.
Audio - Video & Live Sound by Damián Valent
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Scenes from the play "Revenge"
Here you will find video clips with stage directions for each scene.
Scene 1: Turkey
Scene 6: Spain
Scene 2: Turkey
Scene 7: Spain
Scene 3: Turkey
Scene 8: Spain
Scene 4: Turkey
Scene 5: Turkey
Scene 11: Italy
Scene 12: Italy
Scene 13: Italy
Scene 14: Italy
Scene 15: Italy
Scene 21: Poland
Scene 9: Spain
Scene 10: Spain
Scene 16: Romania
Scene 17: Romania
Scene 18: Romania
Scene 19: Romania
Scene 20: Romania
Scene 23: Poland
Scene 22: Poland
Scene 24: Poland
Scene 25: Poland
Scenes from the play "On the Road with Caragiale"
Here you will find video clips with stage directions for each scene.
Scene 1: Romania
Scene 2: Italy
Scene 3: Poland