Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Devising The Undiscovered

The second years are busy devising their own show. I've tagged this post as directing, but I'm really more of a facilitator for their ideas. The group have come up with some fantastic ideas, but convincing them that they are ideas worth keeping is the hardest part of the job so far.

The first week we talked through the initial ideas that the group had and improvised around them. We got into a routine of working on things in smaller groups, showing scenes to the rest of the group and making obervations of how they could be improved.

Many of the cast came prepared for the second week with ideas, scripts and we had a great flurry of activity. A narrative had begun to present itself which was fantastic, but there was a danger that it would limit the creativity of the group.

For the third week I split the cast up into pairs and smaller groups, none of whom would normally work together. This proved fruitful and the scenes that cam out of these improvisations are some of the most interesting. The narrative developed into a running order and the cast were getting very good at deciding what best fitted where and what their characters ought to know and when.

The fourth week was curtailed by losing the Bank Holiday Monday and getting the cast back into a working frame of mind. They are filming some elements today. I'm looking forward to seeing what they come up with.

I haven't quite been sworn to secrecy, but I'm loathe to reveal too much about someone else's story. Especially while things could still change. The cast have written and improvised various scenes. There is a possibility that they are incorporating songs and dance routines.

The cast have come up with a name for their play...The Undiscovered. I like it. It doesn't reveal too much, but it does give the audience a flavour of what to expect. I thought that naming the play would be more of a problem, but they all agreed quite readily.


Amanda Heitler said...

Interesting stuff. Just out of curiosity, how large is your group? We have toyed in the past with looking at devised work for performance, but with groups of more than 20 there are simply too many ideas flying around.

Like the title. Did you provide them with a stimulus? Sorry to ask so many questions.

Dave said...

No need to apologise, I'm happy to answer them.

We have a cast of sixteen and I think we would have struggled with a larger group.

They came up with a title without any help from me.

They didn't have a specific stimulus, but the starting point for their story came from discussions they had about what they wanted to put in their last show at college.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sometimes the name is the most difficult part.

Dave said...

I'm glad they didn't agonise over a name.