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Hi there, I'm Mrs. Bradley.

Welcome to drama and lesson one in the evaluating stagecraft unit.

In this unit we'll become theatre critics, and we'll look at a wide range of acting, design and creative skills in order to evaluate them and look at the success.

If you're ready for this first lesson let's see what we'll need today.

In this lesson, you'll need something to write on and you'll need a pen to write with.

Let's look at what we'll do today.

So I hope you've done the intro quiz already and that we'll have just looked at some of the prior knowledge you might need for this lesson.

We will look at the start at some key terminology for some skills that we'll use today.

Will then be watching a clip from a theatre production called Small Island.

With that we're going to be evaluating some of the production elements we can see in the clip.

And then that will take us to the end and then there will just be an exit quiz to check your progress from today.

So looking at key words for this lesson, there are three key skills we're going to use today.

The first is describing.

So describe means to give an accurate account of something in detail.

We'll also be analysing.

So analyse means to examine something in detail and explain why choices were made.

And then we will be evaluating and evaluating means to come to a judgement about the success of something.

So it will be doing those three key things today; describing, analysing, and evaluating what was the on stage.

So the aims of these lessons in this unit of evaluating stagecraft are, we want you to appreciate a wide range of theatre productions.

So it's about you developing a personal response to theatre.

Looking at some examples and seeing what you like and why you like it, and what your response to that is.

We would like you to understand how acting skills, design elements, and also staging choices can all be used to create a dramatic effect.

We're going to look at developing these key skills for you for describing, analysing, and evaluating which are really important in drama.

And then we will be looking at making detailed notes and writing responses to pieces of life theatre.

So we're going to start by watching an extract from a theatre production and then using that to make some notes on.

We're watching an extract from Small Island.

So this is a really recent production made by the National Theatre.

And it's adapted from the novel by Andrea Levy.

So this play tells a story of migration from Jamaica to England after the Second World War which took place mainly between 1944 and 1948.

It's a true story and it's based on the real migration that happened on the Empire Windrush Vic ship.

So we're going to watch a scene where two characters Hortense and Gilbert are married.

And Gilbert is setting off on his journey to England from Jamaica on the Empire Windrush.

It's a passenger ship, which took people to England over that period of time.

In the scene we see Hortense saying goodbye because she'll travel over later.

So as we watch this clip I don't want you to write anything, but I want you to try and be really observant and really think about what you notice about how the scene is structured.

And then as you're watching, thinking about what your personal response to what's happening on stage is, how does this make you feel? What's your understanding of what's happening on the stage and what can you notice about all the different features of the scene? But don't write anything 'cause just give the clip your full attention to make sure that you can really appreciate what's happening in this clip.

You want to get to England forgetting all about me and leave me here.

Of course not, now as soon as I have somewhere to stay, I'll write to you.

Hortense, can I have a kiss now, just one, we are married after all.

There maybe women who will turn your head in England.

You jealous already.

No, but you must always remember what you have promised me.

We have a deal Hortense.

Look, I give you my RA half salute.

That is the salute of a gentleman.

I will see you soon Hortense.

Okay, so that's the clip and I hope you enjoyed it.

And what we're going to do now is just look at your responses to that clip in the first instance.

Okay, so I want you to think about your initial response as an audience member, imagining that you are the audience for this production.

So I put some questions here, which I'd like you to answer.

And this is going to start to frame your response to the extract.

We're thinking about this holistically, first of all because this unit is all about developing an appreciation for theatre.

So it was my to think about what did you like about the scene? What stood out to you in the scene? What emotions did the scene make you feel.

Were you aware as you were watching of any atmosphere being created or changing in the scene? How is the stage space used effectively? And did you notice any lighting or did you notice any music? So we are going to watch it again.

So we are going to develop our knowledge of what was happening in the scene but like you just to pause here and reflect on your initial response.

So take as long as you need to answer these questions and then when you're ready, we'll move on.

Great, so now we've responded initially we're going to zoom in, on specific elements in the scene and I've put this into four categories for you.

So I want you to think about the use of space.

So that is how the actors use the stage and how this change throughout the extract.

The use of lighting, how the lighting changed and what effects this created when it changed.

The use of sound, how sound was added in and the effect of this, and the use of set design, so how the set design communicated meaning.

So with those four elements in mind we're going to watch the clip again.

So perhaps just pause here and write down those four headings before we then move on to watch the extract for a second time.

So outside, I've put on the screen here, watch the clip again.

And this time make notes on what you can see about the use of space, lighting, sound and set design.

We'll watch it through together once but if you need to go back and watch it again to make more notes, that's absolutely fine.

You want to get to England forgetting all about me and leave me here.

Of course not, now as soon as I have somewhere to stay, I'll write to you.

Hortense, can I have a kiss now, just one, we are married after all.

There maybe women who will turn your head in England.

You jealous already.

No, but you must always remember what you have promised me.

We have a deal Hortense.

Look, I give you my RA half salute.

That is the salute of a gentleman.

I will see you soon Hortense.

Okay, so that's the clip again and I hope you were able to see that time more detail in the use of space, lighting, sound and set design.

So pause here for longer if you need to answer your notes and then when you're ready we'll review those elements that you would have written about.

All right, then.

So what we asked you to do was describe the specific elements in the scene.

So we're going to start by looking at use of space and use of sound.

So I'm going to show you my notes and this is a chance for you to add to your notes or just check if few got some things similar to me.

So, use of space.

So at the start of the clip, Gilbert and Hortense were at the front of the stage where they and we call this downstage.

The ensemble cast, so that's everybody else on the stage were spread out in lines across the left and right of the stage as if they were waiting to board the ship.

And then when the ship appeared Gilbert walked upstage centre.

So he turned around and see him walked up through the middle of the stage and we call that upstage centre to join the ship.

So that was how the space was used throughout.

Another thing we could add is that Hortense stage, downstage centre didn't change as Gilbert walked away from her.

In terms of the sound, when the ship appeared we've got this sweeping music that started and that to start with was created with cymbals.

So we had this lovely cymbal sound as the ship arrived with the sheet going up onto the stage.

There was also some orchestral wind and string instruments.

So I definitely heard wind instruments and string instruments.

You maybe be able to go into more detail than that but they also increased in volume as the ship appeared and as Gilbert walked ahead into the ship.

So that was a description of the use of sound.

If you want to pause here and just add this to your notes, that's fine.

Then we'll look at the other elements of the scene.

So we also looked at the us of lighting and the use of set design.

The lighting that I noticed was that the lighting was initially really bright covering the whole stage and we call this a full wash and it was a warm white light.

This then faded into a blackout when the ship became visible.

And then Hortense was it a cold white spotlight downstage centre.

So she stayed lit, but the rest of the stage actually went into blackout.

And the light source was then provided from the projection of the ship.

The set design, the stage was empty to start with and then later as a ship appeared this was a large white cloth, was suspended from the ceiling and it was flown up into position and the Empire Windrush was then projected onto that screen, wasn't it? So we call a screen that we can project on a cyclorama in the theatre, so that large white cloth acted as a cyclorama, which was then projected onto.

So again, if you want to pause here, what I've put in bold is the key terminology.

If he wants to add this to your description then pause here and do so, and then we will carry on.

Great, so we're going to move on now to some analysis.

So analysis means to explain why something has been done by thinking about it in more detail.

So what we're going to analyse is the use of staging and design for this extract.

And I want you to be focusing on these questions.

Why did they make those choices? What did those choices show? And what effect did those choices create? So there's why, what and what effect.

So we looked at these four elements which we've now described.

I'd like you to have a go at analysing.

So looking at lighting, for example, if we have at the start, a warm white wash, why was that lighting used? If we then have Hortense left on the stage in a cold white spotlights at the end, why was that done? If we have sound, if we have this sweeping music of cymbals, why was that done? So what effect was that creating? So pause here, look back at your descriptive notes but now ask yourself why were those things done and what did that suggest, convey or represent to you as an audience member? So pause here until you've made those analytical notes and then we'll go through those together.

Great, so I've added my notes here now.

So let's go through these, one at a time.

So the use of space, first of all, so Gilbert and Hortense being downstage centre right at the very front of the stage, it really drew our attention to them.

The way the ensemble cast look like they're all cued to board the ship, for me that that was effective because it created a sense of anticipation.

There was something that everybody was waiting for and it made it really high stakes and really exciting.

Then we had Gilbert walking upstage centre.

He walked very slowly and that created an exciting atmosphere.

There was also a sense of anticipation but what we got as well as that the proxemics change between Hortense and Gilbert, proxemics is distance between two performers or more to convey their relationship.

So the fact that Gilbert walking upstage and leaving Hortense downstage that created a distance between them.

And that may be would have created perhaps a sense of apprehension.

Like what was that relationship going to survive? And it just created that physical distance between them, with Gilbert then moving to England and Hortense for the time being staying in Jamaica.

Looking at the use of lighting.

So the blackout drew our focus then upstage to the projection of the ship but the spotlight staying on Hortense downstage centre helped to remind us the audience that she was still there and create that sense of isolation and just create that distance like we've just said that she was not part of the group going on the ship.

Then we've got the use of sound.

So for me, the cymbals created a really exciting atmosphere.

It was positive.

It was a sense of a new start, something new and exciting and again, the sense of anticipation of what that journey was going to hold.

And then the use of set design.

So the Cyclorama, it obviously creates a huge focus for us.

So our eye immediately was drawn to that ship.

It was so big covering the whole width of the stage but that created a sense of excitement.

I also made the connection between the cloth itself was reminiscent of an old fashioned ship sail.

So that just, it made me think of a ship straight away when I saw that the cloth actually going up it was like hoisting a sail.

So that's perhaps another element to analyse in that particular use of set design.

So my idea is that they're not everything that you might've seen.

You might have more than this, which would be fantastic but this is how we analyse.

These are some of the things that you might have analysed.

So if you need to pause here and add this to your notes, then do so.

And then when you're ready, we'll continue on to evaluation.

So as we said in the keywords at the very start, evaluating means coming to a judgement about something.

So when we look at live theatre, after I'm a students it's really important that you've got a personal response.

What we want to know as teachers is what it meant to you and what you thought about what you saw in the production.

So what did you think of the performance? How successful was the performance in your opinion? What we're going to do is think about each of the elements and how they worked together, and then think about how successful do you think it was overall? So that's some the questions we ask ourselves when we evaluate live theatre.

So here are some sentence starters to write your own evaluation which is what I'd like you to do now.

So please remember, this is your opinion.

There's no wrong answers 'cause it's whether you thought the performance was successful.

So overall it's what you thought of the entire extract.

So that word overall is a useful starting point.

I'd like you now to pause here and write your evaluation of this scene, looking back at your description, analysis and our buildings towards this final task.

If you want to do use the sentence starters which might help to structure your thoughts, take as long as you need here to use your evaluative skills.

And then when you're ready, just move on.

And well done.

That's it for this lesson because we've just embedded and started to use all three of those key skills for this unit; describing, analysing and evaluating.

Each lesson will be a different element of stagecraft.

So I look forward to seeing you again next time, and well done for today.