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Hello, everyone.

You're welcome to drama.

I'm Mr. Bateson and I'm the teacher for this unit which is called the journey of verbatim theatre project.

In this project, we're going to be learning about verbatim theatre, and we're going to be looking at some famous examples of verbatim theatre plays.

And you're going to get chance to make some verbatim theatre of your own.

So if you're studying practitioners or styles, then you're going to find this really useful.

This is lesson one which is an introduction to verbatim theatre.

So we'll find out what that is.

We'll look at some examples to get us started and then we will create short piece of drama.

I hope you look forward to it.

If you're ready, let's see what we'll need for the session.

You're going to need something to write with, so a pen or a pencil.

And you're going to need something to write on.

So a notebook or some paper.

We will be making some of our own drama today.

So you will need a little bit of space as well.

Because this is a practical lesson and you'll be moving around, we need to keep safe.

So this lesson should take place inside and make sure there is enough space for you to work, including above.

So look out for any light fittings.

You might want to take your shoes and socks off and act in bare feet.

Either way make sure the floor is not slippy.

Wear some comfortable clothing, so you can move around.

You can pause the video now, if you need to get anything for this lesson.

We're going to begin the lesson with a question.

And I'll return to that question at the end to see what we've learned.

Then I'll introduce the key terminology and explain what we mean by verbatim theatre.

Next, I'll give you some examples of verbatim theatre plays so you can get the hang of what we mean.

You'll get chance to bring some words to life, practical drama task and create your own piece of verbatim theatre.

And we'll perform it at the end.

There is also an exit quiz where you can check what you've learnt.

So the first thing you might be thinking is what is verbatim theatre? You might never have heard that word before verbatim.

Well, I'm going to make sure that you can answer that question by the end of this lesson.

You'll also be able to give some examples of some verbatim theatre plays.

Now, verbatim theatre is a style of drama.

You may have already learned about different styles comedy, horror, naturalism, physical theatre.

Well, this is just another one.

If you look in the dictionary, verbatim means, in exactly the same words.

And that's how we make our drama in this style.

We find some words, we use them exactly as we found them.

Let's start with that phrase then, verbatim theatre.

And this is drama that is made from real people's words about real events or a certain subject.

And it's usually made from interviews.

In this lesson, we're also going to be talking about found text, which are real words too, but we kind of find them.

So they might be in a newspaper or internet article or they might be in an official report.

We'll come back to these key words later.

Let me talk you through some examples of some verbatim theatre shows to give you an idea of what we mean.

So this photograph is from a player called who cares by Matt Woodhead at Lung Theatre.

This play is about three teenagers who are young carers.

And that means they have a responsibility to look after family member at home who needs some additional help.

Now to make the show, Matt interviewed real life young carers and he took the words and the answers from the interview to make the script.

He used their answers exactly as they were spoken.

And that's what we mean by verbatim.

And what better way to make a play about young carers than to speak to some young carers themselves? That's what's really great about verbatim theatre.

So we don't have to make things up or imagine how someone might think or feel.

We can ask them and hear it directly from them.

To make this sure, Ask me anything, the theatre company, The Paperbirds asked young people to send the theatre company questions.

They really encouraged the young people to ask them anything.

And so the show was able to explore how young people feel and what they think by contacting them directly.

BlackWatch by Gregory Burke at the National Theatre of Scotland is a play about the Iraq war in 2004.

And the script was made by interviewing former soldiers who were actually there.

This play also includes clips from news reports and speeches from politicians too, but all the words are still real words that were actually spoken by someone at some point.

The Caravan at Royal Court Theatre was a play about flooding and used interviews with people who had lost their homes due to flooding to make the script.

The play was actually staged in a real caravan too.

Home at the National Theatre, was a play about homelessness.

And again, used interviews with young people who used a hostel.

They also spoke to some of the people who worked at the hostel too.

And we've said verbatim theatre is theatre that uses real people's words.

And that's where all of those plays got their material from.

So I wonder if we were making our own verbatim theatre play.

If you would be clear as to where you could get your material from.

There are 10 options here, and I'd like you to decide which of these could be verbatim material and which could not.

You can maybe number your paper one to 10, write down the ones that you think that could be or you could put tick or a cross, or if you like, yeah you can kind of just point to the screen and decide which ones you think.

There are some that could catch you out here.

And we'll talk about them in a moment.

Pause the video, go through each of these and decide.

When you're finished, you can resume the video.

Okay, so you've been deciding which of these source material would be appropriate to use in a verbatim theatre piece.

Let's see how you got on.

Here is the answers.

So number one, if you ticked news article, that's correct.

Yeah, we can use a news article because it's about a real event.

Usually news articles also include quotes which are real people's words.

An interview? Definitely, a lot of verbatim theatre is made from interviews, including some of the examples that I gave you.

Now, number three was an old storybook.

I tried to catch you out a little bit by saying that it was old book, any kind of storybook is made up.

So it's not verbatim.

It's not real people's words.

It's a made up story, no matter how old it is.

Number four was a transcript from a court case.

And you could definitely use that.

It's a real thing to really happen.

A photograph.

Now you might use a photograph in your performance, but there are no words.

So you couldn't use it as a verbatim piece of script, but you could use number six, a famous speech, there is brilliant speeches out there, aren't they? And you could use them in a piece of verbatim theatre.

A poem just like storybook is made up, so that would not count.

A recorded phone call would.

A cafe menu is a funny one because the words are real, but they've not been spoken by someone.

So I probably wouldn't use that.

And song lyrics, well they're made up too, so they wouldn't be counted verbatim material.

In this lesson, we're going to be using some interview words to make your own piece of verbatim theatre.

Let's jump straight in and have a go.

I conducted an interview with some young people at a school I was working at and I asked them about their experience of lockdown in 2020.

It was really interesting listening to the responses from the young people.

They were all so different and I've put three of them here for you.

Now they're written verbatim.

They are here exactly as they were spoken in the interviews.

And you might notice that they are not perfect words like you might see in a script.

For example, there is some repetition, in the first one of the word friends.

In the second one we can see the person says, I, well at start.

And of course in the third one, we see the classic, like being dropped in the middle of that.

If I was to take these words and then write a script based on them, I might tidy that up.

But because this is a piece of verbatim theatre, we're going to use them exactly as they are.

I'm going to ask you to create three mini role plays performing each of these three sentences.

Now you do not know the young people who I interviewed.

So you don't know what they look like.

You don't know what they sounded like.

So you're going to have to think about that.

These are the things I'll be looking for a new performance.

I want to see some facial expressions.

I want to see some actions and some gestures and some body language.

You'll be using your vocal expression to show how you feel.

And I want you to try and find some different locations around your home to stage these role plays.

You'll see what I mean in my examples in a minute.

Have a watch of my examples, see if you can spot some of these things.

We'll check back in a moment.

I haven't seen friends, but my friends, in over a year.

I, well, I'd say I cope ok at some points, and not ok at some other points.

It's brought us closer together.

Like, we've had some nice quality time together, we've had, we've had some good laughs.

So what did you think? Did you notice the difference between the verbatim words and the kind of words we might normally hear in a script? I tried to use my facial expressions and my vocal expression to show how I was feeling.

I wonder if you could see the contrast between the three performances.

I tried to use actions and gestures, again to show how I was feeling.

So one of the characters was very still, almost curled looking above.

The character was moving around making a cup of tea and you could see that I did try to use different locations.

I tried to keep it realistic, but I also tried to make it interesting by going to different places in my house.

So now it's your turn.

I'd like you to create three mini role plays to go with each extract of speech here.

Speaking the words out loud.

You can pause the video, take your time, find somewhere interesting in a house and practise these pieces of mini verbatim theatre.

When you're finished, you can click resume and we'll carry on with the lesson.

So I wonder how you did.

Did you use your first your facial expression and your vocal expression to show that you were feeling different things? Did you use actions and gestures and body language? I wonder what locations around the house you chose to use.

Now we've had little go of verbatim theatre.

I want to talk about why we should work in this way.

What are the advantages of the verbatim theatre? Why don't we just get a play that's already been written perfectly for us and perform that? Why would we go to the trouble of interviewing people and researching and speaking those words that are really really kind of realistic? Well, I think it actually helps us to create dialogue.

Sometimes when we're creating words for plays, they don't sound realistic enough.

If we use words exactly as they were spoken, then we know that they're really realistic.

Verbatim can give us ideas for stories and themes.

If we have a blank piece of paper and we think to ourselves what should we make a play about? Well, what better place to start than real life? We can think of things that really affect real people.

And it will give us an idea for our play.

It can also shine a light on important stories or even untold stories.

If we think that nobody knows about, enough about homelessness or if nobody cares about young people during lockdown, then using verbatim words from them will hopefully highlight an important issue.

I don't think it's easy though.

I think it just challenges as actors and theatre makers.

As actors, we have to do the material justice.

We have to perform it in an authentic and honest, realistic where we don't want to be silly with the words.

And as theatre makers, how do we make the show interesting? And make sure it's not just a series of interviews and monologues that we put on stage.

With that in mind, let's have another go at a longer piece of verbatim theatre.

And I would say the subject material here is a little bit more serious in tone than the previous interviews.

Now I've taken this from an article, a news article, but it contains real words from real people and it's about a real event.

Now this lesson is called the journey and I chose that name for this lesson because of reading this article.

This is the story of Dalia who went on a journey from Syria to England.

And this article tells us what happened.

There are two voices in the article because there is a reporter who is telling the true story and there are also Dalia's words herself.

Pause the video now and have a read through the article to get a feel for it.

You might want to jot down any words that describe the article, maybe such as a journey, which is what I thought of when I read it.

Maybe you think of a challenge, maybe you think of the word hope.

Maybe you think of the word fear.

And I'd also like to think about some of the things that Dalia says.

Is there anything that stands out to you? Remember, we're going to be using the real words to create some drama in a moment.

When you finish reading this, you can resume the video and we'll talk about how we might bring this to life.

What did you think? I think it's a really interesting story.

And if I wanted to make a play about refugees or asylum seekers and I found that very very challenging, and what would really help me is to hear from someone who's actually been through that experience themselves.

So verbatim theatre would be a really good style to create a piece of work like that in.

Remember that phrase from the start of the lesson, found text, well this is a good example of that.

Now I've not been able to interview Dalia myself, but I have found this article with some of her words in it.

So it's still verbatim, it's still real words spoken by a real person, but I didn't record them myself.

So we can gather, found texts from places like newspaper articles, from interviews that may have been on television or from transcripts from court or official hearings or official reports too.

So I wonder when you were reading the article, what were some of the sentences that jumped out to you? So if we're going to be telling the story of Dalia, we're going to use some of her own words.

This is one of the phrases that jumped out to me straight away, I was living my life normally like every child, and my life changed suddenly.

I thought that was a really dramatic kind of opening line.

I liked this line too.

It was difficult because I don't know the country.

So we're getting to hear some of Dalia's emotions there.

She's finding it difficult.

She said she started to talk and open up a little bit.

So even though it was difficult, she pushed herself and she went on a journey kind of physical journey.

And to me, this line speaks of her going on a kind of spiritual or personal journey as well.

This was a bit of positivity, something that went well for her.

She said she made some good friends and people were beginning to be welcoming.

And this line was just great.

I felt as an ending line, it's very hopeful and optimistic and she says, I know I have a lot to give.

I really liked the use of the word I in that, it's like she's talking directly to us.

So I went through the article and I found five lines or sentences that really stood out to me.

What I'd like you to do, is to highlight or write down six things of your own that stand out.

Things that Dalia actually says.

So you can print off the worksheet with that comes with this lesson and highlight them or you can just write them down.

Remember, we're making a piece of drama, so what might go well at the start? What might go well to show emotions? What might go well at the end.

Pause the video, find your six lines and resume the video when you're finished.

So you should have chosen six lines from the news article.

From the piece of found text that we're using to make our verbatim theatre performance.

And in the same way that we took those lines from the interview with the young people that I did and made a mini role player, I'd like to you to create a mini role play now from these lines of Dalia's speech.

So you'll be performing as Dalia telling the story of her journey.

I'd like you to use your facial expressions and your vocal expressions to show us how she feels about that.

And that might change.

She might change from scared to hopeful for example.

I'd like to experiment with actions and gestures.

You don't have to sit still and just talk to the audience on the camera.

You can move around, you can stand up, you can kneel down, you could have something in your hand, play around with it and bring Dalia's story to life.

Pause the video and have a go at that.

Take your time and learn your lines.

Experiment with all the different ways that you can perform this.

When you're finished, resume the video and we'll finish the lesson.

So I wonder how you found that performing someone's real story using their own real words.

And I wonder if that's kind of sparked your imagination about what other stories or news events or people that would make an interest in focus for another piece of verbatim theatre.

The black lives matters movement would be a brilliant place to start, wouldn't, with interviews and eye witnesses and people with really strong opinions that we could use their own words to really give them a voice.

Maybe there's a historical event, maybe something that happened in the past that you think we need to remember.

Maybe you have heard about a person that you think is really inspiring and you'd like to create a piece of drama about them.

You might go off and do some research or find some news articles of your own to find some found text to make a piece of drama with.

You might even decide to interview your friends or your family to make a piece of drama and use their words like I did.

Just be careful though, if you want to use someone's real words, you need to check with them that, that sort of care first.

Before we go, I want to check that you understand what we mean by verbatim theatre.

Remember that big question of the start, what is verbatim theatre? Hear the statement and you decide whether you think it's true or false.

Verbatim theatre is drama made from real people's words about real life events or a certain subject, usually from interviews.

Point to the answer that you think is correct now.

It's true.

And the key word there is real.

Remember in the dictionary, verbatim means, exactly as was spoken.

These have to be real words.

Thanks so much for taking part in this lesson and introduction to verbatim theatre.

I hope you've got a hang of what we mean by that and I've given you some examples of some great plays in that style too.

We've had a go at creating some of our own mini verbatim performances.

One from an interview and one from found text and it might've come sparked your imagination to go away and make another piece of verbatim theatre on a subject or a topic of your own.

There is an exit quiz where you can go and check some of that knowledge too.

And hopefully I'll see you for lesson two where we'll be looking at verbatim theatre in a little bit more detail.

Great stuff, well done.

If you've enjoyed the work today and you'd like to share some of your verbatim theatre performances, we'd love to see them.

Whether they're your mini role plays from the interviews that I did with the young people, or whether it's your version of Dalia's story that you brought to life.

With a parent or a carer, you can go to Twitter and you can upload those videos for us to have a look at, if not maybe I'll see you next time in another drama lesson.