Today we focused solely on the commission project and the ‘magic paintbrush’ which is one of the two pieces we will be performing. We spent the majority of today blocking out the opening section focusing on positioning as we will likely end up in a thrust as it is outside in public and that is how people normally gather in these situations. We decided that a good way to start off our piece would be to have a song we sing whilst we act as though we are working on the rice fields. We thought this would capture the audiences attention straight away and also sets the location of the rice field and china. We will be developing a Chinese tune but for now we stuck with a song that the whole group knew. We then set up Ma Liungs character and the fact he liked to paint and draw for his colleagues. We spent quite a bit of time on this section because there was a debate on weather we should have audience participation or not. I was strongly for having some audience participation as it helps engage and audience who may other wise just leave and walk out seeing as our audience are passers by and they have no requirement to stay. The group finally agreed and we also changed the structure of Ma Liungs speech so that it allows for the power of three which is common in the acting out of stories. For the next section of our piece I gave the suggestion that we could use physical theatre to show his journey back home over a bridge and through the trees. This helps to make it visually interesting and the movement adds a fluidity that is really effective. For the dream which happens next, I was also the one to suggest that to show Ma Liung sleeping without him being on the floor (which may not work due to the levels) we could bring back the physicality of using people to create a bed like structure in which Ma Liung could do a trust fall into, giving the appearance of him collapsing into bed. After the company tried this it worked really well so we kept it for our piece. For the dream the group decided that floaty materials could be moved around in motions to give a dream like visual. Through blocking and devising today Lynn told us briefly about Laban to help us with our transitions between scenes. This really helped us to identify the different motions, directions of movement and the speed in which we could move into positions, such as ‘flick’, ‘slash’ and ‘glide’. This helps to give our piece more of a dynamic feel. Bellow you can see two clips of what we managed to stage and devise today.
After staging some of our piece we then went on to talk about all the props and costume we would need. We decided on keeping it simple using browns and greys except for the principle roles who would wear colour to stand out. We also thought that for the paintbrush we could have it sparkly and glittery to signify that it was magical. Today helped to clarify the style we would be going for and a chance to start creating one of our pieces which was enjoyable to do.