Unit 4, Section B: Interpretation Consideration

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  • A2 Drama and Theatre Studies: Unit 4, Section B
    • Facts
      • The exam will ask you to describe you director's interpretation of 'Lysitrata'
        • This refers to how you would stage the interpretation, or how it would look or be communicated during performance
      • Take 40 minutes to answer this section.
        • This section consists of one 30 mark question
      • Aim to write 6-8 sides for this question
        • Express ideas quickly and concisely
          • Ensure your text is annotated in detail ASAP.
            • Use the blank reverse side of the pages.
              • Link particular aspects of your interpretation to certain scenes.
                • E.g. Use the opening scene to write about historical setting, staging and set, but discuss costume on the arrival of the male and female chorus.
            • Use technical vocabulary throughout annotations.
            • Annotate the script by answering the questions posed on this page.
      • Intended for a contemporary audience whilst respecting the play's original context.
    • Interpretation should reflect...
      • Original themes and issues within the text.
        • Identify those you want an audience to focus on/ learn from
      • Purpose and intended impact of the original text (comedy) and of your interpretation
        • This can be similar or different.
          • Consider the effect of your directorial interpretation upon the text in performance, and the impact of your ideas on the target audience.
      • Performance style (using a particular practitioner) of your interpretation.
        • How entertaining will the production be?
      • The audience understand the play.
      • You understand the play in its original Historical, Social and Cultural Context
    • Performance Style/Staging Style
      • Use a performance space that is familiar to you.
        • Use drama studio as a flexible rehearsal/ performance space
      • You need to be able to discuss the +/- of your choice of performance space / staging style
        • This should relate to both the actors and the audience at specific points, or during key scenes in the text.
      • The performance choice that you choose should reflect your knowledge of the performance/staging style in its' original context.
    • Set and Props Design
      • The chosen context/era will affect the overall style/ feel/ mood of the text
        • It also affects the piece's appeal to a target audience.
      • Set and props should be chosen wisely to ensure they work for a modern audience
        • But they also need to communicate Aristophanes' intended meaning.
          • The props and set should have a particular shape (style) and function, but should reflect their function in the original context.
      • Decide between representational or presentational props.
        • Representational : realist
        • Presentational: non realist and symbolic
        • Colours should be a mixture of realism and symbolism
      • Set design should reflect the historical context of the interpretation - when and where.
        • It's best to be as specific as possible, so link your interpretation to a specific place and time.
    • Characters
      • Your directorial interpretation of characters should make them appealing.
        • This means that the audience will remain engaged with the plot and the message of the play.
      • Your characterisation should match and compliment the context of your interpretation
        • It should also make sense in the original era.
      • How does each character enhance the overall feel / style / mood of the piece?
        • What effect should each character have on a contemporary audience?
      • Characters should be realist.
        • Age
        • Height
        • Build
        • Hair Colour (length and style too)
        • Background
        • Marital Status
        • Occupation
        • Personality
        • Likes / Dislikes
        • How do they act?
          • Stance
          • Movement quality
          • Body language
          • Gestures
          • Vocal tone - pitch, pace and volume
    • Costume, Hair and Make-up Design
      • Should support the set and props design  - suitable for intended context.
      • Should enhance the overall style of the piece to appeal to a target audience
      • REALIST VS SYMBOLIC
      • Should communicate a particular style, shape, function and colour for each character
      • Should link in a way to the style, shape or colour of original context design
    • Lighting Design, Sound Design and Special Effects
      • Should enhance the historical/ social/ cultural context of your interpretation
      • Should enhance the overall style of the piece
        • Must appeal to target audience
      • REALIST VS SYMBOLISM
      • Style of Lighting - range of lanterns and effects
      • Sound - live or recorded? Any special effects.
      • Remember to consider how your design reflects, or differs, from the original design available to the playwright/ director during the original era.
    • Performance Style and Form
      • Focuses on engaging the audience - what do you want the impact to be?
      • Dealing with the comedy
        • "Lysistrata" is a mix of old and new comedy.
          • Old - verbal wit and satire
          • New - physicality and slapstick
      • Majority of comedy originates within the choruses
        • How do you visualise your chorus?
          • Do they represent or reflect your audience?
            • Do they represent your audience's thoughts and feelings throughout the performance?
              • Do they echo the questions and individual responses of the audience?
                • Through appearance/ age/ status/ character?
    • Practitioners
      • Choose practitioner(s) to influence your interpretation
        • Which designers will influence your piece?
        • Stanislavski
        • Brecht
        • The practitioner you choose must be appropriate to your interpretation
    • Gender
      • "Lysistrata" would have been performed by an all male chorus to an audience mainly consisting of men.
        • Would you have an all-male cast? What are the reasons for your choice?
          • Consider +/- of this for a contemporary audience
        • Would you have an all- female cast? What are the reasons for your choice?
          • Consider +/- of this for a contemporary audience
    • Casting
      • Casting should be done carefully, considering how each character needs to be conveyed to an audience in order to enhance your interpretation
      • Casting should be appropriate to your view for characters.
        • Casting should link to the function and impact of the main characters and chorus in the play's original context
    • Justification of Ideas
      • As a director, you must be able to justify your creative decisions, and your overall interpretation
        • Class Discussions
        • Verbal Presentations
        • You need to explain/ give reasons for your choices.
          • Particular focus on  the historical period and era/setting of your interpretation
            • How does this speak today?
            • Can you answer the question: What does my director's interpretation of "Lysistrata" say to an audience about the original text, its meaning and impact in Ancient Greece and most importantly, its meaning in today's society?
  • Facial Expressions
    • How do they act?
      • Stance
      • Movement quality
      • Body language
      • Gestures
      • Vocal tone - pitch, pace and volume
  • Chorus are more presentational but they still have to represent real people within the context of the play's central debate.
    • Characters
      • Your directorial interpretation of characters should make them appealing.
        • This means that the audience will remain engaged with the plot and the message of the play.
      • Your characterisation should match and compliment the context of your interpretation
        • It should also make sense in the original era.
      • How does each character enhance the overall feel / style / mood of the piece?
        • What effect should each character have on a contemporary audience?
      • Characters should be realist.
        • Age
        • Height
        • Build
        • Hair Colour (length and style too)
        • Background
        • Marital Status
        • Occupation
        • Personality
        • Likes / Dislikes
    • How does your presentation of each character link to the way that the character would have been presented in the original context?
  • Choose practitioner(s) to influence your interpretation
    • Which designers will influence your piece?
    • Stanislavski
    • Brecht
    • The practitioner you choose must be appropriate to your interpretation
  • Which practitioner will help you to achieve the intended impact of the original context?
    • Ensure your decision is justified against the original context
      • A mixed gender cast is probably the most appropriate choice for a contemporary audience. Do you agree with, or challenge, this?

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