In the first session of the Summer Term the Grand Arena Youth Theatre were excited to have welcomed some more new members. To help welcome our new members, drama practitioners, Fran & Alex directed games for our members to play. From these games members learned that clear communication is needed when working with others and that is it important to try everybody's strategies, ideas and tactics. These lessons learned will be extremely useful to them in the new term.
After having a group discussion about what they had learned from the games, Fran & Alex explained that the aim for this term would be for our members to create their own 5-7 minutes' performance for a showcase that will be held at the end of the term, reminding our members that 'quality' over 'quantity' is a lot better. Our members were then tasked with mind mapping their ideas for the showcase, making sure to include a name, having been split into small groups. When they were done, a representative stood up from each group to explain their groups idea for a performance. After this, the group then received feedback and questions from members to help them develop their ideas further.
The second session of the term focused on teamwork. Our members were asked to pair up with someone they hadn't worked with very much before. They would then work in this pair for the rest of the session. The first task they were set was to pick who was 'A' and 'B'. 'A' had to place their hand on top of 'B's', 'A' applying a downward pressure while 'B' applied an upward pressure. 'A' then had to lead 'B' around the room while keeping the pressure between their hands, after doing this for a while they then swapped roles. This task was done to build up trust between members and get them to think about working together. The group then discussed the task and talked about how the task got them to think about special awareness, trust, movement, watching and engaging with what their partner was doing. After this the group did the same task but this time 'A's' lead while 'B's' had their eyes closed. Again, the group then discussed how this task made them think about teamwork. As they could not hold hands, 'B's' could not just be pulled along and lead, making them think about where they were in relation to their partner.
The second task our members were set in their pairs was called 'Round, By & Through'.
Round = going around your partner
By = stepping past your partner
Through = going under your partners arm
Our members then used these movements to create a sequence of continuous movements. This task again helped to build up trust between members.
The third task our members were set in their pairs, was to face each other and move either their partners hand or their own and to keep doing this to make a continuous sequence. After they had done this, practitioner Alex then asked a member to walk around a pair with one of the pair following the member walking around the circle with their head. The group then had a discussion as to how the member walking around the pair had an effect on the relationship of the working pair. For this task, our senior members then explored the relationship of the pair in more depth, coming up with other ways they could change the way the sequence was done in order to alter the relationship between the pair. The seniors then had a discussion about how the small changes they had made could have such a big impact on the story that was being portrayed to the audience.
In their fourth session, our members looked at chair duets, which are performed by Frantic Assembly, a physical theatre group that choreographed the movement for "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time". Our members watched an example of Frantic Assembly's chair duets and after having a discussion with Fran and Alex, they then created their own chair duets in pairs. The purpose of this task was to be able to tell a story through body language and movement. At the end of the session our members then showed the rest of the group what they had created and received feedback.