Sunday, November 23, 2008

Physical Theatre?

Click on the title above and you will be there.  The music is called 'Dreamer,' by Toni Childs.   
The actors use one prop; a book.  This book allows them to dream of: crossing streams, being pirates, bullying a friend.  Pages get ripped, fences get peeped over and flowers are strewn.
One of the lines in the lyrics is: I sometimes run and chase the view. 
This kept repeating in my mind.  I thought that the use of the book was a way into dreaming and views.  They stand on it and peep over fences.  They dream.  Good and bad.
Starring: Resa, Michelle, Ceci, Andrea, Alyssa, Alisa, Namita and Sofia. Dream.  

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Tina! meets Comus

I FELL in love with a band 30 years ago. Comus.  They were unlike anything I had ever heard.  I saw them 5 times in London.  Then they disappeared.  Over the years I caught scraps of news about them but no sighting.  They were another lost band. Dead.
Out of the Scandinavian mists this year came a festival called Meloboat 08.  And Comus were going to play.  I could NOT believe it.  Impossible. They did though.  It is on YouTube. 
MySpace too. Click the title.  Suddenly they are alive again. You can hear them in a third way.  We have chosen their music to be in Tina! the play about Faust.  They are both dark and scary.   It is wonderful that people have waited and discovered them these last 30 years.  Enjoy.

Tina meets Comus

This LP, as it then was, is the first album of this extraordinary band. They played at my college in London in 1972. I was totally taken with them. I went to as many concerts as possible. They were a combination of English folk, Richie Havens, classical music, punk, gothic and something never heard before. They disappeared. Occassional sighting on forums and Amazon. People asking what happened to them; bowing in my dorection when they heard that I had seen them live. Then in 2008 they surfaces on a boat in Sweden. All together but one. And they sang the whole of the first album. You can hear it on Youtube. And now there is a page on MySpace. And then there music went into Tina! Scary music for a scary scene. Enjoy.

Friday, May 30, 2008

At the cliff's edge

There is something perfect about this photo. The light, the perspective, the sense of emptiness. Where did the driver go? What is the significance of the split in the white line? And for the first time since taking this photograph in April, I see myself in the mirror. What else is there full of symbolic menace? It is the start of an Antonioni movie [The Passenger?]. It is the image at the start of my next play, Tina! It is the end of my memoirs! It is ...well? What do you think?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Finding the next Play

The next school play is one of those exciting and excrutiating tasks a drama teacher has to do. It can be a great freedom. No one tells you what to pick. No one insists on a musical. No worries. Well that is what has happened to me. There are 3 questions. How many kids want to be in it? What play has something for everyone and a new genre to challenge us? Is anyone going to be offended? The kids worry about the first. The teacher worries about the second. And the Principal always asks the third. For this coming year the favourite is a pastiche of Marlowe's FAUST. We found it on a Times web page of resources. Someone calling himself Mad Dog [ no it can't be a woman] is the author. That is all we know. Attempts to find Mad Dog have not been a success. Whoever he is, he writes well. It is a joy to read. So 'Tina!' by Mad Dog. It has something doesn't it? [painting = Vision of Faust by Falero]

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Out of Africa

We are approaching African Theatre. We have identified elements of common use: dance, music and mask. Two years ago we were fortunate to see a version of the Oresteia set in a South African township. It had chant, dance, singing and musical instruments. But most memorable; the throat singing. The play is called Molora and I have written about it here, a year or so ago. I enjoy the connections that slowly emerge. South Africa, throat singing, Mongolia, Korea, mask. Then a parent asks, "Can a student create a puppet theatre?' We look at puppet making and African stories. Something is beginning to connect. [ the photo above is from Tatyana Baganova's troupe ]

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Stefan Sagmeister

I stumbled across this designer when Amazon sent me details of his latest book. Then I watched a 15 minute lecture he gave. Then I was hooked. He talks about happiness and design. Read and be happy:- STEFAN SAGMEISTER (born 1962 in Bregenz, Austria) is a graphic designer. Designed album covers for Lou Reed, the Rolling Stones, David Byrne, Aerosmith and Pat Metheny. THINGS I HAVE LEARNED IN MY LIFE SO FAR Complaining is silly. Either act or forget. Being not truthful works against me. Helping others people helps me. Everything I do always comes back to me. Money does not make me happy. Travelling alone is helpful for a new perspective on life. Assuming is stifling. Keeping a diary supports my personal development. Trying to look good limits my life. Worry solves nothing. Material luxuries are best enjoyed in small does.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

H + G

This show opens on Thursday 20th March at 5.30 p.m. in the Black Box at YIS. Erika Bleyl has taken a well-known children's story and politicised it. She mixes agit-prop and song into an original script.. She is inspired by the work of Dario Fo, the Italian playwright and Nobel Prize winner for Literature. This is another original show at YIS and furthers her experience of IBT. It is 20 minutes of Theatre. Reviews and thoughts after the show. Break a leg. [ The photo was taken as the sun fell low in the sky at 5 p.m. Perfect.]

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Mt Fuji

The nicest spring I had was a winter in Japan. On a clear day one can see Fuji-san from school. And yet we have ignored it in IB work.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The IB syllabus

Good day. After a silence of many months it seems a bit risky to start again with a piece of writing about the IB syllabus. Apologies. But for the 3 or 4 of you who want to know more; here it is. I have tried to put some examples of what it all means, in practice. IB THEATRE • We began a new syllabus in 2007. • There are a number of changes. • We investigate three areas: Theatre in the Making = how do I make a set design, costume, stage flat.....???? Theatre in Performance = come to my 10 minute show about Amnesty International on the roof. Theatre in the World = I am researching Mime performance in Paraguay. It is about witchcraft. Assessment is in four areas: External Assessment 1 Research Investigation : How does vaudeville entertain old folks in up-state New York? SL 1500-1750 words HL 2000-2500 words With supporting visual material 2 Practical Performance Proposal - I am making a play based on the painting of Hiroshige [see pic. above] IBO offers a variety of stimuli HL/SL 1000-1200 words Internal Assessment 3 Theatre Performance & Production Presentation - I am doing a mini TPPP ; 10 minute talk about my first three months. Oral presentation of the 2 years, with visuals SL 20 minutes HL 30 minutes 4 Independent Project Portfolio - I am devising a 20 minute play based on the first scene of Macbeth; now set in IZU. Investigating something not taught in class SL 2000 words HL 3000 words. SL = standard HL = higher