All 13 entries tagged Medea
March 15, 2005
Writing about an entry you don't have permission to view
...seemed to go down well
Despite forgetting lines up until the minute of performance (yes, while people were coming in I was still in Sophie's projection booth looking at our script…at least that's my story!) the argument went as planned. It was very intense with quickfire reponses, a lot of shouting and some angry words!
I think good points of the arguement were:
The fact that it underlined the intention of the piece after the enigmatic opening by signalling the complete divide between men and women
People could identify with nearly every point that was said in the argument and it made the spectator confront their own feelings about the opposite sex
It drew the audience into the piece away from a mere viewing point – they were challenged to back us up or shout down points that were brought up
It brought a different dynamic to the piece because it was a world away from classical script or any traditional dramatic qualities...Me and Zoe tried to give the argument depth and merit whilst still keeping the raw energy and irrationality that a simple argument between a couple would contain...There was swearing and the frustration at the other person with simple walking away in disgust
It showed the stupidity of much of the anger and the banality of many of the complaints and this was emphasised as it was in such close proximity to the spectator with such intensity…Becuase they were drawn into the argument the spectator was also forced to question whether their own complaints were stupid like these were. The effects of trying to get one-up on the other person and undermining them (eg. when i responded to zoe shouting about my memory loss 'what did you say??') also demonstrated this.
Responses To The Argument –
I was happy with the feedback we got to the argument....
It was said that it was realistic and intense and brought a nice dynamic to the piece.
People commented on how they felt drawn into the dispute by involuntarily agreeing with the points raised and therefore they had added interest in the piece as they felt it affected them.
The comedic effect of the piece went down well with some laughter and this helped to create a them against us scenario.
The loud argument was effective in that it provided a nice contrast with the quiet, eerie beiginning and the chilling nature of the end video and peaceful last tableau.
Audience shown into studio by Hannah and Ian, sending guys left of the brick wall barrier and gals right....lights are off.
Edward's audio introduction begins - it lasts for two minutes. As it progresses the installation begins to 'come alive':
Light revealing art collage
Lights in the booths come on revealing me on the guy's side and zoe on the gal's in neutral poses and wearing clearly masculine (suit) and feminine (skirt) dress
Me and Zoe play the booth sound clip featuring famous speeches which clash with Ed's audio clip creating an interesting and mildly overwhelming effect for the audience
As the sound clip ends the Chorus begins their chanting and movement at the end of the performance speech. They sing, then dance and then recite parts of the text until they reach a crescendo - taking off their masks to reveal very interesting and effective face markings
Whilst this is going on the booths lights fade and the booth sounds are switched off so the focus turns to the Chorus
This is also accompanied by the projection screens which come on as this progressies - they show an image of brutality (again with male bias on one side and female on t'other) in stylised movement shadows lit from behind the screen.
The Chorus finishes and there is a moment of refelction for the audience to take in the art collage or the installation in general. Me and Zoe then slowly made our way in amongst the spectators (crowded around the hanging collage) and Zoe started the argument, with me immediately responding....
the argument took the form of snidey comments about the opposite sex, face to face slagging off, trying to undermine the other with jokes and straight insults and also looking for back up from our 'side' (our gender group) and in this way we tried to mirror a real argument
The arguement ends with us shouting that we want to communicate with each other - at this moment the Medea Film comes on.
The film had men and women carrying out the same practices (walking, standing and reciting texts) and interchanging. In this way it questioned preconceptions and standards of each sex. The text used concerned the cruelty and sensitivity of each sex.
As the film carried on me and zoe, who at first were angry and insular, walked toawrds the film, as if drawn to it. Our body language became more open and less angry and, as the film drew to its conclusion we stodd on either side of the screen staring at each other
This film then sequed into Ian and Rhys' film concerning childhood....The film showed children playfighting and pictures of family happiness. As well as reminding the audience of how this family has been torn apart and the cruelty of the situation it also brought in the idea of Medea and Jason's inner child being released in this argument.
As the film progressed me and zoe moved closer to each other, becoming affectionate. The images of children framed us as we began kissing and then a sheet came down off the catwalk which the Chorus wrapped around us. We moved onto the floor and became covered by the sheet with the film projection moving to be projected on the couple. Therefore these scenes of childhood were clearly linked with this live performance
The film ended with parts of the text recited by an anonymous voice and this final scene on the floor. The film ended and the spectators filtered out.
To bring the audience away the booth lights came on, as did the booth soundclips which reminded the audience of the universal themes we focussed on (equality, feminism etc)
March 14, 2005
In our final run up to the piece we did a quick run through (with outside advice from one Mr Denard – thanks alot kid! …
Me and Zoe rehearsed our argument, forgot words, shouted a lot etc….
We tried to create a real sense of universal anger between the sexes whilst still maintaining an amount of underlying affection this came from me trying to joke with her and accidental smiles between the two parties.....Hoever we tried to conveyed real anger and aggression that got worse and worse. In our rehearsals we tried to make the transitions between points as smooth and natural as possible so it seemed like a real argument whilst still getting in all of our complaints. By the end our points were really quite nasty and we felt we had done well in that we would easily convey tensions between the two sexes
The booths were a constantly changing element.
I felt they were necessary as we had to have as many different elements and mediums in the piece to give the spectator a total sensory experience and keep them engaged constantly. Though they went from walk in booths with headphones > walk in booths with directional speakers > mere decoration with sound coming out to intrigue they ended up as the base for the protagonist (i stood in my booth at the start, zoe in hers).....The work Ian and Owen and others had done to dress them up meant they perfectly framed us and created an effective picture for when the spectators entered and perfectly encapsulated the main focus of the piece. We had sound coming out from them which would draw audience around the space - though this final thing was only decided at the last minute!
We had a problem with the audience moving too far into the performance space (into the video area)
We changed the chorus position to block this off and it also made them the main focus of the whole performance as they were in a traditional front focus place (ie in front of the eyes of the spectator rather than in and around like the collage and me and zoe)
Owen pointed out the movement of the two tableaus behind the screens was at different speeds
We decided that both should move in a more slow, stylised way to keep with the dramatic, darker, eerie nature of the installation and so this was just a matter of conference between Rhys (representing male brutality) and Sophie (representing female evil)
Everyone was very proactive and got involved with each element, and i made a concerted effort to try and keep updated with everyone's progressand checking to see who needed a hand with anything..
However, it would be fair to say that my main achievements and efforts in the group were:
The opening introduction featuring Ed Greig describing the play's themes in layman's terms (and with a male bias)
This made a good opening to the piece because:
-it set up an instant divide between men and women
-told those not familiar with the piece a bit about it
-immediately set up a bridge between the classical and modern as Edward talked about the Tragedy using modern terms and opinions "she was a bit of a psycho"
-it also created a nice dramatic opening because it was eerie and slow burning and allowed the audience to come to terms with the surroundings and have a clear start to the piece despite it not being a traditional performance. The nature of the clip was that it was fairly engaging and weird so it kept them interested and also on the backfoot and curious as to how the piece was going to unravel…..
The ten minute sound clip that brought in issues of feminism and equality
Though me and Ian originally thought this might be used in full from speakers throughout this soon became obviously unworkable. I was quite happy with the way it was used in the performance….coming from booths occupied my examples of female and male (zoe and myself)...was effective as it drew the audience towards these booths (it was our intention to get the audience moving and investigating things for themselves).
It meant that the audience only heard little bits which was our intention (to create a different experience for each spectator) and also made them think about issues outside of the specifics of Medea Vs Jason (using, as it did, clips of Margaret Thatcher, faminist authors, Germian Greer, abortion clinics, US senators etc)
These two pieces of work were conducted with Mr Ian Carter
and you can hear our masterful work thanks to the wonders of twenty-first century technology (ignore the part where it says 'Ian Carter's work!!!!! Top two are us too, bottom two are Ian and FleeceRhyyyyyyyyyyyyyssssssssssssssssss
The second half of my 'personal journey' was working closely alongside BingBongTheRothelite (jamesrothwell to you) in opposition (and amicable collective working) with Zoe, Sophie and SarahDeeks.
We created a contemporary performance piece that was an argument between men and women exposing the preconceptions andf typical complaints from both sexes. They went from humourous and silly to more serious truths that caused universal rifts between the sexes.
Me and Rothelite's list has been split into sections to denote the seriousness of each point, and the progression we thought the argument should take
When we were done carefully considering the most effective points we worked with 'The Girls' to match up similar complaints and work out a coherent arguement structure using their list
I believe the arguements are good because they are familiar, universal complaints and also bring the themes of Medea into the contemporary arena…with our complaints (like The Girls levelling against Boys that we are insensitive) mirroring Medea's arguments against Jason in the text.
In the build up to our performace i felt that the working dynamics in our group was the best it had been. Every member of the groups was ready to lend a hand or volunteer to complete a task whilst allowing each section to have the time to polish and hone their pieces….
We had a couple of quick walk through rehearsals but the nature of the piece meant that we couldnt really properly create the experience before the actual event.
Our technical support team(!) did an absolutely sterling job creating design effects that i felt were essentail to the success of the piece.
Though we had some solid, lengthy performance elements i think that the nature of an installation piece is smaller elements that can maintain interest for the audience. This is because, though we were creating a piece that did have a loose linear narrative there were moments that were not part of this so the spectator has to have elements to interest them. These included the curtains with male and female signs, the booths on the side of the stage that added a differetn dimension with light and the doorways and other things.
We came up with a definite structure for the piece and assigned a job to everyone but we were constantly changing the structure in order to maximise interest and effectiveness for the audience.
March 11, 2005
I was very proud, everyone excelled themselves!
March 09, 2005
Me Geth and Rotelite have been trying to contact every single Drama member to tell 'em of the schedule thing…just cos we're bored and plus cos we needed to.
Basically Sam changed the rehearsal times on his own and told everyone then sort of squared it with Hugh later and unfortunately for our group that wern't too good cos we werent consulted and I have a train booked that means I can't be here until 11 and Holly cannae do it either (she is ill, really ill)
So Sam has been a gent and helped us change it back to the original and even offered to pick me up from London tonight so I could make the rehearsal tomorrow. I s'pose we just all wanna put on the best show we can!!!
Anyway, our trip was rather exciting….we slide 'crude' notes under Elle's door, watched a film in bed with Zoe (briefly), talked about aubergines with Helen and found Pidge unavailable and shouting from her room – needless to say she sounded rather 'occupied'.
Here is our fun sheet that gave us so much joy:
There's been a mix up
Kate Brennan will be informed
Original schedule to be adhered to please…..
Medea in at nine
Jason in at eleven
Jack, Geth, Roth, Sam etc…
March 03, 2005
For The Rothelite:
Explosions and guns....
see Roth's blog for our work…our task was to try and create a division between the genders during the piece and, judging by the debates in our workshop (women on one side, men + hannah on t'other) our lists were effective….
woman's list (ours is better!)
February 27, 2005
Today we made a lot of progress in our installation piece.
Where before i was confident people would produce excellent work, but was unsure of the structure or the interest of the piece, now i am sure that we have an overall vision and a goal that were are aiming for.
Firstly it should be said that me and Ian (after lengthy, yet exciting, hours over his computer) have finished our sound clips.
Following our introduction clip that features orchestral music and a synopsis of the play in laymans' terms we then created a ten minute clip that brought the OPPOSITION between men and women in the play into the realms of debate. For this we used the sound clips that me sarah and zoe had acquired on the 'streets' by questioning people who had no real sense of the play what they thought of the themes.
We layered on top famous and familiar clips that would immediately make the audience understand this theme of man vs woman and the rights of both. These included:
David Blankenorn on Civil Liberty
Germaine Greer,Fay Weldon and Margaret Thatcher on feminism
Sound bytes from a book entitled Young Women, Feminism & The Future
Clips from The Center For Bio-Ethical Reform on the argument over abortion
The Futureheads' Stupid And Shallow, bringing in the question of gender superiority
When we all came together for a group discussion The Rothelite and myself expressed our concern that the interest would fizzle out slowly during the piece.
it was also decided that our overall concept should be made far more clear, removing the ambiguity of the piece, and that we should really exploit the battle of the sexes.
After a PLETHORA of ideas we came up with this stage plan:(thanks to ricardo for some awesome labelling)
The things we came up with include:
The audience coming into the space, and penned in by the doorway somehow. It is pitch black
'Ed's Intro' (as it shall be known) comes on, introducing the ideas of the play. As it goes on (two minutes) parts of the installation light up, coming to life (art, booths, lights)
When all the lights are up and the sound is over, the audience - either by video, or more likely sound - is told how to proceed. Lads right, lasses left!
The pathway is mainly divided by the double sided grand collage which incorporates elements of news articles, classical art etc. On one side there is a female bias; male bias on t'other.
Flanking the collage are the Chorus who introduce the ideas of the play using song and dance and body.....they are masked, as are the other performers who control sound, light, film etc
At the end of each pathway are screens with light projections and silhouettes, creating mood etc and showing interesting images.
As the audience look at the chorus, art work, lights etc a performer on each side of the barrier act. They are Jason and Medea and battle through the canvas verbally bringing up sex issues etc. This is reinforcing the battle nature of the piece.
Also included in the pathway on each side is a small dark booth containing a directional speaker. I like the idea of the audience members going in with curiosity and actually engaging with what is going on. Playing in them will be me and Ian's long clip that is all about contemporary sex issues. In the booth there could also be physical or visual elements..but not sure!
When the audience have fully engaged with all the pathway goings on the two light screens with lift up….and the film will come on.
This will be a film showing man versus women and interchanging poses etc, questioning the nature of both the sexes. There will also be dialogue – inaudible at first – from the text…culminating in the final dramatic scene between jason and medea.
The film will segue into images of kids playing nicely and then go into red spots. As the film progresses (four minutes?) Jason and Medea will converge towards the screen, watching with curiousity.
As the children come up they will get closer, ending up embracing and kissing
The Chorus will then take down the sheet that the film has been shown on slowly and, as Jason and Medea embrace, wrap it round them, until the couple end up together on the floor (in bed)
This puts the emphasis on the blame and guilt of these two, and the film's images will be projected now onto Jason and Medea.