Wednesday, 30 April 2014

principles of acting

Adding movement and stage blocking to our Agamemnon scripts

bold words= my lines

Today we focused on page 17, we carried on from where we left off from page 16 where we all scatter out from "disband the fleet" from there we all stand there until the line "he chose his course" we all move in together for the sacrifice scene with Zoe who plays Agamemnon's daughter, she needs to be lifted by some of our classmates I'm not one of them but I stand there and react to what's going on in the sacrifice spread round the front of the stage whilst the others are lifting Zoe as if she is on the sacrifice table, I have to act like I cant do anything my hands are tied if the gods need a sacrifice then it needs to be done this explains the line where we all shout "wait" as if its a second thought like we don't need to do this or do we do this It's not really the right thing to do I really emphasise this part in my voice and facial expressions to show how I think my character would react like, we continue reacting to what's happening with Agamemnon sacrificing his daughter until my line cues her death and Zoe falls backwards and the other classmates behind her catching her the cue line is "her murderers with, why?" this line basically is Iphigenia (the daughter) pleading to the others with why me why did I have to die she is pleading for them to do something to save her from the sacrifice. when the line "the vision passes I see no more" we all scatter out again from our old positions into our new ones and whilst Clytemnestra says her part about how she is so angry about the sacrifice and how her daughter didn't deserve to die she had so much to live for whilst this happens the rest of us react to her words feeling bad and how she shouldn't of died and we could of saved her, with this part I really tried to put a lot of emotion in my face as if I'm looking back on a memory of the daughter being killed and showing the disgust and guilt on my face also grabbing my neck as if remembering them slitting her throat I really feel in my character at this point in the script, as if I've really experienced this horrific sacrifice. At the end of Clytemnestra's part she moves round to the other side to make an announcement as if she's about to make an announcement, us as the villagers we are being two faced and sarcastic towards her but some others like myself are really interested in what she has to say about the news of the war maybe or something else important, my line is "shh!" I really put emphasis on this line as if I'm really angry that they're talking because I want to hear what she has to say, after this part of the script Clytemnestra says "our armies have taken troy" we all react to being relieved and happy that the war is over and our soldiers are coming back from the 10year war some of us ask when or how she simply answers "the very night before this glorious day" we all shout a tribal shout as if cheering on and celebrating that we've won the war. we then stop from here we chose to end the script from here because we didn't have enough rehearsals to finish of the rest of the script because of the variety show and it was appropriate and the story still made sense to end it here. We then went through what we did before and practiced it all together. I loved this script it really made me come out more with my acting also to experiment with my character, its taught me to not be embarrassed and to just try my best to show emotions both facially and physically its important that we try and do both, its definitely helped me pick up new skills that will help me improve my acting later on in future scripts and characters. I really put a lot of emotion Into my character to how they are feeling in the sacrifice and guilt parts of the scripts I think this helped me develop the character more to almost get a feel of what they're feeling, to show there emotions and how they might of felt in certain scenes and made my character and performance effective to an audience, my lines I made into my own I stuck with  the original words I just added my own developed character to it and add in the themes of that section of the script and already my lines have more character and emotions to them., which will make them more appealing to an audience.

principles of acting

Thursday 6th march

Adding movement and stage blocking to our Agamemnon scripts

Bold words= my lines

In today’s lesson we focused on the boat scene in the Agamemnon script page 16, this scene is about how Agamemnon and his army are waiting in their boat for the sea to pick up its pace and let them travel faster. In this scene I play more of a physical role as the boat. Me and other class mates who have to be the boat our job is to sway back and forth creating an image to our audience that the sea is calm and steady. as a part of the ensemble who plays the boat we found it quite difficult at first to find out which way the left side of the boat was going to the right side, so we had to communicate with each other and figure out which way we was going, after we figured it out we wrote it in our scripts to learn and remember, we then started to sway slowly throughout the paragraph Francis speaks its from the line “where is the captain of the fleet” to line of “hoist yourself to helm and mast” this is where we pick up the paste of the swaying as if hope comes through a storm  and we sway faster and rougher showing the danger of the storm and how its picked up from being gentle. It was very interesting to do this because I’ve never really done anything physical like this for a scene with my body and it was very interesting that I was a part of the boat and helping explain the story. Whilst we are picking up the paste we all have to say our lines loudly and panicky as if we are a part of the storm, one of my lines is “the seas like vast shaking mountains” I think this is one of my favourite lines because I try and put as much panic and worry in to my voice also I really try to project my voice and I really try to show how bad the storm is. The fast swaying stops as soon as the line “top sail smacks barque” is said we all stop and when Francis says his first line “what must I do what remedy” we all turn in to stare at Francis in a circle around him, I like to think of this part as peer pressuring him to sacrifice his daughter to repay for lives that were lost, one of my lines are “a maid must bleed” I try to put as much emphasis into this line as possible as if I’m stressing to Agamemnon that this has to be done, the whole class apart from Francis shouts to him “do it” we all stand and stare at Francis and Shayne who play Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, she is asking him not to do it and warning him if he does she will get revenge on him. He says he must do the sacrifice otherwise disaster will follow if he doesn’t, Francis then says “disband the fleet” and we all scatter out to our new positions around the room. From there we went through the boat scene which at first was difficult but we pulled through as an ensemble and the scene came through beautifully. This lesson I learned that using our body’s in a performance is vital to help setting a scene but also more interesting to an audience and helps create more of a character, vocally I learned to put a lot of emphasis and try and think as a character how would I say this line or feel about it so I can show it in my facial expressions, this is good for development of my character because I feel like I'm learning more of my character each day. This lesson I learned using tone of voice and body language help incline to the audience what is happening and what my character is saying or trying to do. this is what I love about my character it has so many ranges of personality so its almost like playing multiple roles and different feelings at one point which helps showcase my acting more showing the different roles I am able to do. This style of theatre really helps showcase actors abilities physically and the script just adds to showcasing our talents as an ensemble.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

developing physical theatre

Sarah Brown
Edgar Allen Poe's A Tell-Tale Heart
What worked well with the stage blocking and movement to the script of A Tell-Tale Heart?

One of the things that worked really well for me was the build-up of the scene, with all of the pieces of furniture moving slowly and building up faster and faster for them to all melt away next to the old mans bed to create angels and demons. To develop this first part of the script I would of tried to make it more obvious that there were angels there because it seemed that the demons were more noticeable in the scene, so maybe I would have had the angels do gestures like prayer hands or looking up to god, just something to let the audience know they are demons AND angels looking over at the old man. I think the narrator (the main character) who I was playing could have had more stage blocking like maybe more sneaking around the room staring oddly at the old man as if inspecting the eye, this would of made it more interesting and showed maybe how afraid and nervous the narrator was when near the eye, it would also show how vulnerable the old man was in this situation he’s partially blind, and its pitch black so he wouldn’t be able to see the narrator, I also would of have me walk off more in a sneaky way when the old man wakes up on the eighth night as if I’m still being precocious that the old man can sense me there so I can murder him.

Developing physical theatre

Sarah Brown
Edgar Allen Poe's A Tell-Tale Heart
Working in groups for the staging and blocking of parts of A Tell-Tale Heart
1. (About the old man’s heart) "it grew quicker and quicker"
we wanted someone to play the old man who is laying on the floor and a person playing the narrator watching him sleeping and we want some people to get the sticks and make a large heart and make it pulsate slowly and then grow quicker as the narrator of the story grows closer to the old man and then play out the murder scene, we want the narrator to read the whole paragraph during the scene. Starting from that line “it grew quicker and quicker” up to end line of "his eye would trouble me no more" and for the pulsating of the heart to just suddenly stop representing the old man’s death.
2. "As the beating of a drum stimulates the soldier"
We again wanted someone to play as the old man asleep on the bed and someone playing the narrator watching him and for there to be some other classmates to stand in an orderly line and stand straight and pretend to be soldiers, but as the old man lies there and becomes uncomfortable we want them to start marching and pretending to play the drums with the sticks, to represent how the old man’s heart is becoming anxious. Whilst this is happening maybe for the narrator to shout out the line "as the beating of a drum stimulates the soldier" or read out the start line “it was open—wide, wide open” up to the finishing line "as the beating of a drum stimulates the soldier" and we then want to narrator to play out the murder scene and end when it is clear the old man is dead.
3."Because death in approaching him"
A person playing the old man lying on the floor sleeping and as he's sleeping a person playing the narrator standing there watching and we want some class mates to play death and approach the bed slowly and in a very sinister kind of way gather round the bed and maybe touch the old man or just circle round him at this point we want the old man to look anxious or make it seem like a bad dream as if he is sensing something there.

developing physical theatre

Sarah Brown
Edgar Allen Poe's A Tell-Tale Heart
 What is the story A Tell-Tale Heart about?


 The narrator an unnamed character starts by addressing the reader that he’s not mad but nervous, he then says that he’s going to tell a story that will defend his sanity but also confess to a murder in which he killed an old man. He loves the old man but hates a part of him in which he is afraid of his ‘evil eye’, he thinks that killing him will save the man from the ‘evil eye’ which shows he doesn’t realise he’s insane. The narrator explains that for eight nights he stares at the old man when he is sleeping by the old man’s bedroom door inspecting his eye. On the eighth night the old man wakes from his sleep inquiring about a noise he heard he doesn’t see the narrator or anything else, the narrator describes to the reader how the old man’s heartbeat quickens because he is afraid the old man goes back to sleep thinking it’s nothing only to be woken again by the narrator who then kills him with the old mans bed but not without a cry from the old man. The narrator then cuts the old man’s body into pieces and hides him beneath the floor boards; the narrator explains that he is no longer afraid of the eye or nervous as if he has been cured. All of a sudden the police are knocking at the old man’s door inquiring about a noise complaint made by a neighbour who had heard a cry or a scream coming from the house, the narrator who is very confident and no longer nervous allows them to conduct a thorough search of the house and the bedroom of the old man. He allows them to sit in the bedroom for a while and answers there questions confidently the police are convinced that he has done no wrong but whilst they are talking amongst themselves and laughing away the narrator has a break down saying to himself he can hear the old man’s heartbeat becoming louder and louder and tears the room apart and confesses to the murder of the old man.


Love and hate is the two themes in a tell-tale heart, in a part of the story the narrator confesses that he loves the old man but hates his evil eye, which is why he dismembers the old man’s body, to separate the old man from his evil eye. His delusional state only lets him focus on the hate for the eye instead of the love he has for the old man.



He is in a very nervous paranoid state throughout parts of the story, his state also causes trouble for him to realise what’s real and what is reality, and he has a sort of love for the old man but hates his evil eye it makes him more nervous and paranoid. The Mysterious narrator says that he has intense hearing and later on in the story explains that he can hear a ringing noise, these are symptoms of tinnitus which can cause hallucinations. It seems that the character truly doesn’t understand his own insanity.

The old man

The old man has corneal ulcer which is an infection in the eye which can decrease you’re vision, this is why the old man struggles to see the narrator through the door on the eight night that he hears a noise because he is slightly blind. The old man seems to trust the narrator or perhaps the narrator is a carer for the old man, because the old man gives the narrator the run of the house. The old man is wealthy because the narrator states at one point “for his gold I had no desire” the narrator must be his carer if he knows of the old man’s money and has the run of the house it would make sense because he’s blind he may need help with certain things around the house especially since he’s old.

The three policemen

They don’t play a major role but they are what drive the plot to the end, they are wise on staying around the house because they end up seeing what the pressure does to the narrator and how he confesses to murdering the owner (the old man) of the house.

The neighbour

The neighbour has a small but massive role to the story, the neighbour shows us that the neighbour and the old man are isolated from the community, we can see this from when the narrator is worried that a neighbour will hear a noise but why not anyone else like the street or the town? It also proves that the character doesn’t go to the police that often otherwise the police wouldn’t have bothered going to the old man’s house. I think the neighbour is a sort of friend to the old man because why are they both isolated from the community which therefore states there must be some form of communication between the neighbour and the old man.
Sparknotes, 2013, poesshortstories, , accessed 12/1/14
Shmoop, 2014, shmoopuniversity, , accessed 12/1/14

developing phyiscal theatre

Sarah Brown
Edgar Allen Poe's A Tell-Tale Heart
Who is Edgar Allan Poe?

  • He was an author, American poet and an editor
  • Gothic fiction was what he was known for
  • Most of his themes were based on death, the effect you have of discomposure, being buried alive and the reanimation of the dead and mourning.
  • Beside gothic fiction and horror he also wrote, satires, humour stories and hoaxes.
  • When writing he mainly stuck to one theme and not a variety of themes.


  • Born 1806 and died 1849
  • His parents were both actors
  • He is the middle child of his siblings he is the 2nd of 3 children
  • Within 3 years of his life his parents passed away
  • He was adopted by a rich merchant who sold tobacco and his wife
  • Studied at the university of Virginia, but struggled to pay his fees
  • At 18 years of age he published his first book
  • In the year 1845 he published ‘the raven’ this poem was what made his name known and what made him big

Famous publications

  • The Masque of the Red Death (1842)
  • The Cask of Amontillado (1847)
  • The Tell-Tale Heart (1843)

Developing physical theatre

Sarah Brown
Edgar Allen Poe's A Tell-Tale heart
How did we as a class adapt it into a script?

before we got to setting up the scenes or any stage blocking our 'A tell-Tale Heart' we highlighted the speech of the narrator (internal thoughts), speech of the old man and echoes (stage whisper). it was a long process but only took one lesson to do this made it easier to set up lines and stage blocking for our scenes we devised. once we started devising the scene with the lines we where given I wrote down stage directions or what I was meant to do during or before the lines, I also wrote other students stage directions so I would know my cue lines or when to start saying my lines after a specific important movement. All of this annotating really helped me with understanding where I'm meant to be or what I'm supposed to do.
(pictures with email)

Monday, 21 April 2014

developing physical theatre

Sarah Brown
Edgar Allen Poe's A Tell-Tale Heart
lesson two of Adding stage blocking and movement to 'a tell tale heart' script

Todays lesson we went over the part we did in lesson one, we wanted someone to be the mysterious character 'the narrator' to be watching the old man sleeping because that was the scene we was acting out, I volunteered to play the part of  the narrator because I think the character is so interesting and different I was really interested in the role, also we didn't know whether the narrator was a man or woman because it is never revealed in the story, there would still be a clock because Skye was playing the other clock so the build up was still there, I had to stare at the old man for a bit before the build up was happening and say my lines that were given to me, I start of with the line "it is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain;" up to line of "thus rid myself of the eye forever"  the furniture is moving at this point calm and steady,  I had to build up my voice with the building movement of the bed furniture at this point I added more anger to my voice and slightly louder as if I was being irritated by something I think this showed  how mentally ill the character really was, I do all of this while saying the next lines "I undid just so much that single thin ray fell upon the vulture eye. And this I did for several long nights-every night just at midnight--but I found the eye was always closed; and so it was impossible to do the work; for it was not the old man who vexed me, but his evil eye"and as the furniture melted up to the bed to create demons and angels, I had to move closer. I carry on looking at the old man becoming louder and say the next lines "never before that night had I felt the extent of my powers--of my sagacity" I add more nervousness and anger to my movement and voice and said the next lines louder but not to point were I was shouting "I had my head in, and was about to open the lantern" up to the line of "the old man sprang up in bed crying out" I stop immediately and Reece who plays the old man says the lines as I walk past the bed staring at him because he cant see me that well "it is nothing but the wind" up to the line "it is merely a cricket which has made a single chirp". throughout this scene I tried to stare and look as sinister as I could I also wanted to try and show the need in my voice to get rid of the eye but also talk intrigued like my character is with the eye , that's why I wanted to go over the scene so I could get a feel of different ways I can be as my character, maybe there all weirdly calm on the outside but mentally unstable within, but I tried to make a sinister face as much as I could and work with what facial expressions I thought was needed and best fitted for the scene or what I was comfortable with.
We went through the scene multiple times so we could memorize the blocking and movement and the build up. I enjoyed this lesson because I loved the character I was playing, very mysterious and interesting, rehearsing also really helped with getting into my character more and becoming comfortable within the scene.

developing physical theatre

Sarah Brown
Edgar Allen Poe's A Tell-Tale Heart
Lesson one of Adding stage blocking and movement to 'a tell tale heart' script

we started to build up the main scene of the mysterious character staring at the man sleeping, I was one of the clocks at first in the scene of the old mans bedroom, he is one of the main characters of the story. Physically to become a clock I had the help of the sticks that Miss. Day handed out to us which is what we used in one of our build up lessons before working on the script. Other students where pieces of furniture that you would find in a bedroom they also ha the help of sticks to create there shapes so it is easier for the audience to understand what object they are they were spread around the room placed like actual bedroom furniture. I had to use the sticks for the hands of the clock ticking around, my job as one of the clocks was too be the first ornament to make a noise or movement, other students which were other pieces of furniture had to follow after me by making a slow, quite noise or movement to start off, as I quickened moving the sticks and making a ticking noise the other parts of furniture had to quicken as well. But this all built up gradually it was not straight into a quick movement, after we are all moving fast and the movement has built up to its highest point we all melt to the side of the old mans bed, who is played by Reece Hodges he speaks the line of the old man inquiring about the noise to himself. we rehearsed this part throughout the lesson up to the end of the old mans lines so we could memorize the blocking and movement that was added.
this lesson helped me understand to how a scene should build up and have suspension in it, also shows how important and effective movement is in a scene.