The aim of the course is to teach all about producing a play, from idea/ text/story to performance.
What I teach students:
1-If you start form a story, read it, know it well then close the book. Theater is not literature. Free yourselves from what is written in the book.
2-Don't start by writing the script. It limits what can happen during the process of creation. Theater brings into the present what in the book can be narrated as happening in the past.
Act as though the events happen in the present, then free the language from what you are doing. The public sees what is happening, no need to repeat it in words.
3- Create the scenes and only after putting them together and having the first run from beginning to end, decide what will be finally said and write down the script.
4- Don't be afraid of frightening the children. Theater gives them the opportunity to face danger understand problematic situations without the risk of living through them. And they learn solutions, and ways of coping with them.
5-Since movement is the way of theater to communicate events and ideas, wear masks. Masks are great tools for acting in a more physical way, transferring expression to the torso and limbs rather than relying on the face as we do normally.
6-We will work with Shadow Theater and learn how to combine the technique with live acting. Shadows allow us to represent the realm of dreams, fantasy, other worlds etc. The 2D acting has its rules as well, and the vertical screen becomes a second playing area.
7- As we work also with Shadow Theater you will learn that light is not only for seeing the actors better. It has a role in the signaling the passage of time, of place, of going from world to world.
8-Children are a tough audience. They do not wait for the end patiently if the show bores them....you'll notice them moving around and looking everywhere but the stage.
9- Children don't need bright colors and a lot of movement. They need an experience that touches them, intellectually, aesthetically and emotionally, and it can come in a minimalist form, and in black and white.
10-Music plays a role as well, not just fill in the holes or make atmosphere. It can signal, just as lights can the realm of dreams, fantasy, other worlds, the passage of time, of place, of going from world to world. It can signal a character or a feeling.
11-Working towards a show will teach you the importance of the invisible actors: all the ones that are not on the stage. The play needs all those who paint, build, sew, connect electric cables etc. It is team work.
12-Chose a subject you care about. A play that touches someone leaves a memory for a long time, years, or a lifetime.
Below images from the show based on Where the Wild Things Are written by Maurice Sendak
Below images from The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson