Drama Scripted Coursework: Think of a story quickly and Cage birds. The practical work which we were assessed on, 12th May was a piece of scripted entitled, “Think of a story quickly!” by David Selbourne. This script covered themes of peer pressure, ostracism and conformity. There were three characters, one in which announces that she has a new boyfriend, this being Louisa played by Rosie. Automatically, the other two characters, Kathy played by Sarah and Jane, played by myself laugh hysterically and “poke fun” at Freddie Louisa’s new boyfriend. This teasing leads to tension between the three girls and a total rejection of Louisa.
In order to become totally in tune with my character I based myself upon someone I found very similar to my character and mirrored the way she spoke, she walked, the gestures she used, and her facial expression become an important part of Jane’s character. I did some observation on year 9 girls and also watched a few old “Grangehill” episodes, We also closely watched another Play, Cage birds. This play conveys a strong political message of conformity, rejection, indoctrination and liberation. The characters are depicted as having bird-like qualities, twitching and move weaving through each other speaking in a series of desultory mumblings.
It soon becomes clear that these are people who have been institutionalized and are perhaps very unstable. There is an unquestioned authority yet when a new one, the “wild one” enters the cage things are thrown into turmoil. Wild one refuses to accept the authority and pleads with the others to make a break for liberation. Wild one feels that the others have been indoctrinated by their ‘authority’ and begins to tempt them out of the cage yet eventually the ‘society’ surrounding this cage and its inhabitants rejects the outspoken new-comer and she is set upon and murdered. The play ends ambiguously in which the characters lurching towards another member of the group who begins to question the authority are perhaps about to murder her?
In comparison to “Think of a story quickly!” this also covers themes of conformity and rejection as Louisa is rejected due to her liking to the “revolting” Freddie in the same way as society in Cage birds reject the Wild One. Think of a Story is a naturalistic comedy whereas although there are humourous parts in “Cage birds” it is a non-naturalistic piece of a serious nature. In “Think of a story quickly” we deliberately set out levels in which the characters sat, Louisa being sat on the floor as she is being rejected and the other two sat of chairs or standing. In the same way, “Cage birds” uses levels to show the status of the authority as she stands tall and high and the rest at sitting or on a lower level than the authority.
There was little movement in “Think of a Story quickly” which was mainly standing up, sitting down and gesticulating yet in “Cage Birds there was much movement as the bird-like people weaved around aimlessly and the thrashing of the Wild One. The setting of cage birds is in an institute for the mentally ill and the setting for “Think of a Story Quickly” is in a school, the wild one sees the institute as a breach of freedom being tedious and the girls find school tedious as they so often state “schools so boring, I can’t stand it” In conclusion I feel that I learnt a great deal about spur of the moment improvisation and that I need to improve my voice skills. I found these plays enjoyable to study because of the contrast between them in the rather surreal “Cage birds” and the predictable yet funny “Think of a Story Quickly”, I did feel however I could have been a lot better.