Our performance was a socio-political play as we explored the social and legal implications of taking a foster child away from the home that she grew up in and giving her back to her biological mother at the mother’s requests without taking her requests and views on the situation into account. Socio-political plays discuss and delve into issues in society which can have social and political effects in the society which we live in.
The genre forces people to question what they think about certain subjects and can make them re-think their ideas on certain subjects concerning society. Our performance is not naturalistic as we felt that by creating extreme characters the audience would be more likely to empathise and relate with aspects of their personality such as Moth’s sullenness, Chloe’s immaturity and Carol’s kindness. By creating these big characters they are thrust upon the audience and so the audience can’t ignore what they’re saying even if it makes them uncomfortable.
We also chose not to perform in a naturalistic style as our plot spans over a larger period of time and in two separate houses and so we felt that the best way to do this without running the flow of the performance or distracting the audience would be too use two tables in order to represent the separate houses. Whilst creating and devising our performance we used several rehearsal conventions in order to further the development of our characters and the plot of our performance; for example we hot seated each of the characters so we could discover things about each other’s characters and develop our own character’s backgrounds and mannerisms.
This gave our characters more life and enabled us to change their personalities to fit the performance and their backgrounds as we learnt new things about them. We also used ‘A Day in the Life of’ so we could determine the relationship dynamics between the characters and find out what each of our characters would do on a normal day. By doing this our interactions with each other became much more realistic and less rehearsed. We also included improvised scenes which meant that we were able to develop our characters further and showed us how they would react in unfamiliar situations.
Due to this our performance was more realistic as we knew more about how our characters would react which helped up prepare for if someone forgot a line or key. During our performance we used split scenes to represent how Carly and her foster family were physically split from each other and also to show how both the new family and the foster family were coping with similar things and situations in ordinary life i. e. eating lunch. The split scene allowed us to convey to the audience that although they are at separate houses the foster family is coping with the loss of a child and Chloe is fighting every step of the way to return to them.
Monologues were also used to convey the character’s thoughts and emotions on the subjects as well as to introduce the story and explain what was happening. Moth’s monologue at the beginning told the audience what was happening before the characters even new. The monologues were useful as they allowed more closed off characters to express their emotions to the audience in a way that they wouldn’t have done when interacting with the other characters.
The monologues also directly address the audience and so they involve them and provide an insight into the character’s minds. We used improvisation to plan out all of our scenes as we felt that doing this would allow the performance to run more naturally and realistically, preventing any scenes that would appear awkward or forced to the audience as this would break their belief and concentration in the performance, reducing its emotional impact. Through improvising we had the idea of playing a game of ‘tag’ whilst running around the audience.
This allowed us to move about and made the performance more energetic and also made our characters more believable. Improvisation allows the actor to feel more comfortable performing as their character and so this creates more believable characters which make them more likely to achieve the desired intention on the audience. Improvisation also prepares the actor in the event that another cast member forgets their lines or something similar happens they know how their character would react and can continue the performance without coming out if character.