Saturday, December 20, 2008

Free Drama Workshop at Parma Heights Baptist Church

Our church drama team has begun to have some Saturday morning workshops. The one we had this month was so much fun, that it made me consider taking a college drama class.

It started with a good breakfast. We had about 18 people attend including some girls of parents who participate in drama. Our church uses drama to make announcements of special events, to do some short sketches to introduce the Pastor's message and sometimes special Christmas and Easter presentations.

Annie and Georgine led some improv exercises that were a blast. I never knew actors actually did warm up exercises. These were helpful because they included general relaxing techniques to help you focus as follows:

Lie down with your eyes closed and just listen to the sounds in the room. Tense up, and untense.

Another was to roll your neck slowly from side-to-side.

A third was to bend over reaching for the floor and swing your arms like a monkey. Slowly, one vertebrae at a time, straighten up. Imagine 18 people doing this at once--it was pretty funny!

They also shared some vocal warm up exercises which included just talking gibberish as fast as you can while making funny faces. My favorite one though was to start making a very low sound and gradually getting higher and higher and then gradually coming down lower and lower again.

The improv exercises were taken from on of the college books Annie had called Improvisation For the Theater by Viola Spolin. We did three exercises from this that were all very fun:

1) Circle Story--We all sat in a circle and one by one would add a word to make sentences which made a story. I forget what it was now, but it was just ridiculous. The point though was to just stay in the moment and improvise. There was no planning ahead, no scoring, no competition and no winners or losers.

2) Mirroring--The point of this exercise is to connect with another person which helps to focus on the other actors that you are acting with. We each faced a partner and looked into each other's eyes the whole time. One partner would do a motion and the other would try to do the same thing opposite them at the same time as best we could to create a "mirror" image. After a little bit, we switched roles and the other partner led. Then, the real fun came when we could add sound as well as movement. It was a lot of fun.

3) Human machine--The purpose of this was teamwork. I liked this very much. One person starts by standing in the middle of the circle and making a motion and noise. Then another stands next to them adding a new motion and noise. And then another, and another, and another until everyone is doing some sort of motion and noise all at the same time! I was across from a young girl who was beeping. I stood opposite her and jumped and said "bop" after she beeped. When everyone was involved, then we were told to gradually get louder as a group. Then as a group, gradually get quieter. To end, they called out one at a time.

These things may sound stupid but they were really fun to do as a group.

4 comments:

Sandee (Comedy +) said...

Sounds like there was a lot of laughter in this group. Laughter is great medicine.

Have a great weekend. :)

Windmill said...

Hi Karen and Gerard,

I wish you Yuletide Joy and A Blessed New Year together with your family.

Happy Holidays!

Sue said...

Sounds like that was fun & you had a great time.

I took a drama class in high school. It was supposed to help with my "shyness" the only problem was I was still to shy to enjoy it - lol.

If you liked it you should give it a try. Hope you and your family have a Happy Holidays :)

Karen & Gerard Zemek said...

Comedy Plus & Sue:
It was very fun. We did laugh a lot. The whole idea was to get us relaxed and not worry about what other people thought of us. Too bad you didn't enjoy your drama class.

Merry Christmas to all of you as well!

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