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Investigating
Eloise Oliver

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What is my goal?

My goal for my personal project is to create an expressive performing arts piece with scripted dialogue/monologue and a song. I will also apply certain techniques and skills that I will learn at my MTA course this summer. I want to do this because I have a real passion for performing arts and musical theatre that I would like to share with people. 

This summer I am attending a musical theatre academy in London for 2 weeks,which is where I will be participating in 3 West End Workshops and 1 West End masterclass. I will also be spending the afternoon with a performer from one of the top West End shows, and then go and see them in action that evening. I am also going to be in Edinburgh and attend the  the Edinburgh fringe festival which is one of the biggest art festivals in the world. This will allow me to see show after show inspiring me and filling me up with ideas. 

What is my global context?

The global context I have chosen is to focus my project on Personal and cultural expression. This links perfectly with my project because I am exploring ways to discover and express ideas, feeling and values. I am also exploring the ways we reflect, extend and enjoy our creativity and our appreciation of aesthetic.

Prior Knowledge:

I think I have a substantial amount of prior knowledge, in both subject areas and from personal interest. There are 3 main subjects that I think I can use the skills to adapt and apply to my Personal project; English, Film and Drama. I have learnt many language, presentation, editing and creativity skills in english throughout my lessons at CIS. I also have learnt more techniques from the 2 art course I have taken of the the past 4 years, Film and Drama. I have studied script writing in film class before, and I have also had to run my brain for creative ideas in order to create an interesting film, I can apply both of these vital skills in producing, creating and writing the basis for the final product. For the performing side of my project I have extensive amount of knowledge stored in my bring from drama class.I have studied theatre and artistic techniques, I have also exercised leadership skills, which I think will be very important to have if I end up casting people for my final performance.

Even though, I know quite a lot about my topic, it is still going to be challenging because, venturing out into professional waters and trying to understand the skills used by professional actors/actresses will be something I will most likely never have a chance to do again. I have also never been in that environment before, so understanding how to ‘learn’ about it will be a challenge in itself. I will be writing my own performing arts piece and song which will be highly challenging as I would like it to be done and performed in the most professional way possible. It will also enable me to study the writing and acting techniques needed to produce a original performance. 

Planning
Eloise Oliver

I created a set of criteria to evaluate my product (see Appendix 1). I decided to
assess strands of  Creativity, Production Value and Acting. I felt like these three things would be the best parts to asses when I perform my piece to the audience, as it would be an easy thing for the audience to feedback on an I will get man options through the crowd that will help me personally assess my own performance. (explain why you chose each strand
and how you would test it)

I began my research by creating a plan of what I needed to research and where I
would find the relevant information (See Appendix 2). I used many different types of sources,
such as plays, theatre performances, interviews and websites. I evaluated each of my sources to take into account wether they were relevant and trustworthy. (see Appendix 2).

I collected, recorded all the data that was necessary to record through the summer and making connections with my desired outcome as well as existing sources that I used.  When I found it useful to annotate and use my process journal to analyse selected sources, I did so.  As I went through my research I took notes of my sources, creating a bibliography, which in the later parts of my project will be transformed into a Works To double check that I was on track and was getting the things I wanted done completed, I made a list of what I wanted to include in my performance. (See Appendix 4).  

To make sure that I watched and managed my time correctly, I made some personal deadlines, that were possible to reach, but challenged me at the same time. Because I had school work starting to factor in as well.

To keep track of my personal actions throughout my process, I applied affective skills such
as emotional management skills like overcoming stress and anxiety; Practising deep mental focus; And considering ethical and environment implications. 

I persisted in trying to maintain a healthy level of stress and anxiety throughout the research process, as I felt it was important not to feel overwhelmed and feel unnecessary pressure when researching. As this would have made me have a negative attitude towards my product and I wouldn’t be able to accomplish my desired outcome. 

I found it important to practice deep mental focus during the research stage of my project as I saw 40+ shows over the summer and occasionally you would drift off and not pay attention to vital details that were presented through acting, sound, lighting etc. I also had to have a deep sense of focus when writing notes and analysing selected shows. If I were to of missed a significant detail through my course, attending shows or talking with people this would not play in my favour,

A very crucial part of my research process, was choosing my final topic or idea for my own play. Thus meaning I had to make sure that I was deeply considering ethical and cultural (less so environmental) implications. And that I must be careful when designing my play, because I would like it to be impactful and meaningful, however I shall not overstep any inappropriate boundaries. 

 I As I continued to work on my project, I noted specific events that I thought should be made note of within my process journal. (See Appendix 3)

Taking Action
Eloise Oliver
Goal:
My goal for my personal project is to produce an expressive performing arts piece with scripted dialogue/monologue and a song. I will also apply certain techniques and skills that I will learn at my MTA course this summer. I want to do this because I have a real passion for performing arts and musical theatre that I would like to share with people. 

What I needed to do:
In order to achieve my goal I needed to note and observe the specific techniques that (included in my criteria) were presented in the shows I saw while in London. Such as creativity,  production value, and the overall acting skills performed by the actors.  I also must of communicated with my peers around me while creating the theme of my piece in order for my performance to be successfully powerful, meaningful and somewhat relatable.

How I did it:
While brainstorming and trying to come up ideas for my piece, I went to see as many shows as possible to try and fuel my project. (See PJ) I chose several shows to reflect on and annotate the elements of each show that I think would be beneficial when creating my product. I was able to make the final decision after weighing my ideas with the performances I had kept record of (See PJ) and move forward with the plan to make my performance, powerful, meaningful and relatable. I concluded that these 3 things were some of the most important factors to consider when writing and creating a piece of theatre.

Reference to global criteria:
The global context I chose was Personal and cultural expression. This links perfectly with my project because I explored ways to discover and express ideas, feeling and values. I also explored the ways we reflect, extend and enjoy our creativity and our appreciation of aesthetic. My project meets this global context because I wrote a performance pieced around a character who struggles with a situations that many people face in the daily world. (See appendix 3) 

Thinking, communicating and social skills:

During my research and creating process I practiced several social skills such as, practising empathy, encouraging others to contribute and listening affectively to others perspectives and ideas. I practised empathy countless of times due to the fact that I saw roughly 40+ shows during my time in London and Edinburgh (See PJ) and had to exercise the skill of empathy and relating to each character that I encountered.  Using to emotions and stories to inspire and construct the idea for my own piece. Through my meeting with Jesamine Dyus (See PJ) I encouraged her to collaborate with me in creating a work of art that includes both the spoken word as well as physical theatre and dance. I also practised the skill of listening affectively and seeing others perspectives and ideas through taking on board the advice  and ideas (Recorded in PJ) that I was given from my peers and family. 

Critical and Creative thinking skills were also demonstrated during my researching and creating process. I brainstormed and used visual diagrams to generate new ideas, I made unexpected connections between objects and/or ideas I also applied existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products and processes. 

As mentioned in my process journal, I did an exercise with myself all throughout the summer to write down in my notes app on my phone any idea that came to mind, no matter how ridiculous it seemed at the time, just to have it written down somewhere where I could revisit it during my creating process. (See PJ) I also drew up a mock set of what the stage may look like when I have gathered up all my materials and designed the final set. (See PJ) Therefore I applied the skill of brainstorming and using visual diagrams to generate new ideas when performing these acts. I made unexpected connections between objects and ideas after seeing so many productions over the summer. I made an unexpected connection between sets and production value and that the need for a high scale massive production set, is not necessary for a successful performance. When watching An American in Paris in London (See PJ) I was blown away and how beautiful, elegant and simple the set was (See PJ), and immediately it was something that I knew I must do. Keep my set simple, and only have things on stage with a real purpose. I was also able to apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products and processes. As mentioned in PJ, and in both my prior essays, I am aiming for my performance piece to be performance, powerful, meaningful and somehow relatable. Without knowing about what affects my current generation, what is highly important in the world today and my general prior knowledge about theatre, I wouldn’t have been able to decide on a theme and storyline that would have actually worked. I have been around professional actors and theatre productions from a very young age, as my mother is a theatre producer and has numerous connections throughout the industry. Resulting in my knowledge being turned into a passion, which is the single driving force in me creating this performance.

Evaluating
 

The global context I have chosen to focus my project on is Personal and cultural expression. This links perfectly with my project, because I am exploring ways to discover and express ideas, feeling and values, which is what this global context is all about. I am also exploring the ways we reflect, extend and enjoy our creativity and our appreciation of aesthetic.Through developing a play exploring on mental health aspects of human behaviour and social awareness, I have not only learnt things about my topic and its complexities but also about myself. I am very passionate about theatre which is a driving force for why I decided to bravely challenge and extend myself in writing my first play. I am also extremely passionate about mental health and the workings of the brain and how people act in social situations, help others, how some people engage and some not, so combining these two things into, I’ve created something very personal and close to my heart. I have learnt new skills such as performance and in particular, exploring auditioning techniques from my 2 week summer course at The Musical Theatre Academy (MTA) of London. For example, I had a masterclass with an inspiring practitioner named Michael Jibson, who’s is soon to be starring in the new production of Hamilton on the West End. He met with MTA’s 2nd year students and shared vital audition and performance skills that he had learnt throughout his successful theatre career so far. (Refer to PJ and notes from masterclass). I was exposed too the difficulties of actually writing, staging, lighting, directing, choreographing, and creating sound for my play (PJ). It became evident it was a mammoth task which takes a lot of dedication and without may passion for theatre, I don’t think being able to get my play up on its feet would have been possible. Something as simple as committing to an idea and creating characters for a story is a demanding and sometimes tedious process. I went considered several ideas, plots and characters before I decided on my final one. (PJ) I had to evaluate what would actually make my play successful during the creative process and be aware of that I was creating something that ultimately would be engaging to a live audience.  I further refined already existing performance and theatre skills, and what techniques were actually needed to finish a successful play. I did this by seeing more than 40+ shows during my trip to Edinburgh and London last summer, and reflecting on shows that I thought would be useful to my own writing and production. I learnt relevant skills in how to actually write a script for the stage and how to detail light/sound queues for someone to be able to interpret, stage and perform the play. It was a difficult process, but I am very pleased with the way everything has come together. I have learnt a lot about time management and communicating with people, things I will carry forward with me in the future. 

 
Some of the skills I practiced as an IB learner during the Personal Project process was Creating, Evaluating and Demonstrating. 

I used the creating skill, by actually writing and devising of my play. I went through a rigorous process, drafting, expanding ideas to evolve my ideas and storylines to succeed my goal. One of the scenes witting the play itself is inspired by the historic and legendary play Hamlet. I had the opportunity to view this wonderful piece of theatre during my time in the UK, and it was incredibly inspiring. I inspired my own scene in play directly from Hamlet. Ophelia talks about flowers and what they represent in her life, and I fleshed this idea out and managed to craft it into my own writing. 

I demonstrated the evaluating skill during this process a lot. I would have to weigh up the strengths and limitations of my original ideas, characters, plots. I’ve had to think very carefully about how my designs would influence the viewing audience and what topics really matter to me and the people I would have been performing to. 

I had to creatively demonstrate a lot of diagrams, drawings and development of ideas as a part of my creative process. This was to further visually show my ideas of the staging of the play so that my PP supervisor, future cast and the audiences could understand my idea in a more visual setting.

WORKS CITED OPVL

DREAMGIRLS: The Musical

ORIGIN
A musical written by:
Playwright: Tom Eyen
Composer: Henry Krieger
Lyricist: Tom Eyen
I attended this musical on the 14th July 2017 at the Savoy Theatre, Strand, London.

PURPOSE 
The reason why I chose this source is because DREAMGIRLS is a powerful story about, racism, sexism, female empowerment, body image, all incredibly relevant topics in the world today.  I made clear in my process journal when brainstorming ideas, that I wanted my performance to be powerful and for people to be moved either mentally or physically by it. By DREAMGIRLS being such an important and relevant musical in this current stage of theatre, I thought it would be vital to see the show, and take note on what I will take from this show and see how I can use it in my own production.
 
VALUES AND LIMITATIONS
Please refer to ticket stub and flyer in process journal for proof of viewing and time/date/ 
Here is an additional link to the current (same) running show of DREAMGIRLS: http://www.dreamgirlswestend.com/

HAMLET

ORIGIN:
A play written by: William Shakespeare 
I attend the production of Hamlet that was adapted by Robert Ike, on 12 August 2017 at the Harold Pinter Theatre, Panton Street, London. 

PURPOSE:
The reason why I chose this source is because the adapted production of HAMLET I saw was one of the most powerful, heartfelt and clever pieces of theatre I have ever seen. It made me laugh, cry, think and believe all at the same time, which is an extremely difficult thing for any actor to get the audience to do. This production also payed a massive amount of respect to the original masterpiece of shakespeare, however the director and adaptor incorporated unique and captivating modern techniques into the play. 

VALUES AND LIMITATIONS:

Please refer to ticket stub and flyer in process journal for proof of viewing and time/date/ 
Here is an additional link to the current (same) running show of HAMLET: https://hamletwestend.com/

BARE SKIN ON BRINY WATERS

ORIGIN:
A play written by :Tabitha Mortiboy and Maureen Lennon

Directed by Maureen Lennon

Music by Tabitha Mortiboy

Designed by Naomi Kuyck-Cohen

Lighting by Will Monks

Cast: Charlie Sellers, Maureen Lennon

I attended the 2 woman play on the 11 August 2017 at the Pleasance Courtyard in Edinburgh.

PURPOSE:

The reason why  I chose this source is because it was the closest thing I saw over my time in the uk that was similar to what I wanted to create. The style of theatre was simple yet impactful, plain staging yet well thought out and important. It was a 2 woman show, and I am planning on doing it either alone or with someone else. It was in a theatre with at maximum 12 people, the amount I intend on performing in front of. It was a small production rather than a full blown style of the west end. This play was intended for anyone, it was real, intimate and had a powerful story to tell.

Please refer to ticket stub and flyer in process journal for proof of viewing and time/date/ 
Here is an additional link to the current (same) running show of Bare Skin On Briny Waters: