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Section 3

Rehearsal Process

During rehearsals, I feel that we have successfully created an engaging, performance, as we


intended.

As soon as we chose our script, we knew we would have to do a lot of research about Artaud, and
the themes that Kane explores in the play; we did this as a group. From all our combined research,
we created a short information booklet of our notes to refer back to at any point. We also
researched the treatment of mental health patients. To understand the inner emotions of Sarah
Kane, we created a ‘role on the wall’ and named as many personality traits and feelings that we
could, using the script and our imaginations. Our discovery of a wide range of emotions further
emphasized the theme of mental health, including bipolar issues.

Once we chose our extracts, we began blocking. When blocking, more often than not we had
different ideas for each scene, such as the style of movement we would be doing. We tried each one
out to see which one feels the best, and reached a compromise: using mirrors also helped to see
which was most visually effective. Hopefully, our choreographed movement will create effective
visual poetry for the audience.

After a few scenes were completed, we gathered our peers and performed to them, setting the
auditorium out how we wanted to. We received critical feedback, such as that our projection and
diction needs to be clearer in the beginning scene. Therefore, in our group we rehearsed breath
control, then we all enunciated our lines as clearly as possible. Upon performing back again, our
audience said that because they were able to hear our lines, they could therefore understand the
emotion of self loathing that was being conveyed – this made us achieve our aim of making the
audience understand the inner emotions of Sarah Kane’s mind; hopefully this will be continued to
the final performance.

As a group, we felt that our actor-audience relationship was not strong, and that we didn’t break
the ‘4th wall’ often enough. Therefore, when working on later scenes we have decided to enter the
audience. For example, we have decided to move through the audience and give them invitations to
the death of Kane. Our stiff movement, and the strange vocal sounds that we produce will begin to
disturb the audience. When we give each member an invitation, they are forced to become part of
the theatrical experience that we aim to create. This is direct contact with the audience, so hopefully
in the final performance they will become disturbed by our trespassing on their ‘personal space’.

Personal Progress

At first, I found the Artaudian style difficult. Being used to naturalism, I found it strange to use
animalistic emotions and base my performance on that emotion. I feel like now I have embraced the
style – I understand that I am part of a twisted mind. Because there are no characters, the basic
emotions and motivations of each scene were clear– that helped me to develop my particular
‘character’.

Upon receiving feedback, I realised that I was not conveying an emotion in a way for the audience to
understand. At one point, I am the emotion of of ‘temptation’. However, the audience said that they
didn’t understand what I was. Therefore, I decided to look into the emotion– what is temptation,
and what are the connotations? Most often, people think temptation has seductive and sexual
connotations. Therefore, when being temptation, I arched my back whilst crawling towards my
group member and rubbed my thighs in a seductive manner. This gradually became more
exaggerated as I was more comfortable with it, as Artaud intended.

Health and Safety

Risk: Tripping/falling/ off the stage blocks

Solution – Have bare feet to ensure grip – MEDIUM RISK

Risk: injuring others/ourselves when falling to the floor

Solution – practice this lots to familiarise self. For bigger falls, use safety mats, then move onto the
floor. Warm up before rehearsal and performance so body is ready– LOW RISK

Risk: Carpet burns from knee slides onto floor

Solution – rehearse and perform on a laminated floor so risk is slightly eliminated. Warm up before
rehearsal and performance so body is ready– MEDIUM RISK

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