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Make graceful and lasting change

Day 2: musical hotspot, invocation, tag outs

Cindy Tonkin - July 14, 2011

Day 2 started with musical hot spots, which we then used as an opening for a Harold (we just did 3 or 4 scenes from the opening). So simple, and quite cool.
The lovely thing was when the musical hot spot went quieter (Hallelujah, Bridge over Troubled Water) as well as the usual air guitar stuff. We actually even had an air guitar solo with no words in the hot spot.
Warm up in the afternoon was passing a sound and action around the circle, each time heightening but trying to preserve the original.

Invocation as an opening
this is an old-style Harold opening, get an everyday object from the audience (scissors, bucket, pen, screwdriver).
Whole group then begins to describe the object starting with “it is” – e.g. a screwdriver; it is long and thin, it is insulated at one end; when that’s exhausted they move to “you are” – more emotional / one level up in abstraction, the use or the function or the significance of the object you are my dad’s favourite thing, you are with all the others in the bottom of my tool box.
Then the group moves on to “thou art” (we are slowly moving up levels of abstraction and making a simple ask for into something conceptual – this time we’re up to praising the god of the object) – thou art the that which fixes everything; thou art the revolving thing
And finally each person becomes the object as the god-like thing that it is: I am change. I am revolution. I am electricity.
Our class had some trouble distinguishing what went where, and at the same time (even when we got it “wrong”) it created some different conceptual and themic ideas to play with other than just fixing a broken toy or screwing on a cupboard door.

function of a group game is to “cleanse the palate”, gives people stage time who may not have had any (especially where the cast is large – some teams here are putting 12 players on stage for a Harold), changes from just 2 people scenes, gives an opportunity to explore abstractly/conceptually. (there are more, i just didn’t write them down quickly enough).

reasons to tag out: show character in a different context, highlight a pattern in character, to bring in a character they’ve mentioned on stage, heighten a pattern, time jumps.
exercise: both players on stage do a physical activity, find the emotion in that activity and commence the scene from that emotion.

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