Thursday, October 29, 2009

Want to know more about what we do?

Still up to our ears in the devising process!!  
Now that we've done some writing, we're taking a step back to flesh out our characters more thoroughly. We're building characters in lots of fun and collaborative ways.Here are a few of the techniques we use to develop material for our play.

Role on the Wall is an activity that helps us brainstorm a character's background, details about their relationships, messages they hear and even their likes and dislikes.  Ensemble members take turns contributing so the character that emerges really is everyone's creation.

Our character sketch - what a mess!

Image Work is a great way to generate ideas and capture emotions in an expressive way without using words.  And sometimes, if you hold a pose long enough while someone is taking your picture, you get the giggles. . . 

Hotseating is an activity that allows audience members to speak directly to characters and ask them questions about what's going on in the story.  For this activity ensemble members take turns playing characters while the rest of the group interview them. We're experimenting with this to develop the personalities of our characters.   It's a fun and active way of finding out every character's side of the story. 

Three ensemble members hotseating 
as "the mean girls" in one of our storylines

We'll post more info on our rehearsal process as we continue. . . 

Friday, October 23, 2009

Using Dialogue to Create Dialogue

Right now, our work together is all about creating the story for our play.  This play is intended to stimulate dialogue among  students and community members who see it.  We hope to address issues like: healthy dating behaviors, bullying, gender double standards, cyber-safety and discrimination. 

We spent time earlier this week sketching out ideas for characters, identifying key issues we want to address and finding plot points that could help us get there.  We brainstormed ideas and decided to focus in on 3 central story lines.

Last night, we turned our focus toward creating dialogue.  Students broke out into groups and each took responsibility for a different part of the piece.  Then, they began rough drafts for their scenes.  

Toward the end of the evening, we shared the dialogue we had created.

Conversations about creative choices can build skills in communication, teamwork and problem solving.  Look at us go!

Sometimes, working too hard makes us silly!

Or shy . . .

more to come!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What happens at our rehearsals?

Do we just get together and wear tacky outfits?


Those are just our students from Del Valle High School in their stylish outfits from tacky day.

Right now, we are smack in the middle of devising our original performance.
When we complete this process, we will have created a play that educates middle and high school students about issues that affect teens.  Some of you may be wondering, "What in the world is devising?!?!"

Devising is a form of theatre where the script originates not from a single playwright, but is developed through a collaborative process by a group of people.

During the rehearsal process, this looks a lot of different ways:



taking breaks to smile

and some writing

We'll keep you all posted as we continue the process!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Changing Lives Ensemble Receives Media Training from Tate Hahn Austin

On Thursday, October 15th, members of the Changing Lives Youth Theatre Ensemble participated in a 2-hour media training with Russ Rhea from Tate Hahn Austin, a local public relations firm. Our focus was on speaking to the media about our work in Teen Dating Violence Prevention through theatre and the arts. Five students did mock interviews with Russ, which we played back and discussed. Central to the training were our core messages: that Teen Dating Violence is a major community concern, that prevention is possible, and that Austin teens are joining the with other youth across the country in the Start Strong initiative to take a stand and make lasting change!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

HopeFest 2009

The ensemble had our first performance this weekend.  (Here we are getting ready to make our entrance!) The group pulled together wonderfully and in only four short weeks created an awesome movement-based performance for Hopefest @ Reagan High School.  

Here we are concentrating and focusing before our performance.  The ensemble braved the muddy conditions and the dangers of working on a slightly wobbly stage to give an inspired and committed performance!  

While some of us are concentrating, Daryll and Southern decide to mug for the camera. 

Many individuals approached us afterwards to let us know how much they enjoyed the piece. 

"Thanks so much for coming out to HopeFest. The performance was INCREDIBLE!  We look forward to lots more in the community this year, and next year at HopeFest '10."
Allen Weeks, HopeFest Director

YAY Changing Lives!  Congratulations on your first performance as the 2009-2010 ensemble. :)