Feedback revision and thoughts
Contrary to popular opinion I think we didn’t perform this as well as we could have even though it was our second complete run. Our first run was better because we just did everything more fluently. However, this time we were missing three people and still managed to make it decent enough to receive positive feedback.
First problem that I foresee is adapting to the space that we’re provided. We were told to ignore the red line but everyone still played in the red line even though there were chairs blocking some of the stage off on our backside. Instantly we had less space to work in and the quality of the performance dropped. We need to work on adapting to any kind of stage that we are put into. Our transitions into and from objects is still shabby and not ‘magical’ enough. But I’m sure that with more rehearsals, if we set our task to be fluid in transitions we will be able to manage it quickly.
First it was suggested to not turn our backs to the audience while doing some bits, but it’s really hard to not have our backs not turned to the audience ever when we’re performing in a thrust stage. So taking on this feedback and one that was provided later on we can probably place ourselves slightly turned so that we are not showing our backs completely to one side and instead they would see our backs and a bit of our side. As well as position us in ways that people from the audience can see us through the gaps between people and not have everyone in front of everyone.
We should try to always stay in character, if we know who is our character and how he is even if something unexpected happens we can improvise and say what our character would instead of us. I personally need to work more on my rice field worker character.
Since we start with quite a loud song that everyone sings so it sounds energetic we have to not drop that level of energy and raise our voices and our action to a bigger standard. We should practice on voice classes on how to project our voice and people who have more difficulties with this should be the ones who are put on the spot and told to project their voice. And people who have trouble articulating and people who pronounce words with a non-English accent also have to practice that.
We have to keep tracks of props, so during rehearsals we shouldn’t say “Oh, I will do it on the performance, just pretend for now”. We have to commit to it and rehearse exactly the way we would perform on the actual day because if we rehearse it one way and then do it another a disaster is bound to happen.
As said by Helena, Ryan should give more time to people for them to respond when he asks “can anyone guess what it is?” because people were willing to respond and he didn’t give them enough time. We, as workers, also have to give Ryan some time and control to ask and indicate who should respond. If we let him be in control and carry the play we will adapt to him.
During the rice field working time when we are singing, as suggested by Helena, we should have Ryan slightly higher than the other workers so that the focus can go to him straight away from the start.
Helena also said that the whiteboard wasn’t necessary and that we could perform everything with just gestures and using the people. This could be an interesting idea, however the plot of ‘The Magic Paintbrush’ relies on things coming to life and an actual object popping out from what Ma Liang has drawn. If actual things would have to appear, the cardboard boat ruins the consistency a bit but we just don’t have an actual boat so this will have to do. And kids will be involved enough to not even think about the fact that the boat is not real.
Our black clothing suits us as the costumes because it’s neutral and as we take on many forms and characters wearing black is a good idea. While the fabric that we will be using is colorful and will stand out to make visuals more appealing.
Lastly, as mentioned before our voices, our acting and our performing in general should be much bigger than we are currently doing because besides us starting with quite an energetic song and having to keep the energy up, we also have to reach the people in the back. They should be able to hear us as well. However this is a play that can be understood by just watching because if we portray our actions and intentions well enough with our bodies and movements anyone in the front or in the back can understand.