During the last several classes, we tried to express a world traditional story in different techniques. At first, we focused on to build the steal images of the story. Then added the element of traditional masks which made it more mystical. Eventually, we used some traditional puppets to perform the story. When we were thinking about the WTT story, we were trying to find a theme for the steal images, this attempt gives the audience a sense of our story. Additionally, we added smooth transitions while we were using the masks, the most difficult task for wearing a mask is to exchange between mask and characters. One of the techniques we used is to emphasize the other side of the story while one person is changing masks. Finally, the performance of the traditional puppet is the hardest attempt since the manipulation of the puppet need practices. It is harder to express the character compares to the first attempt, so it is considered as a new improvement of our play.
This overall process helps us to understand different performing techniques in world traditions. It was a well experience and I had a chance to get to know other performing techniques. I still remember when we were discussing to perform traditional fairy tales using masks. That’s the funniest part for me due to we all familiar with the story so act out the characteristics of character is even harder.
During the last drama class, we made our own puppet and created its own stories. Our goal is to ensure the human movement of the puppet, give him an identity and show its story. This is a new type of performing, so how can we make the puppet “alive” is the essential ability that we need to work on during the class.
- Manipulation: The puppet should be manipulated by at least three people- one person control its legs and the other two hold its arms, neck, and body. The first action that makes the puppet alive is breathing. In order to let it breathe, the person who controls the neck needs to move up and down to show the fluctuate of its body. Three principles about manipulating a puppet: focus, breathe and move.
- Storytelling: Since we only have one puppet, we can only show one person’s story. At first, we were thinking about a depression moment of the puppet. When the extra actor was added in the story, more ideas came out. Our story is about a baby who is trying to learn walking, he falls several times but eventually, he can walk straightly. We choose this because this could be challenging to manipulate the puppet’s movement.
- Emotion and feeling: When we are trying to express the puppet emotion and its feelings, we normally use body language to express its emotion since we can not make sounds. For instance, to show the sad emotion of the puppet, he can wipe his face and his body can shake.
One example video demonstrates the theme, by adding background music, motifs and repetitions. The event of the theme is not obvious to speculate, that gives the audience a sense of mystery. The facial expressions of characters in the video are easy to catch. A significant moment is when two of the characters trying to overcome their difficulties, while the other two without actions. They add certain repetition in it, the clear comparison highlights the purpose.
I like the motifs they use in the video, interact with the characters in order to demonstrate their theme together. In the same moment, they use light spots to distinguish the emotions between characters. This can be a good way of comparison.
The importance of that theatre moment is that it served as a transition which indicates what is going to happen next. In the way, we are planning our transitions and set out the background storeis. This can be an inspiration for us.The expression tools they use can applied on our theme as well.