Something I wish I had done at the start of my EE process is conducted more in-depth research about the broader topic before trying to narrow my research question. I originally started with a specific mental illness I wanted to investigate in relation to the Theatre of the Oppressed but when I started my further research, I realised there were no studies relating the two narrow topics and so I had to broaden my research question again. This helped me as I was able to gain a wider understanding of the whole topic and choose the area within that which I was most interested in. In this way, being open about changing my research question really helped me to choose topics which I would both enjoy researching and find sufficient information on without the pressure of having to stay within the confines of a narrow topic.
This was the first year that I was involved in the Culturama show. As I have been involved in the Dance Showcase for the last few years, it was not an entirely unfamiliar experience for me. However, I did have to adjust to a different style of management and a different type of process than what I am used to. In this way, I developed my ability to adapt to new situations and understand the process quickly.
This year I have decided to be involved in the Dance Showcase committee again, this time as a co-chair instead of the chair. My focus will therefore mainly be shifting the responsibilities of chair to my co-chair Clarice, as she is in Grade 11 and will be able to carry on the legacy of the Dance Showcase next year when I have graduated from UWCSEA.
So far, we, along with our dance coordinator have planned the process for this year, building on my previous experiences from the past showcases and identifying areas of improvement.
I also plan to choreograph two dances with two other people, meaning that we will need to collaborate to divide our responsibilities and work together to choreograph and plan our dances.
This season’s goals
Personal Volleyball Skills: I want to focus on slowing down my sets so that I feel less rushed and the accuracy of my sets will improve. I especially want to work on putting more strength into my sets and pushing my sets to power further outside the court.
Personal Skills: This season, I want to feel more confident and have a stronger and more positive presence on the court to encourage my teammates as a setter.
Goal for the team: I would like the team to grow stronger together and understand how each other plays to encourage a stronger bond.
Through broader research about Theatre of the Oppressed, I concluded that focusing on internal oppressions instead of mental illnesses fits more with the applications of Boal’s theory. My supervisor suggested I find empirical research to support my essay; however, I realised that due to the abstract nature of theatre and its psychological impact, the most evidence I would be able to find is anecdotal. I contacted Theatre of the Oppressed companies to ask for accounts of their progress although very few responded. I was able to find testimonies from workshops and learn a bit more about determining whether or not a workshop was successful or not and looked into other approaches to overcoming internal oppressions such as using TO in Medical Humanities courses which I think adds an important element to my research. My supervisor advised that I should outline more clearly what types of internal oppressions I am exploring and what made individuals vulnerable to these oppressions.
This week we chose a poem as a stimulus and started exploring some of the ideas within it. We noticed that the poem, in talking about utopia, describes quite a dull atmosphere, with lots of monotony, although the initial introduction to the perfect world is idealistic and bright. We brainstormed ideas of how we can develop the ideas in the poem and found other stimuli to help us explore them in more depth. We then took some of the phrases from either the poem or ideas from the other stimuli to explore in movement patterns i.e. I suggested showing a tree growing using our hands from the ‘trees sprouting’ in the poem and the idea of routines that become more and more similar from the text ‘each day the same, drip drop, drip drop’.
I found a talk from an ‘ex-perfectionist’ who talked about having lists to fulfil so that she was perfect. This resonated with me as this was an idea we could explore.
Group members: Lydia, Jasmine
This week, we explored the themes of the control of technology over humans and the issues with perfectionism and utopianism. We decided that we wanted to show a dehumanisation of our characters into a robotic, emotionless state where everything is perfectly planned and intentional. Our piece would be a transition from spontaneous humans to highly controlled, monotonous beings. We want our piece to provide an open interpretation for the audience and so instead of showing a breakdown in our characters trying to maintain perfection, we want our piece to end right before the supposed ‘breakdown’.
We want to use design elements to create a space where our performance takes place and a highly engaging setting so the audience can feel this happening for themselves.
We have been researching quotes, photos and artwork to use as stimuli to help us create our piece.
This image was particularly impactful as it shows someone consumed by technology, becoming a robot.
In this quote, we realised that perhaps monotony could be caused by people who don’t want to or don’t have the chance to choose things for themselves. Instead, everything has to be meticulously and carefully planned.
This quote gave us ideas about how monotony is very repetitive, which is an idea we could use in our piece.
This gave us ideas about repetition as well as perhaps synchronicity as it describes a lack of variety and so maybe all of our characters could start as very different and diverse and slowly converge into a very similar person. The actions we do could also slowly start to lack variety and we end up doing the same movements over and over again.
I think that my FOA went well because the topic was one that I could talk about easily and I was able to discuss and link technology and language quite well.
At the start of the FOA, I explored quite a lot of context explaining different types of technology, and how technology and society have affected language to develop English communication to its current form. I believe that although this was good to explore the background of language and technology and how views towards the interrelation of these two concepts have changed.
I also think that I explored the context of production of the texts I analysed well and successfully did close analysis. However, I may have wanted to analyse the affect of culture a bit more as both the texts I used were from similarly developed cultures (America and Australia). This would have been something that could have been addressed in more depth. I also think that I could have examined in more depth the primary and secondary purposes of the texts and the factors behind different audience receptions.
In the past two sports seasons, I have participated in U19 Netball pre-season and I was in the A team for the last season.
In pre-season netball, I was able to develop my netball skills such as shooting, passing, communication and versatility with different players for the upcoming sports season.
During the season, I was nominated as team captain, which was a new experience for me. This showed my dedication and experience in the sport over the time that I have been playing it as well as the ability to collaborate with and encourage others in my team. This meant that I needed to have lots of self-discipline so that I would be able to motivate my teammates. This experience also encouraged me to improve my netball skills which resulted in a better performance on court. Additionally, I learned and emphasised the importance of teamwork and collaboration which are essential for a team sport such as netball.
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