Imagine This

Just a quick note to say congratulations on your performances last week. It was a terrific production and I am so proud of you all and what you have achieved over the semester.  The children clearly loved the production and is evident in the lovely thank you card they made for you all. Well done!

I have enjoyed working with you all over the past five months and I wish you all the best for your future studies and future careers.

Do stay in touch when you have the chance.

Jenny

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Well, I can’t even believe we are already at the end of the semester – where did the time go? It seems like just yesterday we were meeting for the first time in the drama room trying to come up with our very first ideas for possible productions! And look what we achieved…

Together we brought the wonderful world of Puzzia to life! 😀

I just hope that our performance will have had the positive impact on our young audience that my own early live theatre experiences had on me! Hooray for theatre! LOL

It has been a pleasure working with you all. I wish everyone all the very best for the future, whichever path you may choose to follow.

Lots of love, xx L.

P.S. If you would like to view higher quality versions of these images, or download them, I have saved them in the Media Library on this website. Alternatively, if you would like me to email you any pics just let me know. 🙂

True, all in all I couldn’t have been prouder of our performance. There were some really nice moments with the children.I specifically enjoyed interacting with the children after the performance. It was a way in which the children could ‘get back to kinder’, as well as sparking their play and imagination processes even more!

If we had our way, I would want to do it again! Heather and I are forming a children’s theatre company – who’s in? haha. I also have decided that my love for puppetry, children, health and exercise, education and performance has pushed me in the direction to become the HEALTHY HAROLD GIRL – ohh yeah!

However, I thought I would comment on something else than the play itself.
The biggest thing I learnt besides how to create a play from scratch was organisational and goal setting processes.
In the end we pulled it off amazingly, however in a real company setting I believe better goal setting, clear team member roles and communication processes could have made our process smoother. In our industry, these skills will be invaluable as almost everything is major group collaboration – be it devising another play, marketing the Sydney Opera House or programming the Big Day Out (hello dream jobs…)

On the other hand though, if we did have rigid roles defined, tight deadlines and specific goals we may have felt as though our ‘creative flow’ (thank you Csikszentmihalyi M, 1996!) jeopardized.

BUT, the main aim of this subject was to learn how to collaboratively produce a piece of work. We pulled it off with flying colours as an amazing group.

In the end :

It is amazing how much you can accomplish when it doesn’t matter who gets the credit.. (unknown)

Reference:

Jan Deans, Robert Brown, Sarah Young.The possum story: Reflections of an early childhood drama teacher. Australian Journal of Early Childhood Volume 32 No 4 December 2007, pp. 1-6.

Csikszentmihalyi M, 1996. Creativity: flow and the psychology of discovery and invention. Harper Colins, New York

We did it, and better yet, we did it well! I am so proud of all of us for coming together and putting on such a great show. As Jenny said some of the parents were truly amazed at how enjoyable our show was, and obviously the kids loved it. Seeing those kids laughing and getting involved really made all the hard work worth it for me. I am truly excited to continue my career in children’s theatre, even though I will be on the production side, I am still looking forward to seeing reactions like that in the future!

I was thinking about what we could have changed along our playbuilding process to make our performance better, and honestly nothing big springs to mind.  Obviously things may have been a little rushed towards the end because of the prop and set creation but I think that it all part of the experience! There are always last minute things and I would rather it have been creating the sets than doing that first and learning lines last minute. So I wouldn’t change that. Then there was the issue of group cohesion but I don’t think I would have changed any of that either because in the end it really made everyone a lot closer. So I wouldnt have changed that. Probably the ONLY thing that we could have changed was to sort out the lighting a little earlier so we could practice it a little more, but in the end who cares, because nothing went wrong in either of the shows anyway!! So in summary I really would not have changed a thing.

Would you guys have changed anything if given the chance?

I wanted to begin my post this week with a quote from David Woods book: ‘Theatre for Children’ that I can really relate with after my own experience of performing in front off children yesterday.

“The way they willingly suspended disbelief and entered into the spirit of the performance was incredibly exciting and strangely moving… they became emotionally involved, they cared” (Woods, 1997: 3).

This was Woods’ reflection of his own experience of observing the children who watched one of the plays that he had co-written for children.

Yesterday was amazing it was the first time I performed in front of children and I side with Wood is was moving. The way the children responded to our performance really illustrated to me how they had suspended their disbelief and really became involved in our performance. It was not just a performance for them it was an experience.

As I observed the children’s re-actions during the performance I noticed that as a group we achieved what we set out to achieve. We wanted to create a performance that engaged the children’s interests and judging by their re-actions I think we achieved that. The fact that the children wanted to be involved in our performance again illustrates that as a group we successfully achieved our goal.

The best part for me yesterday, was in the second performance during the enchanted forest/ fairy scene, when one girl from the audience got up and came up to Tess: Blossom and wanted to give Poppy the puzzle piece without being asked. This showed me how involved she became in our performance, it was truly moving.

Well done all, as a group I believe yesterday we all had fun and also the audience we performed for also had fun! A win-win situation 🙂

Well first and fore-mostly I would like to extend a warm and sincere CONGRATULATIONS to all the – as I am now naming us – ‘Puzzia Players’ of Poppy’s Magnificent Puzzle. It has been a long journey, it a reasonable short amount of time, and I think it was thoroughly well done on our part (even if I do say so myself).

I would like to quote, at length, a section from Tarlington and Micheals book Building Plays: Simple playbuilding techniques at work(1995), as I believe they have a more succinct and academic summary from which I can springboard. I have already cited a few lines in a previous post, so forgive the repetition – I feel it bears a new significance in hind-sight of our process:

“Actor’s involved in the playbuilt play take ownership in a special way. Since the final play reflects the views and voices of all group members, there is an enormous individual and collective satisfaction and a sense of having created an artistic piece. The playbuilt play reinforces the idea that we are all creative beings, that everyone has ideas, and that collectively we are strong” (pg 8).

I truly believe this quote has hit the nail on the head! I know, as a group, we have had some struggles in adjusting to the way one another work and negotiating through all our individual skills and ideas. However, I feel in the end, by allowing some group clusters to take-a-lead in certain areas – such as Emily with her oh-so-fabulous face- today – while still providing the opportunity for others to assist, we triumphed and formed a strong ensemble! Every group member contributed as a “creative being” to Poppy’s Magnificent Puzzle: the end result, combining original ideas, with script, costumes, make-up, lightening, sound and performance was a product of all our group members.

Of course I can only speak for myself but I feel a special kind of  collaborative ownership for our dear little play (in-fact I want to make it into a story-book for children!!) and an enormous amount of satisfaction – as an individual and group member – from the process and product of our efforts: especially given the instant gratification from the audiences reactions to today’s performance…  The children clearly loved it, and I think there can be no higher testament to our success than that!

Finally, I would like to say I have enjoyed the playbuilding journey immensely – particularly in regard to a new experience for me of exploring children’s theatre. I have always loved the work of child performers (as a kid, and an adult) and really treasured the chance to try my hand at it! I know we all voiced concerns about the participation of children and the boundaries and conditions of this, however, our performances today proved that children are very intelligent little beings who love to contribute animal noises, and count backwards to blast off rocket ships! My only qualm was not being able to pick all of the ones in the second group who wanted to get up and find fairy ingredients… it was a shame they couldn’t all have the same magical experience!

So I truly am done now, but I never was going to say all that in 150words! All that is left is to give you all a round of applause…

Love Heather xxx

WEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! Just one more sleep to go until we can share “Poppy’s Magnificent Puzzle” with a real live audience! How exciting! I can’t wait to see how our work is received – we have spent so much time speculating how the kids might respond to our questions and challenges and soon we will find out how right (or wrong) we were… 😉

I’d also just like to say a big THANK YOU to everyone for all your hard work over the past weeks! I feel that we have all put in a super effort and as a result I think we have managed to produce a pretty great play! The level of dedication everyone has shown throughout this playbuilding process has been outstanding! Even though we all have different life circumstances and responsibilities – I have been thrilled to see everyone contributing what they could to make this show really SHINE!!! And after our day of glittering on Monday – boy does it SHINE! LoL

Just a reminder that we have decided to meet at 8am on Wednesday morning. This should allow us time to get dressed, have a quick run through, and do a group warm up. We will also have to go over some lighting and sound cues with Emily, Kasia, and Jenny (??) before the show.

Anyway, see you there bright and early!

And may we all break many many legs! 😀

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  • kaska123: Dear Jenny, Thank you. You are an amazing women, very inspiring and full of wonderful ideas. It was a pleasure, again, to be in a group of people
  • Byron Usmar: Just wanted to say how awesome it was seeing you guys work along side ourselves. You're production was top notch. Very proud to have been in the same
  • Leah: Thanks jenny! I'm sure you'll hear of us soon haha

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