Teachers: Carolina Gallegos, drama teacher
Clara Gonzalez, Y6 assistant teacher
Karen Roberts, Y6 English Language teacher
Mentor: Valerie Browne
Considering Ben is a professional actor, we decided it was fitting to open our “ensemble rehearsal space” to him. This meant revisiting and performing our 10 quotes narration activity from the first session.
The challenge this time, was having both sixth forms working and performing together! It was absolutely stunning to hear all of them deliver the lines with such pride and joy. Caro had no planned it but it inspired her to give a few students the chan
ce to deliver the lines alone in front of everyone. After the group delivered the line, we would asked them to freeze and if Caro tapped their head they could say it again as a lead actor. They were thrilled.
Afterwards, students got back to their still images and were asked to include another layer of meaning: Choral speaking.
We asked them to identify one key word that best captured the essence of their quote and come up with different ways to deliver the text including choral speaking. The main challenge was creating meaning in a representation that demanded them to speak while remaining frozen in the image. The construction of
the Choral Speech had to be be crafted so as to provide a comment on, or add a layer of meaning to the original text rather than having several actors delivering the text in unison.
Some groups chose to have the character deliver his/her line and the rest of the group joined in the key word. Other groups chose to have all members deliver the line and the key word was whispered. One group responded transgressively to the constraint of the still image and stressed the key word by having Juliet dying in slow motion as the rest whispered her line. We all agreed it was such an effective portrayal that we accepted their innovation to the technique!
Choral speaking required detailed consideration of text and subtext, reflective analysis of meaning and it became the translation of a literary source into a moving oral experience.
Finally all images were performed in a circle in the appropriate order. As each group finished their “scene” they would sit down in silence and the next one would follow, thus creating a single version of the play. We were all proud of having created such a fine performance of a classic tragedy in only three lessons!
Take a look at our interpretation of the play: