• Actualised playgrounds: exploring preparatory phase rehearsal exercises

      Whitney, John (University of Bedfordshire, 2015-11)
      This project investigates how board games can be used in the development of a series of rehearsal exercises, which assist in the development of initial characters in preparation for later stages of a rehearsal process. Existing practice contextualises the project, and Stanislavski’s theories of If, Given Circumstance and Ultranaturalism are used to develop the approach. Through using the board game as one of Richard Schechner’s ‘actual’, its own meeting between performer and problem, we are able to springboard into theories of play, social drama and reciprocity. Johan Huizinga and Roger Callois’ theories of play assist with identifying indicators of tension and control that are used to manipulate the difficulty of the game, to explore whether this assists character development. The use of Victor Turner’s social drama demonstrates that it provides a schism in initial character development. The method is edited with the difficulty relaxed, allowing more opportunity to play within the ludic playground of character creation. Erving Goffman further develops the discussion, through discussions of reciprocity. The process leads to the system being established, whilst still providing a series of other outcomes including the identification of any issues performers may have and the creation of a collective ensemble for both character development and relationships building through issues of reciprocity. This will demonstrate that the project has potential beyond purely the rehearsal room.