Drama A Level New SpecWatch
There doesn't seem to be a proper A Level drama chat so thought I would create one Just add your exam board and what you study, I'm with Edexcel and do Equus, Woyzeck and Macbeth ...
Does anyone have any tips for section B Accidental Death of an Anarchist?
good luck for tomo
Please someone help!!!!!!!!
IM EDEXCEL AND IM DOING EQUUS AND DR FAUSTUS
‘As a director, discuss how you would apply the methodologies of your chosen theatre practitioner to explore the visual elements in your production concept within scene 21.’
Woyzeck is an outcast to the social hierarchy, leading to him being consumed within madness, instability and paranoia.✔️ My overall aim for my production concept ✔️ would be to portray society to be divisive and hierarchical✔️, in which there are many people who have selfish attitudes✔️ towards those like Woyzeck, who are trapped in poverty. My chosen theatre practitioner is Brecht, as both him and Buchner wanted their theatre to portray a social message. Buchner’s quote “life is a lingering fever” demonstrates his thoughts on humanism, in which both him and Brecht believed in the fatalistic end of humankind. Therefore, I would want my audience to adopt an objective, critical response✔️ to the piece, reflecting on Woyzeck’s downfall; this would encourage them to change society and help people who are in positions similar to the protagonist✔️. The original performance conditions of 1913 involved a proscenium arch stage with a revolve and basic incandescent lighting. My visual image for Woyzeck would remain in keeping with the minimalist style of the OPC, but my staging would be in the round, to fit with the theme of the inescapability✔️ of Woyzeck’s position.
Scene 21 conveys the last straw of Woyzeck’s sanity ✔️and reveals the result of his extreme build up of madness, ✔️which is to kill his wife.✔️ Throughout the play, he has been neglected by those around him, like the Doctor and Captain, and has seen Marie have an affair with the drum major; so, I would want this scene to encapsulate an intense, furious atmosphere through my visual elements. In the previous scene, the audience is left with some sympathy for Woyzeck, in which they are exposed to the hardship of what it is like to be trapped in a life of poverty. So, in this scene, my audience would approach Woyzeck killing Marie with some understanding. Through expressionistic elements, linking to Brecht’s influence from German expressionism, I would expose the audience to Woyzeck’s mind.
At the beginning of the episode, I would have Woyzeck walk onstage with a placard, a common element used in Brecht’s Verfremdungseffekt, distancing the audience by reminding them it is a play and pushing them to observe critically. The placard would be a white piece of cardboard and would have the words ‘Woyzeck kills Marie’, written in red, to connect with the motif of red throughout the play, representing his madness. Woyzeck would run on stage in a happy, bountiful way and would read out the placard, almost laughing. This juxtaposes to the contents of the episode, pushing my audience to reflect and think about Woyzeck’s conflicted life. He would place the placard on a stand to the edge of the stage, and the scene would begin. The placard reveals what happens in the scene✔️, which distances the audiences and reminds them it is a play✔️; rather than being emotionally invested✔️, my audience would be critical of the killing, most likely showing understanding to Woyzeck.
On the line “stay a bit. Here, sit down” I would want to convey how Woyzeck is trying to feel powerful by ordering Marie about as he has been controlled by hierarchy in the rest of the play. I would achieve this through an in the round stage set up, which is influenced by the OPC revolve staging. Although my stage does not move, I like the idea of conveying the circularity of the lives of the poor, in which Woyzeck is trapped. Influenced by Brecht, my audience would therefore critically reflect on the visual representation of Woyzeck’s suffocating life. On this line, Woyzeck would place Marie in the centre and would begin to walk around her, as if is circling his prey.✔️ The audience would be able to see each other’s reactions as they are all facing one another, so this would heighten the tension in the room.
On Marie’s line, “I’ve got to go”, I would want to portray the tension rising, in which she has realised Woyzeck has gone mad. Here, fog would fill the stage, suggesting the idea that Woyzeck’s mind is clouded✔️ and it would add to the dark atmosphere✔️ in the scene, connecting with Brecht wanting to build suspense to the event the audience knows is going to happen. Although the time of the OPC wouldn’t have had this technology and Brecht didn’t encourage the use of special effects, I believe the fog would push my audience to analyse what is happening on stage. The smoky, mysterious visual image on stage would make them question Woyzeck’s mental state. However, they would make a connection between this instability to how he has faced continual misery in the play; the audience would understand why Woyzeck’s mental state has reached this point.
As a visual designer, on Woyzeck’s line “you’ve got hot lips”, I would want to convey his anger at having seen Marie have an affair. The line resonates with the motif of heat and red which runs throughout the play, symbolic of Woyzeck’s madness. So, to communicate that this killing Marie is what Woyzeck’s madness has been building up to, I would flood the stage with an intense, red wash✔️. Brecht only wanted bright white lighting on stage and avoided using colours to stop the audience from becoming emotionally invested✔️. However, I believe this red wash creates a visual representation of Woyzeck’s mind and would make audience members confront and study what they are seeing on stage✔️. The red colour would highlight Woyzeck’s struggle and would foreshadow the killing of Marie, therefore pushing an analytical approach within the audience. ✔️
When Marie says “Franz, you’re so pale”, I would want to communicate that Woyzeck has made his decision and I would want to create an apprehensive mood on stage. This line highlights Marie’s fear and to communicate this,✔️ I would place her under a sharp, focused spotlight. ✔️This links to Brecht’s vision of having sharp, intense beams of light, exposing the illusion of society on stage. The spotlight would begin in scene 20, placed on the grandmother, and would remain on stage for Marie. It would highlight her vulnerability and would connect with Woyzeck’s control over her in this moment. The fog would be seen in the spotlight and would emphasize the dark nature of Woyzeck’s mind, which the audience would analyse to be a result of the way he has been treated by society. Furthermore, the lighting and fog machines would be visible to the audience, connecting with the V-effekt, avoiding an emotional response in my audience.
“(he stabs her)” is the climax of the scene and I would want to communicate the release of Woyzeck’s madness. He would finally have gained control, so on this line, he would enter the spotlight and the red would disappear. Both Marie and Woyzeck would be in the spotlight, drawing focus to the killing.✔️ The fact that the red on stage disappears when he kills Marie connects with Brecht’s idea of encouraging a critical and distanced audience; they would understand and sympathise with Woyzeck’s decision to kill, in which they would realise it may not be moral, but it is hard to maintain morals when you are suffering.✔️ The spotlight links to the OPC, as it would appear minimalistic, but very powerful, emphasizing what his madness has made Woyzeck do. The spotlight is harsh and makes the audience want to change the harsh reality of society which pushes people like Woyzeck to the edge. It would make them sympathise with the pressure Woyzeck has had on him for so long.
Inspired by Brechtian theatre, to end the episode I would want to remind the audience that the play is not real, in which it is simply making a social comment for the audience to reflect on. I would have the lighting return to house lighting, which connects with Brecht’s alienation effect, always giving the audience a moment to observe and then think critically on what happened. In this moment, my audience would think about Buchner’s social message for the play, which is draw upon the flaws in social hierarchy, whereby people like Woyzeck are ignored by people higher on them. Returning to the house lights means they evaluate Woyzeck’s morals as being a result of his poor treatment, encouraging a response which will change the audience’s attitude to the way they treat others.
These visual elements are each influenced by Brecht, the OPC and Buchner’s intentions. Combined with my clear aims regarding the themes of entrapment I would address in my production and the impact I would have on my audience, these visuals help to create a piece of theatre which will encourage realisation, not emotion. These elements reveal Woyzeck’s conflicted, paranoid mind, helping to make the audience have sympathy for his struggle.