The fourth stimulus we used was history. W used a text about World War II to use as a basis for our improvisation. Firstly we were split into groups and had to brainstorm words to do with war. Some of the words we came up with were death, destruction, violence, army and terrorists. After this we played a word association game. To do this we all sat in a circle and one person said the first word ‘War’ and then the next person said what first came into their heads and so on.
After this we discussed how most books on history focus on the main heroes not the people at home who were suffering and helping. The piece of imp we did on this topic was an interview based on a fact we were given. I was working with Matthew for this improvisation. We did an interviewer interviewing a deserter. I did this by speaking clearly and asking open-ended questions, so I wouldn’t be getting just one-word answers. Also we used a fake microphone to make the improvisation more realistic. This improvisation worked well because it was quite easy to think of and we were given a fact as a basis which helped.
The final topic under improvisation was ‘Real Life Situations’. For this improvisation we were given a situation to do various improvisations on. The situation was: there was a two-week expedition in the Himalayas, which consisted of twenty tourists including the Prime Ministers son Euan Blair. Then rebels who are members of a group called the SNQ ambush them. They take seven tourists hostage and want 7 political prisoners released.The first improvisation we did on this was a Board Meeting of the military, politicians, other tourists who didn’t get captured, Sherpa and the airforce. Erica was in charge of the meeting and she kept it in order. It was easy to contribute because she let everyone have his or her own time to speak. The topics discussed were what happened, where were they, and what to do about it. I was an army general who wanted to bomb the mountain. I enjoyed this piece of improvisation because I enjoyed working in a big group.
The second piece of improvisation we did was a re-enactment of the tourists walking through the Himalayas and then being ambushed by the terrorists. Firstly we did it in continuous action with sound. I was a terrorist we all crouched on the ground behind a wall of chairs to represent the bushes. Then when we were given the signal we all leapt out and started shouting in a strange made-up language to the tourists whilst holding our imaginary guns and rifles.
The tourists all had expressions of fear on their faces and we (terrorists) all screwed our faces up when we were screaming in a very violent way. Then we did this again but in slow motion and mime. This was very effective as I could tell it looked good. Then we did freeze-frames with a caption. I really enjoyed this improvisation because it was fun to do and we were all really into it. I felt like I really was an SNQ terrorist. Also we used all the space so we weren’t cramped up.
The third piece we did was an interview between an interviewer and Tony Blair. I was working with Matthew for this and I was the interviewer. I asked open-ended questions and nodded a lot. This piece was quite effective and fun to devise. The fourth piece we did was a monologue of a hostage. Lovette, Mark and LeRhonda performed theirs. They were all really good. They all rocked a lot and looked realistic Also they pretended to be cold as on might be at the top of a mountain. They acted very scared and talked about how they missed their families. I really enjoyed these monologues, as they were very realistic and full of emotion.
The fifth piece we did was an execution of two hostages by the terrorists. In my group were Matthew, Mark, Michelle, Jelani, Sacha, Erica, Jennifer and Sara. I was the main terrorist and I used the tone of my voice, the way I stood and my facial expressions to represent this. The hostages all acted really scared and when one hostage was taken to be killed her boyfriend went insane. I think this piece didn’t work extremely well because we had more than one piece of action at a time.
The sixth piece we did was a battle between the FBI and the SNQ. I was part of the FBI. We set up a barrier of chairs to be the Himalayas. We all held imaginary guns and we each ad a sound-effect. We fought in slow motion to enhance the scene. I think this scene worked well as it was the whole class and we all collaborated well together. The final piece of improvisation we did was a nightmare sequence of a person who survived the kidnapping remembering it. We did this by all walking round in a circle whispering a line at first. Then we gradually built-up our voices to the fever pitch then the person in the middle screamed.
I really enjoyed improvisation because it is a really fun way to express oneself and it allows you to let yourself go and be something or someone else without humiliating yourself. Also it is interesting to see the how different people reacted to the different stimuli. All the different stimuli were very interesting and it was great fun to explore the wide range of stimuli there is. I think that improvisation allowed me to open up more and you see the quietest of people in a different light. You aren’t afraid to make a fool out of yourself and its interesting to notice how different people in the class reacted to the different stimuli.