It was full steam ahead today with the Chameleons this morning as we got to work on the play! After casting the show last week we were excited to get stuck in and get the ball rolling on the first few scenes. Today's session featured plenty of puppets and some fantastic scenes from the group.
Before we dived into the scenes, however, we warmed up with a few games. To kick the week off we played a round of zip, zap, boing- which the group have heard of before (and some of whom have played). The game is a classic drama exercise and fantastic for getting everyone energised and ready for the week. Towards the end we played a fast zip version, where we had to pass the zip around as fast as we could in order to build up energy for the next game; splat, where a person in the middle must use the energy to 'splat' others. The person they splat must duck and the two either side splat each other. It's another fun classic which gets the group concentrating and having fun.
Then we did an exercise to get everyone thinking about puppetry- since we were working on the Munchkin scene this week we wanted to have the Chameleons thinking again about how anything can be used as a puppet- building upon what we learned last week. The exercise involved one person standing with no arms and a second person standing behind them pretending to be their arms. The group were split into teams and had to create some scenes with different characters who were unable to control their arms.
We discussed the structure of a scene with the group afterwards. How do you create a scene? First think of a place, then think of the characters and then finally think of the story. The Chameleons were taken through this and we also talked about the beginning, middle and end of a story- each important elements that make the story- and by extension the scene- work. Some rather amusing work was created during the exercise and everyone seemed to have a lot of fun.
The group then split up into teams again and this time had to get moving with some physical theatre exercises. This week we asked the Chameleons to create versions of the different elements in small teams, using only their bodies. We tasked them with creating fire, a waterfall, a crumbling rock and a swirling tornado. The group were very clever and produced some lovely moments of physical theatre, bringing each element to life.
Then we split off and started work on the play. While one team worked on scene one, another worked on creating the Munchkin town for later. The scene one team worked on bringing to life Aunt Em's farm, expanding upon the characters of her three quirky farm hands and setting up Dorothy's wishes to leave the farm and have an adventure. We were really impressed with the creativity that the group put in and that some have already started learning lines!
Across the space the Munchkin team worked on how to control the puppets and created some characters and scenes from around Munchkin land to help bring the setting to life. Some smaller, individual duologue scenes were created and featured a range of colourful and hilarious characters. The Chameleons really outdid themselves on some of the scenes and it was fantastic to watch.
Next came the classic scene where Dorothy first meets Glinda and finds herself in Oz after the tornado. Again it was great to see the Chameleons begin to bring their characters to life. We had some fantastic character interactions in the scene and the adventure really feels like it is about to start!
As we continued work on the scene we added in the Munchkins, with all of the different personalities from the earlier scenes, to create a massive stage picture with the entire cast! Very rarely are we able to get the entire cast on stage for a single scene but here it was wonderful- the Munchkin land felt alive and each character special. The scene was made all the more special by the arrival of the Wicked Witch of the West, who enters for her first meeting with Dorothy and Toto.
And so it begins! Our amazing cast of Chameleons produced some wonderful work today and we've created some brilliant scenes to go in our final performance. It was great seeing everyone get stuck into all of the acting and puppetry of the show. We're already excited for next week when we will be looking at some of the Witch's scenes, along with creating her wicked henchmen. Until then enjoy some more snaps from the madness of the morning...oh, and have a nice half term!