Saturday, 5 May 2018

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz- Week One: "We're off to see the Wizard!"

IT'S SUMMER! Welcome back; we were thrilled to get started again this morning after a lovely month off- and it seems the sun decided to join us for our first week on a brand new project! If that wasn't exciting enough- we set off on our latest adventure with our largest cast to date! Lots of new faces have joined in our madness- and what madness awaits us this time (we have loads of cool plans for this one). 

So we kicked the morning off with some introductions. With so many new people we needed to first learn some names and get to know one another. Once we had done a quick round of names (and a catch up/introduction from each person) we launched into the first game. This week we wanted to ease everyone in- since we again have newcomers and it has been a while for our returning group. We played 'the sun shines on,' a fast-paced, easy to join game where everyone sits in a circle and someone stands in the middle. The middle person calls out a fact about themselves and if that applies to anyone else then they have to try and swap seats with anyone else in the circle. The game is always a nice easy way to get the group started and comfortable working with one another. 

Next we got up on our feet and started moving. The game we played has got many names, but we call it the 'Space Game.' The group have to walk around the room and, when we count down to zero, use their bodies to fill as much as the room as possible. Now the room was big, but with a group this size they managed to do a decent job! By the end everyone was using arms, legs and any available limb to fill more and more space. 

Of course, no session would be complete without our favourite shape game. Ben had some cool ideas to throw at the chameleons this week; from simple shapes such as circles to more elaborate settings, such as asking them to create the setting of a zoo or a forest with a river running through it. The group were very creative in their approach to the tasks and some lovely scenic pictures were made.

A new team exercise was next. Titled 'the string game' the group are split into three teams and each team has a ribbon that they all hold. One person at the end has to be the leader and pull the others in the group along, moving like a snake or a worm while the rest of the team try and follow behind them. Everyone had a turn at being the leader and, though each team got faster and faster, experimented with moving in different ways- which was great to see, as we will have sections of the show which require physical sequences and movement (this was good practice).

During the break we asked everyone what they knew about the Wizard of Oz, discussing the characters and story. Everyone seemed to have quite a good knowledge of the tale already and all the Chameleons were quick to throw out answers to our questions. The cast are all very excited about the show (and as always keen to know their parts- but not yet).

After the break we performed a speed run of the story, where the cast acted out a fast version, each jumping into various character roles. This is a traditional game that we play as it gives everyone the chance to try out different parts and practically explore the story. It is always a ton of fun. Unexpectedly Toto ended up being the most popular character- their minds work sometimes in confusing ways.

To wrap up we talked about the term and the process behind the show, which some of the cast are familiar with already. We talked about things we will be doing, such as puppetry and physical theatre, which will help us create the show (and of course talked about costumes). The cast are very excited and it was a lovely first week back- the Wizard of Oz is a project we have wanted to do for a long time and are excited that the time is finally here! As always with the blog I will end with some of the rehearsal photos from today- next week we have some physical theatre and scene work planned! Excitement awaits- roll on Saturday!

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