Due to the pandemic, students lose performance practice in the classroom. However the DP theatre classes have been redesigned with theatre games for online classes, and a virtual rehearsal space has been created. For the first year IBDP Theatre Arts, the academic year is planned to start a unit with the title, “Working with play texts – DIRECTOR’S NOTEBOOK”.
As a major part of the taught curriculum in IB Theatre demands theatre activities and research work, the first unit is designed to initiate with the actor’s training, rehearsal process, and director’s approach. Usually, the process of actor’s training requires a group of participants together in a physical space where they can interact with each other, and share the emotions and space equally. To achieve this challenge, the concept of virtual rehearsal space is adopted. In this concept, acting exercises and theatre games are redesigned to update the performance skills of the students. These theatre games focus on observation, creativity, thinking, collaboration, and listening skills. One may think how collaboration can happen in a virtual theatre class. To answer that, students can show a script, Nighthawks, which was developed collaboratively from a stimulus, painting. In this exercise, they shared their creative ideas, prepared a short story, divided into scenes and wrote the script. Later, the script was utilized to incorporate few games for actors such as subtext and characterization. As a part of creating a character, students demonstrated voice modulation and facial expressions of the selected characters.
Along with these exercises, the students explored the theory of Stanislavski method acting. In this exploration, they understood the key words derived by Stanislavski, father of modern acting training. These keywords are concentration, subtext, and the 5 ‘W’s.
Though there are a lot of limitations in the virtual class, it does not stop us from teaching and learning. Virtual rehearsal space was indeed a fruitful activity! This activity justified the famous phrase “The show must go on”.