Good technique is one of the key parts to being a good all-round performer, with the goal to becoming a confident performer, whether as a soloist or part of a team. At Stage Door Studio Theatre Workshop (SDS) we offer games, group exercises, improvisation and hot seating, all to help the student to gain an inner strength and confidence.
Students of all ages will study various texts, scripts and poems to help with vocal techniques such as modulation, breath control and projection. Learning lines is especially important and techniques for achieving this are taught and practiced on a regular basis, along with trying out various accents and dialects. At SDS, all students can work with each other in pairs and are encouraged to ‘have a go’ at a small, improvised piece of drama creating a duologue with a chosen theme. Monologues are also an important part in the development of each student’s confidence and poise, enabling them to become excellent speakers in front of their peer group.
We teach students everything they need to know about getting a performance up to a good standard—how to do it and why it’s done. Each student learns why good training is required and why it is important when taking part in musicals, cabarets and charitable events. These are skills learnt for life!
Basic requirements such as entries and exits, staging and blocking are all taught, as these are essential real life stage productions. Our students are also taught the use of mime and counting—to help keep time and rhythm—as well as timing with energy, pace and body language (gestures), voice projection and stage presence. All of these techniques are important to ensure that a performance comes across as ‘real’.
Students need to be able to work together in a calm and respectful way, especially in pairs and during improvisation, which is a large part of what takes place at the workshops. Group pieces of work are performed on a regular basis at the workshops. It is especially important that should students not manage to secure a speaking role in a show then as part of an ‘ensemble’ they need to come across as believable whilst acting on stage. Every student is a ‘key’ part to the success of each event, and everyone is important!
At SDS, we find that the use of imagination is particularly important when playing games and storytelling and is extremely beneficial during group sessions, as ‘practice makes perfect’!
Creating an atmosphere in group work is especially important and so ‘freeze framing’ is used when making a tableau or a piece of drama. The use of props is also taught with everyday items from a home setting and students are encouraged to bring in a ‘special’ item that is important to them and then work with it within the workshop environment.
We have begun teaching ‘Master classes’ in drama with various year groups at a local school, and these classes have been extremely well-received by both the teacher and the students. If you are interested in offering something like this at your school, please get in touch with Anne on 01422 200334 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.