Thursday 17 September 2015

VCE Monologues

As part of VCE Theatre Studies, students are required to perform an assessment piece in front of a live audience. Each of the performers was required to research, workshop, design and edit their ideas; leading to seven contrasting monologues. The performers had to find a connection with the essence and truth of a character.

Simren performed a piece by Siobhan McHugh’s Minefields and Miniskirts, which tracks the stories of five Australian women’s experiences of the Vietnam War during 1967, exploring concepts of violence, war, children and love. Simren described the performance style as ‘naturalistic and presentational’.

Keely performed a piece from Into the Woods which highlighted that all is not as it seems beyond the happily ever after myth of fairytales. Keely stepped into the character of The Witch, focusing on the stagecraft area of makeup to create cracks on her face which symbolised the notion that The Witch longed for the return of her beauty.

The Government Inspector by Nikolai Gogol was performed by Lucy and this monologue took place in 1836 in the Russian province of Poltava. The style of the piece is described as ‘farce, comedy that aims at entertaining the audience through situations that are highly exaggerated and usually improbable’.

Liz performed Mathew Ryan and Lucas Stibbard’s Boy Girl Wall, a one man show to be played in a single act. Highly eclectic in style, employing devices traditional to stand-up comedy, theatrical storytelling, improvisation and puppetry are words Liz used to describe the performance piece. Liz used a soundscape to synchronise stage action with sound effects which also helped her to explore imaginative storytelling techniques.

Cymbeline by William Shakespeare was performed by Ruby, which charts a forbidden love that faces obstacles of deception and disloyalty, aligned typically with the conventions of a romantic Shakespearean drama. Ruby chose to use a soundscape to indicate time and place and costume choices helped to contextualise rank and status.

Tash performed Melissa Reeves’ Salt Creek Murders, tackling the frustrations of living day-to-day in a loveless marriage. Tash explored the dramatic possibilities of stillness and silence and the notion of less is more. She also stated that once she employed an Irish accent ‘the language itself fell into a natural rhythm and allowed for more vivid use of inflection’.

Finally Raushaan performed William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, which depicts the final days and assassination of Caesar. Raushaan re-contextualised the monologue into 1945 Italy, leading to several changes being made in order to reincarnate the play in the Second World War. Raushaan stated that despite the new context ‘it was imperative the themes of the play were honoured, remaining faithful to the playwright’s intent’.

Congratulations to each of the performers for all their preparation into bringing the monologues to life.