As a part of our GCSE Drama course we have explored the script of ‘After Juliet’. For our assessment we looked at different sections of the script. We explored the characters individually and looked at key moments in groups. Prior to the assessment I had read the script and thought that the background story relied much upon the dramatic tension. I admire the way that the playwright highlights the importance of the relationship between the Montagues and the Caplulets. The key element which caught my attention in the play was that it was centered on the theme of tragedy.
The dramatic tension between the characters of Rosaline and Benvolio, I believe, was created by the love shared between them. This was interesting to me because I thought that there would be nothing but hate between Rosaline and Benvolio. One activity we did was to explore multiple characters through role-play. We were asked to create different interpretations of a conversation between Benvolio and Valentine in our assigned pairs. Charlie and I decided to interpret the conversation between the two characters as a friendlier, joking confrontation.
I suggested that we start the role-play with Benvolio sitting on a bench and Valentine pacing in front of him until the two start arguing. This worked well in our scene so we decided to add movement for our characters, for example; when Benvolio questions Valentine and asks “Do you call my love a trout, sir? “, while holding onto Valentines shirt collar. I played the role of Benvolio, to do this I had to act in offense and disgruntlement whilst Charlie, playing the character of Valentine was walking around ridiculing Benvolio’s love for Rosaline.
After sharing our work with the class we got useful feedback, such as while I was walking around try making it look less planned out. Instead of making Benvolio act as though he was explain to Valentine about how he felt about Rosaline, I should have given Benvolio a more mesmerized look as though he was telling Rosaline himself, about the way he felt for her. There were two groups which made me think about the piece in a different way. The first was Jahan and Adib’s group. They portrayed their piece in a way that took on a more aggressive confrontation between Benvolio and Valentine.
They made me think about the use of space since they kept themselves close together using sharp movements to show their belligerence. Georgia and Georgina were the second group that made look at the differences in the piece with more depth. Their piece took on two very individual views from both of the characters sides. While Georgina played a very fierce-tempered Benvolio, Georgia took on the character of a very patronizing Valentine. I appreciated the way this piece was illustrated, because they took the time to show how the characters could have been feeling on the inside and pushed it to the immediate surface a their person.
In comparison to my group work I thought that I was the least successful in presenting my monologue of Valentine, for example when it came to my presentation I did not use a posture that portrayed any emotion nor was I able to keep my focus on the camera but instead kept my eyes to the ground. I think that this moment could’ve been improved, firstly by using body language that helped show the frustration of Valentine when remembering his brothers’ death. Secondly, by making more eye contact with the camera, being sure to show the audience what I can of my emotion through my facial expressions.
This task made me aware that I need to make sure to rehearse my lines more often, as well as being confident with my vocal expression. A moment that stood out to me was when we were doing the group exploration task; this made me use my ability to improvise during the development of the task which was aimed at exploring the key moments in the script. This was a really useful idea because we were looking for ways to learn more about the characters and trying to find more diverse approaches to the script.
One piece of work that I observed was when Georgia did her monologue of Rosaline. I thought that this was really effective because she used a desk as her prop which was supposed to be the grave of Juliet. She demonstrated in-depth knowledge and understanding of how to use the drama medium to create her piece. In conclusion I think that the work of my classmates and group had a large impact on how I can use more diverse approaches to my tasks. In addition I believe that the overall outcome of this task was that I have a greater understanding of how to use the drama medium.