Stage 6 Drama – Group Performance – Newtown High School of the Performing Arts – Group interview


ELLA 1: I’m Ella.

ELLA 2: I’m also Ella.

ONDINE: I’m Ondine.

SOPHIA: And I’m Sophia. Some of the experiences that we brought from year 11 were kind of getting a base understanding of the elements of drama and different theatrical forms, and, you know, physical theater. All of those things that we could bring into our GP.

And we also kind of got an understanding of our class, and who we kind of worked with and who we wanted to work with for our GP. And we’d also kind of done a few, like, group performances for assessments and stuff like that. So we knew the time management and the different, like– like the way that we kind of need to structure the devising of the performance.

ELLA: In our class, the groups were chosen sort of because of numbers because we knew that we wanted to have three groups of five. And then we kind of just figured those out by recognizing the people in our class who had similar ideas for the forms and styles they wanted to do. Yeah, and group those together.


SUBJECT 1: Hello, I’m [INAUDIBLE] Good morning!

SUBJECT 2: Guten Morgen! Message from the Fuhrer. Horoscope number–

ALL: 9909, of the year 1945. [INAUDIBLE].

ONDINE: So we wanted to convey in our group performance our fascination with horoscopes and what is employed within horoscopes, which is the Barnum effect, which is the way that people believe that each– the way that the horoscopes function to make people believe that each horoscope is specifically for them and personalized, and how that can be kind of used to manipulate people and make them believe anything.

And then we did some research into what was used in World War II, and actually those quite a big– like, the horoscopes and the occult was a big thing in World War II. And the Nazis actually were really– like, believed in horoscopes and that type of thing.

So we’re really interested in the way that that could translate to a modern context. And if there was like a World War III how the pop culture would play into that. And so we wanted to convey the way that that penetrates into our everyday lives.

SUBJECT 1: The stars aligned? That can’t be.

ELLA 2: Our idea, script, and concept kind of changed a lot throughout the process. We always knew that we wanted to do our GP on the concept of horoscopes and the Barnum effect. But the way that we framed that concept really changed throughout time.

So we were doing lots of narrative pieces. And we went from an astrology support group to– and we just really went off track and down a lot of different roads to find our piece in the end. And I don’t think it wasn’t until after we had performed our GP for a couple of assessments that we really narrowed in on the story that we did.

GRACE: I was the person out of our GP who was quite crazy about my logbook. Like, I did it pretty often, put in all the ideas of everything. And it really helped, just going back, like, mapping out journey of plotlines, and setting ideas, everything.

Because after a group discussion, we would often voice memo it or something. Then I’d write it down in logbook. And having it in front of you written down was so much help. It was a lot, like, very useful. I would say definitely use your logbook for stuff like that.

So it definitely solidified our ideas to have it concrete in front of us. It was very helpful going back to it.


ONDINE: So I think with every GP that’s made, there are a lot of challenges. And one for us was definitely– we were all quite busy during year 11, because we did accelerated. So getting us all together at the same time, or we have jobs, like, everyone was just super busy. So getting us all together at the same time was really a challenge. But it was so important, because that’s when most of the devising happened. And so it was really important.

GRACE: And another thing was we all had very different ideas about the level of physicality in the performance. And so we all– when we were blocking even just one scene, it would take us so long to find one image. Just even like a frozen image. And it took us a long time to confine all of five of our ideas into one.

SOPHIA: And also it was hard, because we didn’t– we would block something, and then the next lesson we would have to come back and remember what we blocked. Because you can’t just write it down, like. So that’s what the logbooks did come in handy. But it was hard to remember what you’d gotten up to and then pick it up exactly where you left off.

ELLA 2: And for example, there was a period in the holidays where we were really into the devising of our piece, where I went away for a week. And then I came back and there was so much that I had to learn and fit into during the GP. So that was a bit of a challenge.

ELLA 1: And also for the people who were there if Ella was away, because then we would have to make images and scenes with her in them, but she wasn’t physically there. So yeah, that was a challenge as well.

SOPHIA: When we were kind of creating our GP, it was really a matter of we needed to figure out how to use our time effectively but not go overboard, so that we don’t just over-rehearse and kind of just get in our heads. Like we need to figure out a balance between having fun and creating things, but also, you know, knuckling down and writing the script.

So it was kind of– I guess it was a balance between, like, getting up on our feet and actually doing and creating and doing all this creative stuff, and then writing that down and making sure that we solidified that and moved on. And also, knowing when our assessments were, like, that kind of helped us have goals to work towards. So when we had a time pressure that kind of made us work a little bit harder and kind of stay motivated and stuff like that.


ONDINE: So, looking back, it was– like, there was a lot to learn throughout the GP devising and performing experience. And there were a lot of– like, there’s a lot of things I wish I knew. And one of the things that I would say is definitely– it’s going to sound a bit cliche– but definitely be supportive of your friends in your group.

Like, for example, we all had different assessments going on. And so everyone was understanding if someone had to work on something else, and they had to take a step back from the group for a few days. And then they’d just, yeah, be supportive of that.

ELLA 2: And also, I recommend doing other activities with your group that aren’t related to the GP. So just fun things like going out to dinner, we did a lot. And that just solidifies that level of friendship that when you go back to the group, it’s something that you want to be doing. And there’s something fun that you can do with people that you enjoy spending time with.

SOPHIA: Yeah. And also, just kind of having fun with actually doing it. Like, it’s not just all work. Like, it’s kind of fun to create these new things and these new ideas. So it’s like, have fun with the group.

ELLA 1: So looking back, obviously it is really hard. It’s your HSC piece. You have to put heaps of work in, heaps of time, heaps of effort. But at the end of the day, you are creating this, you know, like, really fun piece with all these people who you’ve known for over three years. Like, you do get a lot out of it. And I think we’re all very grateful for the experience.

GRACE: And our group chat is still going on.

ALL: Yeah!

SOPHIA: It’s true.

ELLA 2: To this day.

GRACE: Honestly, like, we have bonded a lot. It was very difficult in year 11. Like, being accelerated, it was competitive, and it was draining. But it was worth it. Because now we’re free of drama, which is–

ELLA 1: Sad.

ELLA 2: Yeah. It’s sad.

GRACE: It’s tragic. No, but we’re– now we’ve come out of it. We have a very special bond, our five. And we’ve created a piece that’s out and onstage. We got that. So it was really, it was rewarding.


End of transcript

Content updated 22/9/2020

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