Our Country’s Good

Hello Fellow-Drama-Ibers….Hope you are enjoying the clear skies, crisp air, and sunshine we so rarely see here in the Northwest. Sitting here recalling our Friday discussion of OCG, I feel a sudden sense of urgency.  Drama, the word itself, means ” to do.”  Drama is an active verb, not a concept, although there are infinite concepts one could derive from its practice.

Hence we have this wonderful project before us. How can I best assist our collaborative journey? The philosopher, Goethe, urges us to simply begin once we feel the faintest glimmer of motivation. Where that motivation came from, what “stimulus” we are operating on, whether it be conscious or not, we only need to actually begin the journey and according to Goethe, the universe will provide what we need to make it happen.

One foot in front of the other. Lets begin the journey.

We made some important decision about the style of the production, beginning with our definition of a “staged reading.” I invite you to read and amend, make further suggestions, and continue the dialogue with regard to the whole production.  I’ve noticed that you read each other’s comments, so lets continue that practice. Creative teams must re-visit their ideas, keeping an open mind as to what can be let go of and what must be clarified. I was heartened by Lucas’s story of his fifth grade band, The Cobraz, and how some of the members are still together…they must have a strong collaborative working style, and a common artistic vision to have remained together.  That is one definition of success. So let the ideas and impulses flow. Remember that we must listen to each other and consider each others ideas, building consensus as we work.


  • This is a play about character and so we need to memorize lines. Except for Liz’s monologue, we do not have hug line loads. Sorry Lauren!
  • Some editing needs to be done with regard to the opening monologue and other parts that may be too intense for our audience.
  • Projections would be kept at a bare minimum, if not, left out completely. We are still considering some use of them to assist our audience with a sense of “place.”
  • We did discuss creating a backdrop of canvas as an image of the ship’s sail and as an image for a map of the journey from England to Australia.
  • There will be two performances at least in Jan/Feb and they will happen in the drama room, a space we will adapt into a black box adding fabric covered 4×8 ft. panels, painting, and emptying the space to accommodate an audience of about 50-60.
  • In order to express the main idea of the play, we will find appropriate costumes for the status groups that exist in the text. There exist the criminals, the officers that work with the criminals, Ralph and Harry, and the more distant layer, Ross, Campbell, Faddy, Dawes, and Governor Phillips. We may have to share some 18th century jackets and wigs…as Dawes and Faddy are only on for one scene.

What is our next step? I think we need to create a rehearsal schedule..but I don’t think we should rehearse everyday. We have other fish to fry during the week, so I am open to suggestions. Lets discuss this on Monday and lets have some fun between now and Winter Break…a little celebrating would be nice.

What else do YOU recall we discussed on Friday regarding OCG and what questions do you have about IB class?  We will review deadlines for your TIW research project, your TIM stimulus project, and continue in our journey…. Blog, post, subscribe and have a nice weekend.

Ms. Ferguson


Our Country’s Good

Hello Again… We probably won’t finish the OCG script before we leave for the holiday. So…please finish reading it and forward me any additional requests for parts before I finalize a cast list by Monday, Nov. 30th. Remember: You should be researching your Theatre Practice and have a draft ready before Winter Break! Please write to me with your concerns and questions. Many of you I have yet to hear from….Ms. Ferguson

We discussed selecting a culture, theatre practice, and script for your “Theatre In The World” research project.  The key is to discern these particular points when considering your research topic: 

 1.  Is the culture I am exploring somewhat “unfamiliar”  to me?   2. Does this culture have or has it ever had a “theatre practice” that is notable, meaning, a tradition of drama that is reflected through the culture?

Example: The Greeks are probably the most noted for their theatre tradition as it evolved out of their social and political systems.  The Golden Age of Greece is noted for their playwriting contests when playwrights like Sophocles wrote, directed, and shaped the actual acting style for his scripts. Sophocles is known for having invented the idea of an actor separating himself from the chorus and speaking lines of dialogue directly to the audience.  So on three fronts Greek culture has contributed to the evolution of the art form: soical and political movements or belief systems, playwrights, and acting styles.   

3.  How is your culture and its theatre practice connected?  Is it through that culture’s playwrights? Is there an acting style that was discovered and practiced at this time?  Or was it the social and/or political movement of the time that shaped the kind of  theatre we associate with this culture?  In the case of Greece, it is all three!

4.  Every culture has art, but not all have necessarily published plays. After the Greeks the Romans attempted to copy a lot of what the Greeks created, however, they are not known for their plays.  If you cannot access a script for the theatre practice/tradition you are researching, please change your culture…otherwise you will become frustrated due to the lack of resources, research information, etc.  See Jane. See Jane run to help you discover a new culture!

Due Friday!   What is ylour culture? How would you describe the theatre practice? Are their playwrights for this time period? IF so…name them. Name the play, Describe the Theatre PRACTICE!!!   Yeah! 


Saturday, October 24th, 2009

Hello all you happy people.  While surfing this afternoon I came upon this link which you should investigate as one of many links you might find useful. It isn’t the most sophisticated, but a start. Joseph Campbell is the foremost (and most widely known) expert in Myth, and Cultural Anthropology.  He has produced several documentaries such as a 3 part series entitled: The Power of Myth. These are available to rent at most video stores, Netflicks, etc.

Keep in mind as you begin the process of research to use more than just internet sources. In our classroom for example, our text, Theatre: The Lively Art, is a good source for a solid introduction into various forms of theatre practice.  Printed sources can be found online, but it is difficult to get all the information unless you research the actual print document.

Assignment: Due  Wednesday, October 28th. We will share our results during class.

Part One: Go online.  Bring to class one online source and one “print” ( as in book, article, essay, journal) for Theatre History.Record this information also on your blog.

Part Two: Answer this question:  What are two theories ( different but not necessarily conflicting) on the ‘Origin of Theatre’?  Blog your answer and be prepared to summarize it during our class discussion. Hopefully, your research  will provide this information.


Later that day…. Jane discovered another link for those of you interested in a connection between ritual drama and how one composer sees ritual in opera and contemporary music. Check out this link:http://www.lambertococcioli.com/persistence-of-ritual-elements/

October 15, 2009

Another piece of the blog puzzle…

Assignment due on Friday, Oct. 16th:  Go to http://www.KatieIBTheatre.wordpress.com

Take Note of Katie’s wordpress blog and begin reading it. Try not to “freak out” at all the stuff she is doing, just kick back and read a part of it that interests you. Try no to react to what she is doing in her program that we are not as of yet doing.

Be sure to send me your new blog address.

Assignment # 2:

Comment on these questions:

1.  What are two cultures you are personally interested in but have never studied?

2.  Find an excerpt from Katie’s blog that connects with something re: IB Theatre. What is it and how do you connect with it?

Post your comments/answers here.  All due tomorrow!