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September 25, 2008

Lyric Rafn-Stoffer

My shadow theater experience was very interesting. When the assignment was announced that we were going to be making shadow puppet theater I got extremely excited because it was so out of the ordinary.
I had a very well flowing group and we were all open to each others ideas. which I think really helped our final product. We spent a lot of time on the shoe box because we had so many creative ideas. When we finally did our performance, it was completely improve but turned out really cool and fit together somehow. I really enjoyed this experience, because I love the feeling of being boundry-less and it was very intruiging to see what the other groups had come up with.

My experence with Shadow Theater (By Conor Flood...the red head)

Well, the shadow plays was a very interesting project. I've never really had a project like that, especially the very broad criteria. There was always a very strict guide line to follow, and this time there wasn't. It was kinda weird, but very cool. I think our group worked pretty good together, but could not decide on what to do. At first we spent alot of time throwing out ideas, and tried to make our stage high tech haha the ending product was the infamous double decker stage. It was interesting when we were playing around, and pretty surprising when our stage caught fire.
After watching that first group perform that first day, it kinda shocked us into trying to develope our story, but that was pushed to the next day
The second day really throw us into a loop, cuz then we started messing with the stage again, and then realized we still didnt have a story, and we still werent ready to commite until the last minute until the show started, and we basically just winged it. It turned out great and it was a very good learning experiece. It was nice just to get into the play and not worry about what was supposed to happen or would and just let stuff happen. It was alot of fun

Yet Another Dysfunctional Account

When we were first introduced to our shadow box assignment, I was entirely excited to be given free rein, but with what seemed like a crippling limitation of only abstract sound and shape. I was looking forward to learning something new, and being pushed outside of what I was comfortable with. I think that my enthusiasm to better myself and broaden my understanding actually ended up hurting me by making me feel like I had to defend my individual ego and, in turn, resist any changes I hadn't thought of myself. I didn't even realize that I was being controlling until it was pointed out to me. Of course, I had noticed that we hadn't exactly been radiating flow and collaboration, but I was so wrapped up in the idea and the activity that I had all but forgotten that I was working primarily with people. At first I thought that by collaborating through our shapes, we would eventually find a sequence that fit the beginning/middle/end sequence that we were going for. But once we made the decision to concentrate on the form our story would take, we were much better able to use everyone's ideas. For me, the lesson I learned about ego versus collaboration was just as important as what I learned about form and shadow.

the battleground in the foreground of the underground [lair]

The double-decker extravaganza was for me an experiment in our faith of spontineity. Our group was very kind to one another, and I think we each recognized quickly how difficult it was to noticeably include five people's ideas into a very short show. (What oh What happened to our number five dude? WHERE ARE YOU NUMBER FIVE DUDE?!) Our collaboration seemed to depend on spontinoirity simply because we seemed unwilling to structure ourselves around any one person's vision, afraid that accepting one person's idea excludes the others. We worked it out much better the second day, taking the spirit of ideas offered on the first day, embracing them as ideas instead of identities, and rolled with it. We seemed to do our own things with a general awareness of other people, trying to "flow".

A thought that totally preoccupied my mind during this exercise was our automatic story writing. It seemed that in any show, any "event" translated (at least in my mind) into some sort of story. Characters with motivations sprung uncontrollably out of randomly torn pieces of paper and guttural utterances. Is it possible to have a "show" without a "story"? I recognize we started out with the intention to create a series of events, i.e. story, so that would explain our case. But I wonder if we watched a computer production of random shapes interact randomly on a screen, would we still automatically assume a story? Could we even comprehend a truly random and coincidental series of events?

September 24, 2008

Danika Zabertini

Our group spent the vast majority of our time putting together our setting. By vast majority I mean all but 30 seconds before preforming. I am glad though. I hope you guys could see what we were doing well enough. My group was swell. We had pretty good chemistry. Yay; works well with others. I have a flashlight with changeable light filters which project different space patterns back in Rochester. I like to play with it at night sometimes. Shadow puppetry put me in the same zone only it required applied attention which made it even more fulfilling. There is something about shadows/shade which holds a pretty intense power over me. I am so happy to be a part of this class. See you all in a couple days for some delicious cooking.

September 23, 2008

Shadow Boxes

While watching all of the performances on Thursday i really started to let myself go, and become part of the show myself. I allowed my mind to wondering and dance over all types of personal relationships, experiences, and struggles that so easily make up my life and well me. For a girl like me allowing myself to not be so structured always seemed like it would be something hard to do, yet while preforming these shows, especially our after hours of scenery work and throwing together the final show felt exhilarating. Just being able to be a kid again and play with things that didn't necessarily have to be the most expense or most popular toys but the ones made with your own hands, those are the toys that i know i used and refused to let go of once my imagination was in full gear. I told my roommates the other day of how good it felt to get to play again, they all looked at me with the raised eyebrow like i was crazy, they don't understand how when we are thrust into the structured lives that we all have lived since early on that we loose the ability to just relax let go and allow everything to just flow. I enjoy using that word now that i can honestly say what it means when people play off each other and just let the art come from within.

September 21, 2008

Andrew Asche

I found the project to be move free and open compared to other classes. I enjoyed the less structured nature of the Shadow Theater. I also liked how the group was accepting of people's ideas, and how people's ideas built off of other people's ideas to produce a better outcome. I think playing first help to create a more unique show, from my and other groups.

September 19, 2008

Danielle Doublette

The Theater experience was really an amazing activity to me. I'm rarely able to play during my day, so it was really nice to be able to make things out of paper and let my right side of my brain wander. I enjoyed learning about how the shadow really works and how it is used in theatre. It was an expericence that let me social and bounce ideas off of my classmates. Doing this activity makes me excited to see whats next for the up coming classes!!!

Another Entry from the Dysfunctional Group

This is interesting because I had a whole different experience of the same event. For me, it started out with the introductions and getting to know our group, which was exciting. Getting the materials and then just having to do anything with them, though, was hard for me. I'm still trying to get used to working with so little structure. I didn't really know what was going on with our group that first day. It wasn't until Eric mentioned it, that it really dawned on me that our problem was that we were having trouble doing everything that this class was about: collaborating. I left that class glad to be done. It just hadn't felt right. Coming back this week and picking up with new resolve to work together seemed to work out for our group. Which was awesome. You could really feel us finally connecting as a group. And I was so impressed with the other groups' creativity. The different boxes and sound effects and shadows were all things that I probably could never come up with on my own. Which is just proof of how much of a benefit it is to work with other people. I was skeptical about making shadows in boxes when we first started, but it turned out to be far more interesting that I expected.

The Dysfunctional Group

The shadow boxes were someting else. I had mixed feelings from the start: first I thought it would be really cool to try to do something with three other people from just a few raw materials. Then I realized that it was not quite as cool as I'd originally thought, because it was proving to be quite difficult! We were, as we have come to be known, the "dysfunctional group:" Katharine, Eric, Nicole and I. I really liked talking with them as we first did in groups, getting to know each other's view of the "flow" concept, I felt that we had some really good things to talk about. However, once we started the shadow box theater, it didn't seem to go so smoothly. Each of us had kind of a preconceived notion of what our box would look like, who would be in charge, and what our roles would be - even perhaps what the storyline, or our three events would be. On the surface it may have appeared that we were being respectful and working together, but I had the underlying feeling that we all felt as I did; bored, trapped within what someone else wanted (or didn't want), and generally mutinous. We made some progress, but weren't really getting into it as a group. It seems ironic now, because we had just been discussing the flow concept and not allowing ego to get in the way of the group flow and greater good and everything, yet as we worked, we seemed to be contradicting just that. We volunteered to give a preliminary outline of what our show might be, and I think that was a factor that helped us to work together a bit better. We were put on the spot, which often seems to produce some kind of momentum, whether the outcome is helpful or not. We hadn't really rehearsed, and we all kind of crowded to get our characters a chance behind the screen, but it did help us to flow a little bit and interact under a little pressure and get an idea of what it would really be like. This week, we worked together much better. I think it had a lot to do with the fact that we admitted last week that we had not worked well together. (The first step is admitting one has a problem!) We decided collectively what we would work on and try to accomplish, and we seemed much more friendly and willing to collaborate, which is great, considering that's what this seminar is all about. I actually had a fun time, and even when we performed I felt that I didn't know what to expect because we did it a little differently every time. We added some cool transitions that I don't think we would have had before, either, that we were more willing to incorporate because we were actually collaborating a little more efficiently.

September 18, 2008

Shadow Theater Experience by Wes Landry

The shadow theater activity was a unique, artistic experience for me. The freedom to form our own ideas made for unlimited possibilities in creative expression. This makes for a great contrast to the creativity limits I experience in some of my other classes. All of the groups seemed to have their own unique ideas, which made for an even more inspiring experience. I really liked the two "floors" in the second group's theater, and the change of scenery and feel midway through the third group's show. The fourth group's performance was very energetic--almost chaotic--which really kept my attention. Overall, the shadow theater was a very interesting and expressive experience for me.