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We are a group of friends/parents that run a not-for-profit cultural association in Spain.
This is our (bilingual!) blog about our theatre workshops for kids...

sábado, 7 de julio de 2012

Soap operas V: Taking it further...

The sky is really the limit when it comes to taking this activity further. The students themselves will no doubt have lots of ideas by this stage in the activity for continuing the plotline -  but here are some pointers just in case.

  • Introduce an external event:
    • have characters react to an earthquake, a flood, a fire (can be developed slowly to explore the idea of before, during and after the event, or the group can focus on the aftermath and its implications for the street/characters)
    • organise a celebration (eg. a wedding, funeral, street party): develop the action. Who is getting married? How and when was this decided? (don't rule out murkier motivations like blackmail! :) ) Who is invited (and who is not? Possibilities to introduce hidden tensions (an old flame previously unknown to the rest of the group, perhaps?) and furious reactions); Do things go as planned? Is there an unexpected guest? Does the ceremony run smoothly? (the marriage gets interrupted because the groom is already married.... the coffin gets dropped.... and is empty... the father discovers he is not the father of the newly-baptised son etc)
    • Bring crime onto their doorsteps! Plan a rear-window style murder; a robbery; some shady goings on "next door".... get the characters sleuthing; the nosey old lady jumping to conclusions etc. Consider giving out clues and snippets of information gradually and get the group to develop the scenario accordingly.
  • Introduce a new character:This has endless possibilities. 
    • A new, mysterious neighbour moves in... with his/her dog, son, mother, collection of exotic reptiles, three wives, small sect of devotees......
    • Don't forget the idea of the strange, gloomy house on the hill. Is it haunted? Is the new owner aloof and serious? Are they planning to turn it into a nudist hotel? A drug rehabilitation centre?
    • Long lost lovers, brothers, fathers, husbands... can turn up out-of-the-blue (and wreak suitable amounts of havoc in the lives of our characters)
    • Explore the comic possibilities of a sexy single actress moving in for a few weeks while she works on a film (action and reactions of the men... and the women); a group of gangster-like men; a family with 7 kids, the arrival of the catalogue bride etc etc
  •  Introduce unexpected interaction between characters: At any time, you can introduce a new (or previously unknown) relationship between two (or more) characters. An affair... past shady dealings best forgotten... blackmail.... a sudden sexual spark....
Information can be introduced at group level or just to the individuals concerned (and discovered slowly by the rest of the group). Use clue cards to develop situations slowly. Elicit possible scenarios for developing the action or give them a desired result and get them to "work towards" that.... The possibilities are truly endless.

Got any ideas for ways of taking the soap opera further? I'd love to hear your comments? Tried the activity out? Let me know how it went and what you got up to!

2 comentarios:

  1. Someone could have a "mad relative in the attic" tucked away perhaps?

  2. A mysterious neighbour starts coming and going at night, up to no good (Rear Window style)


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