For the past few weeks of Term Four, Year 12 Drama students have been tasked with re-envisioning an excerpt from a famous heritage text of their choice. Through applying Post-Modern concepts and conventions, we have strived to present a new, modern adaptation of our chosen classics.
To assist in understanding the processes needed for a task such as this, we Drama students were treated with a unique experience last Friday; a webcam call with the one and only Nelle Lee, a brilliant actress and artistic director of Shake & Stir Theatre Company. Well known for their in-school touring performances and nation-wide performances of modern adaptations of famous plays, the Shake & Stir team have gained a serious reputation, both locally and nationally.
Based in Brisbane, Nelle and her theatre comrades have an astronomical amount of skill and talent, and as Drama students, we took every opportunity to gain some professional directorial knowledge and industry insights.
Nelle provided us with information on how to go about directing a piece, the dos and don’ts of polishing a piece of modernised theatre, told stories of her own experiences in the directing and acting business, and the world of Drama during and after University.
When beginning an adaptation, we learnt that first, we must find inspiration in everything, as no idea should be ignored, and that anything is an opportunity to gain insight from.
Using her many pieces as examples, such as Dracula and Wuthering Heights, Nelle explained that most of the time, simplicity is key when devising new adaptations. Complexity within pieces is important to keep the audience entertained, but it is necessary that the audience also understands.
Through these questions and the answers that Nelle provided, we all felt more informed in the realities of the processes outside of a school environment, with having greater knowledge to draw upon for both our upcoming assessment piece and beyond our schooling lives.
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