Chinese theatre lesson 7 part 1

This lesson commenced the rehearsal of the actual performance which will go towards our final GCSE grade. The class was split into two groups of six people. This therefore means that I cannot give a full description of what happened this lesson (hence the part one in the title). I can, however, give details into what our half of the class did. We first read the first part of the story and gave people different jobs in the performance. These parts included the narrator, Zhou, Liang, Zhou’s arranged husband and Zhou’s father. There was also a place open for someone to do the technical aspects and, as I am a member of the technical group for our school and therefore had one of the best knowledge of how the lights, sounds, colours etc work bio-synchronously, I volunteered to do that part.

After the parts were assigned, we started to decide how we were going to lay out the scene for the first introduction scene. We knew that the set was supposed to be minimalist, and so we had to try and design it around what we could incorporate into every scene. We therefore decided to have the compulsory ‘altar‘ at the back with a bowl of fruit on the top. We then placed a chair stage left and decided these were going to be the only props we were going to use. Suddenly, however, the only Mandarin speaker in our group came up with an amazing idea.  As all the scenes were going to be relatively the same, we could have just one changing element, and so decided to have a small board which, on one side, will say something along the lines of  ‘home sweet home’ (in Mandarin) and on the other says ‘homework is due tomorrow’ so that the audience can see a change between the scenes of home and school with just a small change.

We then went into a small part of improvisational work to see roughly how the first scene would work. We placed the Narrator in a small area slightly stage right of square 4 in the luo diagram (a diagram we will have to go into much more detail in later posts) as he does not have a personality in the way of the story.We then placed the chair with the father on in square 3 (vapours) so that it shows his mix of softness (water) and also passion (fire). We also thought that we may put Zhou in square 1, as water shows her intelligence and softness, but also the ability to wield great powers.

Look out for part 2, the insert by the other group in the class


luo diagram picture from

main picture from


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