Today’s session was spent exploring the characters and story of The Tortoise and The Hare and started to create a plan for our workshop. We started by going over the story again and identifying the characters and some of their characteristics. To do this we began by walking round the space as each animal and identifying how we can adopt their animalistic body language to portray the animals in the story successfully. These physicality’s included:
The Elephants – large body language, elongated arms, squat bouncing position, deep voice
The Tortoises – scrunched necks, hunched backs, slow humble movements
The Hares – springy steps, long body posture, floppy head
The Fox – elegant long strides, head held high, short foot flicks when walking
We had decided as a group that throughout the duration of the workshop we would stay in the role of our chosen animal so this exercise was useful in allowing us to explore movements and body language to do so.
We then went onto to explore ways we could introduce the characters to the children in a way that included them in a controlled way. We decided do small movement pieces of the different animals playing, eating and sleeping – 3 universal things everyone can relate too. Being the Tortoise our movements were very slow and quiet, especially when we decided to play. We played tag very slowly, and even got the children involved by pretending to tag them. This allowed the children to interact with the characters and begin to build small relationships with them.
With this in mind, we then began to discuss the themes and issues in the story and how we are going to address these throughout the workshop to the children. Some of the themes and issues we discussed included
- Acceptance – all the animals are different but they are friends and resolve their issues by the end of the story
- Friendship – all animals
- Happiness – winning of the race
- Self-confidence / self-esteem – tortoise builds up confidence/esteem throughout story and help from friends
- Bullying – The Hares and The Tortoise
This meant that our exercises and interaction with each other as actors and the children as experts had to include some of these themes and issues to create a successful, fulfilling workshop.
To conclude this session, we began to write out a plan as a group and identify what we had touched on so far and what was still missing. This was a good way to see how our workshop was coming together and how successful our ideas and exercises are going to be. We decided to create a large table to make it easy for us to see how we could go forward and to make sure we were still following the story from the archives.
|1. Animals enter space – eating/sleeping/playing||2. Fox introduces other characters||3. Greet each other in diff languages – communicate to children|
|4. What to do today? – list things to do – ask children||5. Decide to build a den – Hare gets stuck and others help them out||6. In den – fox appears doing maths – can’t seem to get in right|
|7. Tortoise comes to help and gets it right – Hare feels left out||8. Hare starts to show off – bullying/teasing – Hare laughs at Tortoise short legs||9. Hare asks to race Tortoise – Tortoise agrees after some encouragement from elephant/children|
|10. They race – Hare becomes arrogant and falls asleep – Tortoise wants to give up||11. Children and
Elephant encourage Tortoise to keep going – end up winning
|12. Hare wakes up and see tortoise win – very sad and angry – Hare apologise to Tortoise.|
This was a good way to see what else needed to be done and worked on to create a successful workshop.