Theatre Company – Week 6

May 19, 2020 |

Good morning, everyone.

Well, this is it. This is our final week of Theatre Company. As such, I decided to prepare a very short but meaningful task for everyone.

This week, I would like everyone to make a post about what Theatre Company, or Theatre in general, has meant to them this year (or in years past). I want this to be a final reflection that is shared with everyone in our Theatre Company, and I encourage you all to take the time to not only make a post, but to also read the posts of others.

I encourage you all to make your posts on Microsoft Teams, but if you’d like to make them here, I can copy them onto Teams at the end of the week so that the rest of our class can see your comment. I will do the same if you decide to email me as well. Below is my post for the week on what Theatre Company has meant to me this year.


I’m sure it will come as no surprise to you all that Theatre is an important aspect of my life, what with me being your Drama teacher and all. Theatre is a place where I can feel powerful and confident in myself. A place where I can test my limits and create works of wonder, comedy, tragedy and joy.

However, Theatre is also a place where I can feel vulnerable and safe. It is a place where I can share my deepest fears, my fondest memories and my unending gratitude with a group of people that have come to treat me as family.

This year, I felt like my Theatre family grew in so many ways. I got to watch some of you grow as actors, challenging yourselves to take new risks. I got to meet some of you for the first time, and be amazed by the sheer talent that was sleeping within you all along. I got to spend precious hours in rehearsals with you all, watching a performance develop over time. I honestly could not be more proud to have met all of you in my life.

And while I know that this pandemic stopped you from being able to show the world you hard work, I want you all to know that you are seen. You are seen by your director, proud from his seat. You are seen by your fellow actors, honoured in sharing the stage with you. And you are seen by yourself, finding the courage to improve every day.

To those of you who I will get to work with next year: I cannot wait to have another journey with you in the years to come. You have all grown so much, and I cannot wait to see what blooms in the future.

To those of you who will be moving on to greater things: it was truly an honour, a blessing and a joy to have shared the stage with you all. I wish you nothing but the best wherever you go, and I hope that you know that the Theatre will always be your home. That door will always be open any day you need to come find a familiar space, where you can feel confidant, yet vulnerable. Where you can take risks, yet find the safety of friends.

It has been a wonderful semester and a fantastic year working with each and every one of you. I hope that you all have a productive and healthy remainder of the school year.

-Mr. V

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Theatre Company – Week 5

May 11, 2020 |

Good morning everyone. I hope that you all had a wonderful week.

As this will be one of our final weeks with Theatre Company, I was hoping that this week would serve as a final reflection. I want you to think about your experiences, both from before Spring Break and after Spring Break, and think about how they have affected you as a person.

To accommodate the long weekend, your weekly assignment this week will be due on Tuesday, May 19th at 11:59pm. You can submit the assignment in the comments section below, in the comments on Microsoft Teams, or by email to giuliano.vigna@burnabyschools.ca.


Reflection Questions: (Please think deeply about these questions and respond to them thoughtfully in complete sentences).

1a) What was your favourite scene or moment from “The Show Must Go On?”

1b) Why was this your favourite scene?

2a) What do you think was your greatest achievement in this course?

2b) How do you think you were able to accomplish this achievement?

3a) What do you think was your greatest obstacle in this course?

3b) Did you overcome this obstacle? Why or why not?

4a) When was a time that you believe you demonstrated strong leadership in Theatre Company?

4b) How were you able to achieve this role of leadership?

5a) When was a time where you believe you could have shown more leadership in Theatre Company?

5b) How might you do things differently now?

6) One of the goals of this course is to learn that creative growth requires patience, readiness to take risks, and willingness to try new approaches. Can you remember a rime when you achieved this goal?

7) Another goal of this course was to understand that art requires you to explore outside your comfort zone. Can you identify a time where you explored outside of your comfort zone?

8) How did the news of our show’s cancellation make you feel?

9) Do you believe that participating in this course, despite the cancellation of our show, was still valuable to you as a performer or as a person?

10) Did continuing to explore Theatre Company through an online model help to give some closure to the show? Why or why not?

11) Please provide two “Stars” (two highlights from the class).

12) Please provide a wish (something you wish we would have done).


I look forward to reading your responses. Please have a great week.

-Mr. V

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Theatre Company – Week 4

May 4, 2020 |

Good morning everyone. I hope that you all had a restful week. Thank you to those who submitted their prequel assignment. It was great to get to see some of you again through video. It reminded me how thankful I am to have known you all, and how I wish that we could all still be together in-person.

Last Saturday would have been our closing night, with our traditional Denny’s celebration to follow. I would have been making speeches about all of you and crying my eyes out, because this cast was full of fantastic individuals that inspire me every single day.

While our show (and thus Theatre Company) would have concluded by now, this online supplement for the class will need to continue for a couple more weeks. However, it will not last the entirety of the semester. In addition to this week, you will have two more weeks worth of content before this course concludes.

Just a reminder, your weekly activity will be due on Sunday, May 10th at 11:59pm. If you choose to do Option A, you will need to submit it to me by email at giuliano.vigna@burnabyschools.ca. If you choose Option B, you can leave it below in the comments, in the comments on Microsoft Teams, or email me at giuliano.vigna@burnabyschools.ca.


Instructions: (Option A)

For this week’s assignment, I want to challenge everyone to record a filmed scene. As I know that not everyone has the same technology available from home, if this is not possible for you, I will also accept a written script of a scene.

The criteria for the scene is as follows: “An English Affair” has been cancelled due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. Your character is quarantined by themselves at home. How would your character naturally act and react to the cancellation of the show, and how would they behave being under quarantine?

This scene does not need to be long (I’m thinking about 1-2 minutes long), but it should give us some deeper insight into your character from the show.


Instructions: Option B

1) Follow the link to Artful Schools: https://www.artfulschools.com/studentresources

2) Watch “Advice for Young Designers” by Cory Pattak

3) After watching the video, respond to the reflection questions provided below.

Reflection Questions:

1. What are some of your immediate thoughts about the video? Are they positive or negative?

2. What is one aspect of this video that you think is valuable to your overall learning? Why?

3. What is one aspect of this video that you found to be difficult or confusing? Why?

4. Do you think that lighting is an important aspect of Theatre? Why or why not?

5. Cory Pattak describes that some of his colleagues in production state that it is difficult to enjoy Theatre shows after being a part of the production team. Do you think this would be true for you? Why or why not?

6. What do you think would be the most difficult step that Cory describes in his advice? Why?

7. After watching this video, how do you think it changes your perspective on approaching a show?


I hope that everyone has a wonderful week. Please take a moment this week to connect with your cast mates to see how they are doing. If you have any questions or concerns, you can email me at giuliano.vigna@burnabyschools.ca.

-Mr. V

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Theatre Company – Week 3

April 27, 2020 |

Good morning everyone. I hope that you’ve all had a productive and relaxing week. This week would have been the week of our show, and I know all of you would have been blowing away the audience with your performance. I was so proud of you and continue to be proud of you for all of your hard work, but also for how you are enduring this current pandemic. Please continue to be the rockstars that you all are.

This week, you will once again have two options (one performance and one production). For your performance option this week, you will have the option to exercise your acting muscles once more. I just wanted to remind everyone that you should not be exceeding three hours of work per course per week. If you spend three hours this week on one of these options, and still do not have it complete, please stop, send me an email, and you can continue this assignment next week.

Just a reminder, your weekly activity will be due this upcoming Sunday, May 3rd at 11:59pm. The activity can be submitted in the comments below, the comments section on Microsoft Teams, or by email to giuliano.vigna@burnabyschools.ca.


Option 1: Character Prequel Scene

You will be creating a scene between your character from the show, and one other character in the show. This scene should serve as a “prequel” or “backstory,” and give a deeper insight into the relationship between the two characters.

For example, you might choose to focus on when these two characters first met, or when they first became friends/enemies.This scene does not have to be long (think about 1-2 minutes in length if it were to be performed), but should give some kind of further insight into both your character and the other character.

For this activity, you may choose to work with a partner. I think it could be nice for members of Theatre Company to collaborate, but you can also choose to do this on your own.

The means to which you provide this scene is completely up to you, but here are a few suggestions at some of the ways you can provide it:

  • Write a short script between your character and another character.
  • Film a Youtube/TikTok-style scene that cuts between the two characters having a conversation. (If you are doing this on your own, think about playing both roles and how you can use minimal costume change to indicate when the other character is on-screen).
  • Record a dialogue between the two characters.

Unless you choose to write a script, it may be difficult to submit the activity in the comments section. Instead, you may want to email me your work instead at giuliano.vigna@burnabyschools.ca.


Option 2: Set Design

1) Go to the following link for Artful Schools: https://www.artfulschools.com/studentresources

2) Watch “Show + Tell: Examples of Set Models” by set director Walt Spangler.

3) After watching the video, respond to the reflection questions provided below.

Reflection Questions (Option 2 Only)

1. What are some of your immediate thoughts about the video? Are they positive or negative?

2. What is one aspect of this video that you think is valuable to your overall learning? Why?

3. What is one aspect of this video that you found to be difficult or confusing? Why?

4. Do you believe that using set models is a necessary step in order to design a good set? Why or why not?

5. Do you think that using a set model is more valuable than simply providing a sketch of the set? Why or why not?

6. What do you think are some of the benefits of using set models as a method to design a set?

7. What do you think are some of the limitations of using set models as a method to design a set?

8. If you were to build a set model of “The Show Must Go On,” what sort of materials would you use to do so? (Please provide as much detail for this answer as possible. I want you to give me an idea of what your model would look like if you were creating it).


I hope that everyone has a wonderful week. Please take a moment this week to connect with your cast mates to see how they are doing, as I know many of us will be lamenting the fact that we will not be celebrating at Denny’s on Saturday after our closing night. If you have any questions or concerns, you can email me at giuliano.vigna@burnabyschools.ca.

-Mr. V

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Theatre Company – Week 2

April 20, 2020 |

Good morning everyone. I hope that you’ve all had a wonderful week. This week would have been our “Hell Week” before the show, which is crazy to think about. I know you are all probably disappointed that we can’t be spending rehearsals until the late hours of the evening, pulling our hair out to try and perfect our show, but I hope that you can find some peace in the fact that we can still connect.

Just a reminder, in a semestered school, teachers are allowed to assign up to three hours of content per course per week. Obviously, last week’s workload was fairly light, and many of you may have completed it in under an hour. Last week was intended to ease you back into learning, and as such, the upcoming weeks will likely require a little bit more of your time.

That being said, while you may need to spend more time engaging with course content, that does not mean it will become more difficult or stressful. The remainder of Theatre Company coursework is designed to allow you to find some closure with our show, and reflect and connect to different aspects of it.

From this point on, I will be providing two options for weekly tasks: one from a performance standpoint and one from a production standpoint. In most cases, you are welcome to choose between whichever task you wish to complete, but there will be some weeks where I will want the performers to complete one task, and the production team to complete another.

As a reminder, your weekly activity this week will be due on Sunday, April 26th at 11:59pm. This activity can be submitted in the comments section below, in the comments section on Microsoft Teams, or directly by email to giuliano.vigna@burnabyschools.ca.


Instructions: Please choose one of the following activities to complete.

Activity 1: Complete the “Character Sheet” questions provided below. (I know many of you did a Character Sheet at the start of our show, but since we have a deeper understanding of our characters now, update it as best as you can).

This “Character Sheet” will include a larger reflection piece that asks you to explain how the character is similar/dissimilar to yourself, and explain your process of how you developed and connected to the character during rehearsals.

Character Sheet Questions:

  1. What is your name?
  2. What is your character’s name?
  3. Personal Hobbies? Why do they like these activities?
  4. Life Partner? How did they meet?
  5. Which other character do they like the most? Why?
  6. Which other character do they dislike the most? Why?
  7. Fears? Why?
  8. Personal Goals? Why?
  9. Occupation? Why do they have this job?
  10. Social/Psychological Traits? How did these develop?

11. In a short paragraph, explain how the character is similar to you.

12. In a short paragraph, explain how the character is dissimilar to you.

13. In a short paragraph, describe the process of how you were able to develop and connect with this character.


Activity 2: Design the costume for two characters in the show. You should be including all necessary costume pieces and props that they would carry.

You can communicate the costume designs in any of the following ways:
-Descriptive summaries outlining their costume pieces/props
-Sketches/drawings
-Using images found on the internet

You must also include a brief explanation of why you chose this particular costume for that character.

**Note: Activity 2 may be more difficult to submit in the comments section if you choose to use pictures, so consider emailing it to me instead.


I hope that you all have a good week. If you have any questions, concerns or issues, please email me directly at giuliano.vigna@burnabyschools.ca.

-Mr. V

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Theatre Company – Week 1

April 14, 2020 |

Good morning everyone. As this will be our first official “week back” to school, I have planned something that is meant to simply ease you back in to the world of the dramatic arts, while also creating some connective tissue between our upcoming learning and the time you have spent away.

This week, you will be trying out an exercise, and answering some reflection questions about your experience with the exercise. Please note that the reflection questions will be due on Sunday, April 19th at 11:59pm. They can be submitted in the comments section below, in the comments section on Microsoft Teams, or by email to giuliano.vigna@burnabyschools.ca.

**PLEASE NOTE: For this first week, all of my Drama classes will be engaging with the exact same exercise/warm-up activity. If you are in Theatre Company and have already done this activity for one of the other classes, you do not need to do it again. However, starting next week, Theatre Company will have its own set of activities, so be sure to check all of your classes.

Our activity this week will be focused on the idea of theatre space. Theatre space is an important aspect to how we grow as actors, and our environment can contribute heavily to how we motivate ourselves.

“But Mr. Vigna! How could we possibly focus on theatre space from home?” 

“Well, eager student, that is a wonderful question. Simply follow the instructions below and you’ll be all set.”


Instructions:

1. Copy and paste the following link into your web browser: https://www.artfulschools.com/studentresources

2. Under the section “Theatre Classes,” please click the video entitled “Warming Up Your Actors.”

3. Find a space in your home where you can follow along with the video, and perform the 15-minute warm up that Christine Smith leads. Be sure to engage as much as possible with the warm up.

4. You will find a series of reflection questions below. Please take some time to think about each question, and then answer them in 2-3 sentences each. When you are finished, submit your answers to the questions in the comments section below, or in the comments section on Microsoft Teams. Be sure to include your name with your questions so that I know that it is you.


Reflection Questions: Week 1

1. Question of the Week: As we are all staying at home during this time, it has changed the way we are able to interact with the world. What is one thing that you miss about your old routine, and what is one thing that you like about your new routine?

2. Now that you have completed the warm up, what are your immediate thoughts? Are they mostly positive or negative?

3. What is one aspect of the exercise that you think was valuable to your overall learning? Why?

4. What is one aspect of the exercise that you found difficult, challenging or embarrassing? Why?

5. Space is an important part of the Theatre experience. How did it feel doing an activity like this from your home rather than in our Drama Room?

6. Do you think your experience would be different if you had done this activity in the Drama Room? Why or why not?

7. Connection is also an important part of the Theatre experience. How did it feel doing an activity like this by yourself?

8. Do you think your experience would be different if you had done this activity with your classmates in the same room? Why or why not?

9. What Theatre skill(s) do you think you practice/rehearse using an exercise like this?


I hope that everyone enjoys easing back into the Theatre experience. I look forward to hearing from you all. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments, or email me at giuliano.vigna@burnabyschools.ca.

-Mr. Vigna

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Introduction

April 14, 2020 |

Good morning students and parents:

I hope that you have all had a refreshing, safe and healthy long weekend. But with the weekend over, it is time to officially begin our first week of continued learning. Please read the following carefully, as it contains important information on how Drama courses will continue through an online model.

If you are reading this, it means you have likely read the email I sent out earlier this morning, and have decided to explore the curriculum using my website.

Every Monday (unless it is a holiday like yesterday), I will post a weekly activity for students to engage with at home. Students should do their best to try these activities out from home, and are welcome to include parents, siblings, guardians, or other members of their household to help with the experience. Each exercise will come with a short activity that must be submitted by 11:59pm the following Sunday.

I am aware that not everyone has access to the best technology at home, which is why I am doing my best to make each and every assignment accessible and completable even from a smart phone with a basic web browser. You should not run in to many technical issues, but if you do, don’t worry. You can always send me an email to let me know what is going on. 

Your workload each week for my course should not exceed two hours (this includes reading, watching resources and completing assignments). If you find yourself spending more than two hours to complete a task, please let me know and we can find a solution. The point of these weekly online lessons are not to overwhelm you, but rather, to allow for you to continue your learning in the dramatic arts.  

If you have any questions or concerns about each weekly activity, feel free to leave a comment on this post, or email me at giuliano.vigna@burnabyschools.ca.

I look forward to our continued learning in Drama. Please be sure to read this week’s activity (which will be posted shorty after this), and to check back every Monday for your next activity.

-Mr. Vigna

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