Introduction made the performance as life like as possible.

 

 

 

Introduction

The key features of community theatre are purpose, themes,
venues and clients. The purpose is often to bring people together and for
social cohesion.  The themes are commonly
associated with morals and life lessons to influence the youth and people in
the community to make good decisions such as teen pregnancy, abortion or racial
awareness. The venues where the performances take place are local places that
are easily accessible so that anyone can watch the performance, like a town
centre, church rooms, schools or assembly rooms and many more. The clients are
general people in the community that can go to see the show anywhere to better
their knowledge and understanding of the place they live or around the world.
However this does have to be appropriate for certain audiences as a performance
about murder or sexual themes would be disturbing to people under the age of
16. When performing to different audiences in the community the productions
vary in theme however, they all have morals and messages behind them. Joan
Littlewood used techniques like comedy, she would take a very serious topic
such as the Second World War and she would make it comedic, causing the
audience to laugh but then making them feel guilty about laughing at such a
serious subject, this helps bettering the community as it raises the conciseness
of people and makes them more willing to help each other; whereas Augusto Boal
used techniques that made the performance as life like as possible. His key
focus was on theatre of oppression and so his main ideas for bettering the
community involved showing a scenario to an audience once and then making the
actors run it a second time and allowing the audience to step in at any time to
change the course of the story and providing a better ending for all involved
in the plot. This helped make the community better as it allowed real people to
change situations for the better, therefore teaching and encouraging them to be
better people. The key practices of community theatre are often problem solving
and the stories for the performances always have a purpose and a very important
theme in order to make people more aware of the world and each other. Community
theatre has different effects on different groups of people. For example,
certain shows aimed at younger people are to teach them about the world and to
show morals and for the elderly to educate and bring them together.

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The Pomegranate youth theatre
recently did a production of Animal Farm in June this year. This production has
a unique way of showing political views through the different animals. The
focus of this performance is to show different political views and to try to
educate people as well as attempt to bring them together, especially since the
show sympathises with socialist views and socialism is all about bringing
people together. “Orwell presented several morals to us
through Animal Farm. One of the biggest morals within the story, and the best
remembered one can be expressed through the phrase ‘Power Corrupts, Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.'”(Luke
Towers, 2nd April 2014).
This performance took place in the pomegranate theatre which is a good place as
it is chesterfield’s local theatre and is easily accessible for anyone wanting
to see it. The target audience could be for anyone as although politics is a
heavier subject it has a theme of animals making it much more entertaining and
less boring for children. Also the use of animals gives a comedic effect which
would impact audiences more as they laugh and so pay more attention. This could
be an interpretation of Joan Littlewood’s techniques as a serious subject like
politics is turned into comedy to grab people’s attention and make them think. This
performance is to promote equality and socialism and this way of doing it could
affect audiences more as they feel more sympathy when an animal gets killed
than if a human died. Also because it shows animals speaking and arguing this
stands out to audiences more and gets their attention because it is not a
regular occurrence when an animal acts like a human. Also because socialism is
all about people working together and uniting this is an appropriate show to do
within a community because it will bring them all together and it is also an
appropriate time to do this with all the tragedies happening in modern day
telling us that we should all unite and work together. The needs of the
audience have been met as they have been educated but in an entertaining and
light hearted way. The show explores political beliefs and shows the opinions
of communism and World War II. This could also highlight themes such as class
and status because political beliefs are related to social standing. It also
shows that sticking and working together is more important than only looking
after yourself. I think this performance is hoping to work towards socialism
and making audiences inspired to make a change which is what Augusto Boal
promoted. This is because they will feel effected by the issues and events
brought up and will want to contribute to change in the world. 

                The
next performance is Shrek the musical and dance dynamics. This is a musical
combined with a dance show and will be showing in November. “Shrek: The Musical takes the original Shrek and
builds upon its message of not judging a book by its cover. With one of the biggest
musical numbers being the song ‘Let Your Freak Flag Fly’ it was obvious that
the running theme of the show was how being different is awesome.” (Unknown
writer, 2011). Shrek the musical is a fairy story that follows an ogre on his
quest to rescue a princess and finds love along the way; this show also
features many fairytale characters. As well as Shrek there is also a dance show
afterwards so that everyone can get involved and feature in the performance.
The focus of this show is to involve everyone and bring people of all ages
together as this is a show suitable for children of any age and the venue is at
the pomegranate theatre therefore it is easy for anyone to get there and watch
the performance. The purpose of this performance is to bring people together
and promote the morals of inner beauty and the dance section is to bring joy
and appreciation for dance as well as give other people in the group a chance
to perform and shine. The themes and issues raised in the show are that being
beautiful on the inside and being yourself are the most important things which
are good messages to give especially in a setting with children. These themes
could also encourage friendliness and joy amongst people in the community as
although not everyone in chesterfield will see the show, it will cause other
people to be happy as it is a light hearted and carefree production that will
cause others to be happy. “This is an immensely entertaining and
hysterically funny show.” (Caligula Constantine, 2013). I think the needs of
the audience will be met as it is an amusing show so the audience will find it
funny and feel happy after seeing it which is all the show aims to do. The show
promotes social values and teaches people to be kind to one another as well as
show that whether you are a princess, or an ogre we are all still equal and
what’s on the inside is what matters. The performance is hoping to achieve
kindness around the community because it will put them in a happier mood and
make them more pleasant to each other which overall will spread joy amongst the
community. This also relates to an Augusto Boal technique because the show is
making people want to solve problems themselves and be kind to each other.

                The
final show I will write about is Sister act which took place in Bolsover
assembly rooms. This show is about a black woman who sees her boyfriend commit
murder and goes into witness protection at a convent where she has to learn to live
with nuns ad act like them. The target audience is people of all ages as there
is nothing too heavy or inappropriate, however younger viewers may be
distressed by the murder. The purpose of this performance is to represent
social and cultural diversity as the main character is a black woman and the
majority of the cast is female which shows girl power and is also a fun light
hearted production to do. The morals of the story are to never judge a book by
its cover and to always see the fun side of every situation. I think the
audience will go away feeling happy and will want to make positive changes to
the community. The values shown will also inspire audiences to care for racial
and gender equality as they will care for characters of ethnicity and of a
different gender therefore causing them to be friendlier and more open to
anyone in the community. “Frankly,
what’s not to like, especially when you’ve got a chorus line of jiving nuns
singing their hearts out ecstatically?” (Telegraph, October 2017). I think that
this production is hoping to raise people’s awareness of social and racial
equality but above all else is simply a fun show that makes people happy and
want to be involved in bettering the community and spreading joy throughout
their town.

Conclusion

On the one hand the
three productions I have written about are all similar in that they are all
promoting a friendlier and better setting for the community. None of them are
overly serious shows and all have positive moral messages behind them which
means they can influence people of all ages to be kinder and to make their home
a better place. On the other hand, these shows differ because some have heavier
morals and some are simply fun shows that bring people of all ages together.
Animal farm has clear political references whereas sister act and Shrek are
both much more carefree and promote more personal belief rather than opinions
that could cause controversy.

 

 

Bibliography

Luke Towers (2014) Animal farm production-Available from http://thedukeofluke.weebly.com/ela-b30-blog/orwells-animal-farm-messages-and-morals
accessed 19th October 2017

Unknown writer (2011) Shrek the musical morals-available
from https://www.life360.com/blog/shrek-the-musical-review/
accessed 19th October 2017

Caligula Constantine (2013) Shrek the musical review-
available from http://www.searchquotes.com/quotes/author/Shrek_The_Musical/  accessed 19th October 2017

Telegraph (2017) Sister act review-available from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/journalists/charles-spencer/5434675/Sister-Act-at-the-London-Palladium-review.html
accessed 19th October 2017