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Musical Theatre Workbook

Unit 14: Musical Theatre Performance Level 3 Extended Diploma

Name: Shannon Mowat Student Number: S120680

Introduction
Musical theatre is an exciting and popular art form that combines singing, dancing and movement. It takes many forms, including large-scale Broadway and West End musicals, pantomime, opera, operetta and plays with significant music and movement content. There is a vast repertoire of material available and learners will have the opportunity to interpret and perform in musical theatre work selected to suit their interests and abilities. Musical theatre combines the skills of acting, dancing and singing and this unit is about exploring the interaction between these three performance skills and applying them appropriately to meet the performance requirements of particular pieces. Staging a musical number demands a high level of concentration, stamina and the ability to coordinate a range of performing skills. Performers in musical theatre need to be multi skilled. As well as being able to act, they are required to take part in dance routines and have the ability to sing. Learners will rehearse and perform a role within a musical theatre performance in order to gain the experience of combining acting, singing and dancing abilities and skills. This unit provides a particular context in which skills acquired in specialist acting, singing and dancing areas of the qualification can be applied and developed. Musical theatre is a significant area of employment within the live and recorded performance branch of the industry, with opportunities for chorus and ensemble work as well as leading roles. It requires actors who can sing and dance; dancers who can act and sing; singers who can act and dance and performers who may have all three skills in more or less equal measure. Learning outcomes On completion of this unit a learner should: 1 Understand a role or roles in a musical theatre work 2 Be able to apply the appropriate performance skills 3 Be able to rehearse for a role in a musical 4 Be able to perform a role in a musical. This workbook will allow you to document your journey throughout the term, allowing you to discuss performances, workshops, rehearsals and the skills needed to perform in a Musical Theatre Performance. You will be required to take part in practical workshops so please wear suitable clothing if required (dance) and be prepared for theoretical lessons (notebook, pens etc). Please refer to your assignment brief for more details regarding the content and grading criteria.

Musical Theatre Information


Musical theatre is a form of theatre combining music, songs, spoken dialogue and dance. The emotional content of the piece humour, pathos, love, anger as well as the story itself, is communicated through the words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an integrated whole. Since the early 20th century, musical theatre stage works have generally been called simply, "musicals". Some famous musicals include Show Boat, Oklahoma!, West Side Story, The Fantasticks, Hair, A Chorus Line, Les Misrables, The Phantom of the Opera, Rent, and The Producers. Below, can you list 20 musicals (dont worry if you dont quite get to 20), highlight the ones you have seen on stage of via film and choose one to discuss with the group .
1. High School Musical 2. Bugsy Malone 3. Grease 4. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 5. Mary Poppins 6. Oliver Twist 7. Chicago 8. Oklahoma 9. Showboat 10. West Side Story 11. Hair 12. Hairspray 13. Me and My Girl 14. The Phantom of the Opera 15. Oh, What a Lovely War 16. Rent 17. The Producers 18. The Sound of Music 19. Mama Mia 20. Jesus Christ Superstar

1. Who is Harold Prince?

He is an American theatrical producer and director associated with many of the best-known Broadway musical productions of the past half-century. He directed such greats as Sweeney Todd and Evita in 1979 and The Phantom of the Opera in 1986. He also co-produced West Side Story with Robert E. Griffith in 1960. 2. What did Stephen Sondheim do as a profession? Stephen Joshua Sondheim is an American composer and lyricist known for his contributions to musical theatre. His most famous works include Company, Sweeney Todd, Evita and Into the Woods. He also wrote the lyrics for West Side Story and Gypsy. 3. Can you name three musicals that Harold Prince and Stephen Sondheim worked on together? Sweeney Todd West Side Story Pacific Overtures

4. Describe what The Book is and what must it do? The book is the structure of the story it keeps everything together in a way that the audience connect and understand the characters and plot. Keeps the storyline clear and easy to follow. Creates characters that are easily relatable. Creates situations that call the characters into song. Move into and out of song smoothly and easily. Hand over much of the plot and character development. Makes the audience care.

5. There are many different types of musical theatre; can you name at least three? (For example, Comedy) Opera Pantomime Tragedy

Personal Skills Assessment


1. In which discipline out of dancing, singing and acting do you think you are strongest at and why? I believe that I am a better Actor than singer or dancer because I cannot sing and although I can dance It isnt a skill set that I would say that I am good at.

2. Do you have any previous experience in performing, if so what? I dont have much experience really, just small plays in primary and high school. I also used to be in a few different dance groups ranging from modern, tap, ballet and street dance.

3. In what area do you need more training in and why? While dancing I tent do look down a lot, from this I can see that I need to have more confidence in myself. Please set yourself three targets for this term in relation to your studies in this area: Stop second guessing myself. Be more confident. Put more effort into practicing the moves that I struggle to do instead of just giving up.

4. During workshops and rehearsals you need to be able to manage yourself appropriately, what skills must you apply during this time to enable a smooth and efficient process and why? During practice lessons I made sure to take part and not sit out or sulk when I couldnt do something so instead I put my mind into learning the steps. I think that I put more effort than usual in because of the upbeat happy feeling to the Hand Jive song, its also a classic song that I love.

Roles and Skills in Musical Theatre


Below you will find a table of different jobs/roles in Musical Theatre. Please describe the necessary skills they must have to execute their job role professionally and the training they might have undertaken.

Job Role
Actor

Skills
A good diction, a clear voice, and good voice projection. An understanding of how blocking works as well so when the director tells you understand. Obedience and determination. The ability to learn lines quickly and with that a good memory. The ability to perform different accents effectively. Co-ordination. Fitness. Flexibility. Dedication. Stamina. Good memory. Confidence. Strong lungs. Not have stage fright. A good memory. Confidence.

Training
Acting lessons if needed. Vocal training to learn how to project the voice. Going to college, university or an academy that specialises in performing arts.

Dancer

Singer (Chorus)

Director

Choreographer

A director needs to have a clear vision and stick to it. Being able to block a scene, to orchestrate and choreograph it clearly and easy for the actors/performers to understand. Good communication skills come in handy when it comes to directing actors, they need to be very clear on how things should be said. If a director isnt confident or assertive then the performance is sure to fall though. Co-ordination. Fitness. Flexibility. Dedication. Stamina. Good memory. Confidence. Authority. Good communication skills. Imagination. Creativeness. Intelligent.

Dance lessons if needed. Going to college, university or an academy that specialises in dance. Singing lessons. Vocal training. Going to college, university or an academy that specialises in performing arts or music. Drama lessons. Going to college, university or an academy that specialises in performing arts and/or stage directing.

Technician (Light/Sound)
Imagination. Creativeness.

Dance lessons. Going to college, university or an academy that specialises in dance. Going to college, university or an academy that specialises in electronics or technology.

Set Designer
Imagination. Creativeness.

Going to college, university or an academy that specialises in design and/or fashion. Going to college, university or an academy that specialises in design and/or fashion.

Wardrobe Designer
Good communication skills. Confidence and assertiveness. The ability to read music.

Conductor

Going to college, university or an academy that specialises in music.

Musician

Conference. The ability to read music. The ability to play an instrument. Good memory. A good imagination and being creative if they write songs/music.

Private music lessons. Going to college, university or an academy that specialises in music.

Assessment One
You will take part in a series of workshops developing your skills in Musical Theatre, please evaluate your participation in the following workshops and describe how you felt they went, areas for improvement and the use of following direction:

Workshops
Acting:

Singing:

On the following page you are required to describe the dance development in more detail. This will be performed in the Dance Show and you will be marked on the rehearsal process and performance.

Dance: You are now going to be taught a set piece of choreography. Below, please discuss the following: What is your role? Dancer

How have you developed your role? I believe that I have developed because before these rehearsals and the dance show I was very apprehensive about being lifted, due to being scared of being dropped and really just not trusting that someone could lift me without straining themselves too much. But in the show there were four lifts that I participated in and I am no longer scared or worried that I will be dropped in the future if lifts are ever needed.

How have you found the memorisation of the choreography and why? You may want to discuss your ability to respond to feedback/corrections and awareness of stage positions. I found that I didnt struggle too much with remembering the steps during rehearsals, but when it came to doing the first show I did mess up and miss out a move. Other than that mishap I generally remembered the choreography pretty well and was able to keep up with the rest of the group and practice what moves I could outside or the classroom too. I think that I remembered the moves will because I enjoyed doing the dance and it was a very upbeat, happy song.

Please evaluate your ability to rehearse a role in a musical. Please discuss your rehearsal technique and movement requirements:

Now, evaluate and discuss your performance. You may want to comment on physical expression, communication and integration:

Assessment Two: Personal Development

You must now develop your own act (role) to perform. Please fully document your development and give reasons for your choices. You may attach any additional research you undertake: choreography notes, script, musical score, photographs etc. Alongside your practical development you must keep a rehearsal log. There are four rehearsal logs included which must be completed (one of which must be from the technical/dress rehearsal) but you can log more if you want to.

What have you chosen to perform?

Why?

How will you develop your role?

Are there any special requirements for your act and if so why?

Please discuss the lighting and set you require?

Please describe your costume and reason for choosing it?

Rehearsal Log 1
Date: Main Aim and Objective:

Rehearsal content:

Areas of Improvement:

Action Plan

Targets Set:

Targets achieved: Yes/No Why?

Rehearsal Log 2
Date: Main Aim and Objective:

Rehearsal content:

Areas of Improvement:

Action Plan

Targets Set:

Targets achieved: Yes/No Why?

Rehearsal Log 3
Date: Main Aim and Objective:

Rehearsal content:

Areas of Improvement:

Action Plan

Targets Set:

Targets achieved: Yes/No Why?

Rehearsal Log 4
Date: Main Aim and Objective:

Rehearsal content:

Areas of Improvement:

Action Plan

Targets Set:

Targets achieved: Yes/No Why?

Evaluation
Please evaluate your own performance and discuss your strengths and weaknesses. You need to also discuss the rehearsal process and development of role. Are there any areas for improvement? If so, what?