Friday Lessons with Sir Mwanyisa
Greetings learners, parents and guardians!
Welcome to your Visual and Performing Arts weekly lessons brought to you by your favourite newspaper, The Manica Post.
Learners are expected to have an exercise book and a pen to write work given as exercises.
Parents or guardians are encouraged to assist learners with special needs.
This week we focus on story-telling and acting.
This will help you learn more about script writing.
Characterisation is a very important part of making a story.
It forms part of the narrators’ way of highlighting a story.
When telling a story, gestures create a visual connection to the emotions being represented.
Sometimes the gestures used by the narrator can speak louder than words.
Gestures are so powerful and help to capture attention and to understand the story better.
It is the body language of story-telling that creates imagination and enables the listeners to be in the story.
Variation of the voice
When telling a story, the volume must be raised or lowered depending on the size of the audience.
The pitch, rhythm and timbre of the narrators’ voice should be varied to maintain the interest of the audience.
Pitch is the frequency of sound waves produced by the narrator.
Pitch is used to reinforce the message in story-telling.
Rhythm refers to the pattern of sound while tempo is the pace of the voice.
The emotional quality of the voice is called timbre.
The tone which the narrator uses should motivate the listeners and maintain interest in the story.
Each type of story has its mood which should be set in story-telling.
The voice is used to show emotions.
Examples of emotions are sadness, sorrow and happiness, among others.
Costumes are outfits or attires used by the actors on stage.
Costumes include hats, wigs, belts, jackets, among others.
Costumes can be made, bought or hired.
Designers of costumes should select the shape, texture and colour very carefully because costumes make powerful visual statements to the audience.
The costumes used in performances provide important information to the audience.
Such information could be whether the actor is a priest, teacher, doctor or farmers.
Costumes also help to separate the actors.
Some actors such as Gringo, Vharazipi and the late Mukadota never changed their clothes when performing.
Costumes that are never changed during performances are called signature costumes.
Properties help the production to be real and believable.
Properties are also called props.
These are items held by the performers during a performance.
Examples of props could be a gun, knife, catapults.
Sometimes an actor can be asked to act out a scene without a script.
Acting about a scene without a script or rehearsals is called improvisation.
This means that most role plays done in school during lessons are a form of improvisation.
In improvising, actors should quickly know their roles in the play.
Knowing each other helps in creating a good foundation for acting.
Plays without movements are less interesting as compared to plays with movements.
Movement and actions of actors on stage is called blocking.
The audience need to connect and blocking makes the performance real.
In acting and story-telling, there should be a connection between the characters, movements, costumes, props and emotions.
These elements will make the production more interesting and believable.
Now your task is to answer the following questions.
1. What are gestures in story-telling?
2. List three emotions that can be used in story-telling.
3. What are signature costumes?
4. Which actor from a local drama was known for wearing the same woollen hat?
5. Why are properties important in acting?
6. What do we call a performance in which actors have no scripts?