Poetry in Theatre Semester Final December 16, 2013 5th period
What is Poetry • Poetry is an imaginative awareness of experience expressed through meaning, sound, and rhythmic language choices so as to evoke an emotional response.
Are theatre and poetry really So Different? • With theatrical monologues and peformance poetry more popular than ever, it's become increasingly hard to tell the two forms apart • Poetry and theatre are part of the same stream, and yet there's often a perceived division between the two. Poets often write for the stage, they collaborate with theatre makers or have versions of their work brought to the stage by others – as in The World's Wife, based on the poems of Carol Ann Duffy – but the area where the two forms swim closest together is that of performance poetry. One could even argue that all theatre is, in one sense at least, poetry performed.
How to read poetry the 7 steps • You have probably read a poem before, but have you really read the poem how it was meant to be read? • Poets spend a great deal of time and thought to the arrangement and formatting of their poem so that when read, they produce a specific sound, or emphasize certain words or meanings. This all adds to the artwork, and when read correctly, the poem can be appreciated to its full extent.
Step 1 • Understand the usage of lines, stanzas (basically paragraphs for poems), and punctuation. Poetry is not merely fancy words that rhyme. Think on how you might say a sentence in many different ways, depending on what you want to imply to the person you are speaking to. • For example, you might say "Come here," to a friend. If you were going to write this as in a novel, you might write: ' "Come here," I demanded.' Or you might say: ' "Come here," I said insidiously.' You could also say: ' "Come here!" By themselves, the two words have dramatically different connotations than when put together. The same applies to poetry.
Step 2 • Understand that poets use of words is more restricted than the casual writer. A poet will work within established rhyme and meter to use words in surprising and unexpected ways... ways that will bring enjoyment to you, the reader.
Step 3 • Know that just because a line might end, doesn't mean that the sentence did, and that you should pause. The pause you take for breath comes at the punctuation, regardless of where it occurs in the line.
Step 4 • Look at the sentences. Notice that sometimes a line ends with a comma, and sometimes it doesn't.
Step 5 • Look again how you read it.
Step 6 • Go back and read the poem with the correct pauses, keeping in mind the feeling of reading it like a paragraph.Note: This takes practice! You might have to read it aloud several times before getting it right. When you are finished, did you see that you were actually able to follow along with the story being relayed? Oftentimes when reading a poem like a ballad (with breaks at the end of each line) you can get caught up in maintaining the rhythm, and find it difficult to concentrate on the actual poem.
Step 7 • Don't be afraid to look up the words you don't know. This should be obvious, but oftentimes you can simply skip over a word, and chalk up its meaning to "context clues" or "implied meaning" like they taught in 2nd grade. Look up the words you don't know, and even the words you think you know but are maybe a little unsure on. You may be surprised as to how the poem changes colors in your head.
Finding a voice for your poems • Every poem has a voice. When you read or perform a poem you bring them to life. It is worth trying different ways of performing a poem until you find the best voice for that poem. There is no ‘right’ voice. It’s what works best for you and what works best for you may not work for everyone.
Points to focus on! • Rhythm • Beat • Expression • Tone of voice • Loudness or quietness of your voice • The speed that you say the words • The mood of the poem • The characters in the poem • Repetition – why not find a line that you like and repeat it several times
Things to remember… • You have to read the poems out loud • Every word is important. Poets take time over their words when they are writing, so it is important to make sure that every word in performed. • Read each poem six or seven times. That way, once you are familiar with the lines and layout of the poem, you can concentrate on the feel of the words and how best to perform, them rather then concentrating on getting the words right.
Ways of Performing Poetry • Rowan Blijd: “Phenominal Woman (Maya Angelou)” • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsrCKbkTqGI • Why I hate school but love education • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_ZmM7zPLyI • Sarah Kay: “If I should have a daughter” • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0snNB1yS3IE
Famous poets • Here is a collection of various works by some of the greatest poets of the English language. • Elizabeth Barrett BrowningLewis Carrolle ecummingsEmily DickinsonRobert FrostHenry Wadsworth LongfellowEdgar Allan PoeWilliam ShakespeareAlfred Lord TennysonHenry David ThoreauWalt WhitmanWilliam Butler Yeats
Semester final project Poetry Project Volume: The loudness of your voice. Diction: The clarity and pronunciation of your lines in a scene. • Your task is to form a group of 2 or 3 and choose a poem to be dramatically presented to the class. • The poem that you select is entirely your group’s decision, but it must be a poem of at least 10 lines. Your group is required to submit the poem for approval. If your group does not submit a poem by the end of the period FRIDAY, a poem will be assigned to your group.
Continued….. • How you theatrically read and present the poem to the class is completely up to your group, but you may not edit, alter or change the poem for the performance. You do need to memorize the poem for your performance. You will be evaluated on the following criteria: volume/diction, body language, style (present the poem in a style that you feel best suits it) and overall presentation. Make sure each member of the team has equal performance time. • Each acting team must perform a different poem and present a copy to the audience on the day of your group’s assigned performance. Once a group has submitted a poem, no other group can choose it.
DUE DATE • December 16, 2013 Final Project will be due during your final time. • NO LATE PROJECTS WILL BE ACCEPTED! • This project is worth 200 pts and is 20% of your grade.