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Task One

Building a successful team

You are going to spend a lot of time working together and the group dynamic is the key to either enjoying the process or struggling to succeed.

  • Every member of the group is responsible for the writing, direction, set, costume, lighting and any other devices which are an important part of the finished performance.
  • Remember - the best work usually comes from groups with a positive dynamic.
  • Each of you will have different skills eg someone might be exceptionally good at ICT and could prepare a presentation to highlight a key moment of the performance. Find out what these skills are and use them to the group’s advantage.
  • One of the keys to successful devising is learning to pool ideas. Don't let anyone consistently push their ideas and don't let anyone let everyone else do all the work! Have a word with your teacher if this situation occurs.
  • Accept that different people are going to have different ideas. One of the hardest things to learn during the devising process is that sometimes your own ideas are not necessarily the best ones. Practise saying: “That’s a good idea, what if...?”, “I wish I'd thought of that....” etc.
  • Work with other people who have a similar attitude. Drama is unique in that your final grade will be influenced by other people. Right at the outset of the process, establish some basic rules. Will everyone be prepared to attend extra rehearsals, meet deadlines etc?
  • Remember - a key skill is learning to work with others. This process will certainly develop this.

Practical exercise

Use this exercise at the beginning of the devising process to see how successfully you work with each other and what problems you could encounter.

  1. In groups of three to five, devise the opening of a play in a naturalistic style. Include one sound effect.
  2. Characters must reveal who they are, where they are and their relationship to each other.
  3. Share the finished piece with an audience.

This exercise explores the process of making:

  1. Consider your own and other people’s roles.
  2. Did anyone block ideas?
  3. Did everyone listen?
  4. Was anyone unheard?
  5. Was the outcome successful?
  6. Did anyone take on a leadership role? Did anyone else want to lead?
  7. Did anyone feel responsible for completing the piece?
  8. Was anyone a diplomat?
  9. Did you use time wisely?

Use this quote as your guideline:

“Listen to each other with care and thought. Treat each member of the group with respect and equality.”

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