(aus: Lyn Pierse, Theatresports down under)
Performance game: 2-4 players; 2-4 minutes; 12+ years
Description: Situation given. The scene is played to a soundtrack which offers changing musical styles at regular intervals
Resource: A clear space. A tape of music which changes theme and mood at approximately twenty second intervals, and facillties to play it.
Example of a title: In the trenches; The rollerblade king/queen.
Aim: To use music as a stimulus for improvisation and to respond to a variety of musical offers to advance and extend the plot through physicalisation.
Degree of difficulty: 3
Skills required: Abillty to characterise and develop plot inspired by musical offers.
Suggested preparation: Physical warm-up; NO-BLOCKING SCENE without words; MIME TO music; ADVANCING AND EXTENDING THE PHYSICAL OFFER.
How it works:
A soundtrack is played. Teams improvise the scene, directly inspired by the music. The players do not dance to the music. Their movements are informed by the rhythm and the emotional content of the music. Players extend the concept of MIME, playing the scene to music without words. Scenes can be naturalistic or stylised. I recommend that players do not talk or dance during the scene. They tell the story through improvised movement rather than relying on dialogue or dance. It is not a hard and fast rule that the scene be played without words or dance; being heard above electronic music can be difficult and dancing rarely advances the plot. In some circumstances speaking or dancing could work. I simply alert players and coaches to the obvious difficulties.
The musical soundtrack contains a wide variety of musical styles: classical, tribal, muzak, swing, medieval, bossa nova, symphony, reggae, etc. The wider the variety, the greater the source of inspiration. Music with vocals is not recommended. The lyrics usually confuse or interrupt the development of the improvised plot.
Preprepared tapes should contain at least one change of music every 20-30 seconds. The music is more beneficial when it suggests a definite mood and rhythm.
SOUNDTRACK may be played for varying lengths and as a handle to other games.
Improvised live music is an alternative to taped music. Improvising musicians provide offers which lead the action rather than follow the onstage action. This is contrary to most other scenes, where improvised music adds to the onstage ideas and supports the story rather than leads it.
Each music change advances the story. Entrances for new characters, changes in focus, status, mood or plot turning points are emphasised and very powerful when they occur on the music changes or as a result of them.
Choose SOUNDTRACK when there has been an overabundance of spoken scenes.
The SOUNDTRACK scene does not have to last the length of the music. Remind players that the scene can be finished with the usual 'lights down'.