Big Decisions: Sessions 7 and 8

Session 7 is always exciting for two reasons, one: they let us know which of the authors we have studied they would like to emulate when they create their new works and two: since this doesn’t usually take too long we get a good long session full of physical and vocal work.

We began our physical work by having the participants pretend to be growing plants, first any kind of plant they liked, and then the ugliest plant they could imagine. It was a gloriously ugly garden!

Then we moved on to a fan favorite: the ribbon game. In this game they work in small groups. The only rule is that if the ribbon is touching the ground they can move however they like, if it is not touching the ground they must move in a slow sustained manner. We prompt them along the way to find different ways of interacting with the ribbon and each other, but generally this is a nice free for all movement improv game. It is always fun to watch. It is especially interesting to see how very differently the different groups solve the problems we put before them.

After we collected their techniques preferences Jim led some vocal exercises, with the added aspect of shaping, with the added aspect of a chair. By now they can handle all those things at once with ease. This looked interesting and sounded interesting.

We also played some Pineapple Umbrella. This is also a shape making game, but it incorporates reactions to nonsense phrases and then being able to recall shapes that go with certain phrases. Nothing like the challenge of going from “pumpkin spice teamspeak” to “loveable rib” on a ten count!

In session eight they decided on the target story. We didn’t have much time for physical work as they had a list of no less than 70 potential target stories to discuss. Through discussion and voting we got the list narrowed down to four: Alice in Wonderland, Rapunzel, The Great Gatsby, and Medusa. Then four became two: Gatsby and Medusa. Medusa won by a landslide in the final vote.

So now you know: MXTW 2016 goes back to the Greeks examining the myth of Medusa and Perseus. Let’s get this heroes, gods, and monsters party started!

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