What are the major demands of the text? You should consider the structure of the extracts in the context of the whole performance text and the original intentions of the playwright. (432 words) Girls by Theresa Ikoko is made up of twenty seven scenes. There is an episodic nature to the play, as throughout it, the girls are moving to different places.
The play is about three girls, who are best friends, and follows their struggles related to love, sex and religion. The context of the play is related to Boko Haram, the islamist militant group, that kidnapped 276 schoolgirls from Chibok in Nigeria in 2014. Theresa Ikoko became frustrated with selective media coverage on important issues that are quickly forgotten and overlooked by Western society. The characterisation of each of the characters is so different; Haleema is a self-reliant realist and seems to be the main one that actively seeks escape.
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She is also incredibly blunt and says everything that comes to her mind, this is presented when Ruhab tells both Haleema and Tisana that she is pregnant, Haleema responds my saying “You don’t have to…..You don’t have to keep it -“, as a group we felt that Ruhab would have been quite excited about the news that she was pregnant and explicitly express this, considering later on in the play she explains that having her husband and being pregnant makes her feel like she ‘might have everything again’. So Haleema’s reaction to Ruhab suggests that although she was a bit hesitant on responding, she felt that she needed to say how she feels about the pregnancy; and she goes on to voice her feelings without any hesitation following this exchange.
Ruhab is a teasing, attractive young girl, who is both mentally and physically on the brink of adulthood. She seems to value being desired quite highly, and this is also reflected in the way that her friends act towards her. Particularly when Haleema says “If that were the case(…) I’m sure I would have been engage…… A long time ago…..(To Ruhab.) Even before you”, she implies that Ruhab’s beauty would mean that she would have no problem finding a husband. Tisana is hopeful and could also be percieved as naive as her constant optimism seems to cloud realistic judgement, especially when it comes to the reality of escaping.
She holds honour to a high account and often worries about her parents’ approval. Tisana presents her strong Christian beliefs, and her unmistakable innocence is clearly presented during conversations between her and her friends, as some of their chosen topics of conversation can be considered quite racy. What is your artistic vision for the two extracts? (381 words) When I first got the script for ‘Girls’ by Theresa Ikoko, I understood that the main purpose of the play was to show the girls’ relatable, light-hearted and also sometimes serious relationship during such a Tough situation for the girls.
We decided to pick parts of scene one, scene eighteen and scene nineteen. Scene one presents the comedic, banter-filled relationship between the girls, I also thinks that it provides an effective exposition for the audience that links to the subplot. It starts the play of on an energy-filled high. Our chosen performance style is naturalism, as we would like to present events within the play and characters on stage as in real life, so that the audience can empathise and build a connection with the characters.
There will be comedic elements within our play however, these parts will be performed in a naturalistic way rather than melodramatically or expressionism, as we want to hold up a mirror reality and give the illusion of characters as actual people in real-life situations using everyday language. I identified a main theme as being a tug of war between what is ‘right’ and ‘reality’. The right thing for the world to do is to unite and actively be supporting the campaign to find the girls however the reality is that they are quickly forgotten about. The right thing for Ruhab, is probably to support Tisana and Haleema by trying to escape with them however, she prioritises having a family and ends up losing the baby, and the marriage she has got, I believe she continues to pursue it because she believes that this is the closer she will ever get to her goal of ‘family’. I would like the contrast between scene one and scene eighteen to showcase the theme of ‘right’ and ‘reality’ because I want the audience to understand that although they joke around and seem to deal with their situation reasonably well, they are still affected by their traumatic experiences. Their will be the challenges of not enduring such traumatic experiences or being pregnant but we have tried to overcome these problems by filming ourselves perform and then watching it back to see how we can improve. How did you develop your role(s) or design(s)? As an actor you should consider semiotics, the use of language, gesture and expression. As a designer you should consider proxemics, mood, supporting characters and supporting the chosen genre and style.
(630 words) As a way of developing my character, when we got our script we each created a back story. I done contextual research to support my back story development for Ruhab. From reading the script, I believe the girls are relatively young, especially as in scene twelve Haleema says (about Tisana): “Giving her away to – letting him – she hasn’t even had a period. We’re still childr-“. I know that Ruhab is from Chibok, which is a strict Christian town in Nigeria.
She would have been taught from a young age about Christianity. She also mentions during the play that went to the mosque, which I found significant, so I presumed that in her town she may have received a lot of attention for being apart of both religions. Therefore I believe that her natural beauty and the way she was brought up makes her enjoy attention and feel the need to be desired because that is what she is used to. This idea is further reinforced when Ruhab encourages Tisana to pray and Tisana seems horrified by the idea whereas, Ruhab believes that both muslims and christians pray to the same God. My character was also hot-seated as I wanted to gain a deeper understanding of Ruhab. The rest of my group asked me relevant questions about my my feelings, thoughts, actions and circumstances, and this was the point in my practical exploration when I developed Ruhab’s objective. I understood that her ultimate goal is to have a family – throughout the play her goal sometimes seems achievable, particularly when she is pregnant and she realises this for herself, “I had lost everything, but now I think I might have everything again”, and there are other times when she feels like she has no purpose, “I have no family left….nothing to go back for”.
Therefore I felt like throughout the play, Ruhab’s main obstacle is family. Is Tisana and Haleema her family? Or her husband? Or her family back in Chibok, although she has dishonoured them? I believe that, especially in scene eighteen, Ruhab feels very alone. She has isolated herself from Tisana and Haleema by marrying one of the guards and becoming pregnant, so there is a disconnect that has formed as a result of them not being able to understand each others objectives as clearly as before. All of the information that we know about Ruhab’s husband is given to us by the characters, both Tisana and Haleema seem skeptical about their relationship whereas there are times when Ruhab seems besotted with him and other times when she is also unsure. She sees that by having her husband and her baby she has achieved her goal and therefore she’s afraid of losing everything again because if she does try to escape with Tisana and Haleema and gets back to her home and realises that her family are dead it will feel like she has not accomplished anything. If her family are alive, will they accept her knowing that she’s pregnant, no longer a virgin?, will the people around her accept that both her and her husband are muslim?. To develop our characters further, we used role-on-the-wall to explore our characters.
This was the final stage of our practical exploration, as a way of making sure that all our back stories made sense and that we had a clear understanding of our characters in order to play them effectively. We included physical details, what the character likes and dislikes, and their opinions and views. This was an essential stage for me as I felt like it really made my character come to life.