ULS Drama Elective Class Unveils their Masks
By Jordan R. Posted Thursday, November 1, 2012
The character comes alive and moves across the stage in a silent dance of flashing colors. The act of dancing is an emotional movement, a key to articulating the expressions that are masked by our student-actors during their performance's. The drama elective class had the opportunity to explore this valuable skill with the help of guest teacher, Yukie Shiroma.
With a Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) from the University of Hawai’i, Ms. Shiroma is responsible for creating the dance program at Mid-Pacific Institute where she served as the School of Arts Dance Director until 2006. She is currently the Co-Artistic Director of the dance company, Monkey Waterfall, where she has performed nationally and internationally for over 20 years. She specializes in Okinawan classical dance and theater and has studied it for over thirty years making her knowledge of, “expression through dance” extremely valuable to our student-actors.
Guest teacher, Yukie Shiroma explains that, “clarity is what any story really needs.” This years elective class created masks to help better express their character’s emotions. The class executed their tasks well by understanding exactly how to become their characters through body movements that matched the expressions portrayed through the masks. When the student-actor is using a half mask, they are allowed to make noises such as groans and screams. When in a full mask that covers the entire face, they rely on body language such as facial expressions and dramatic movements. Prior to the grand performance, the students practiced using their masks in small groups creating their own creative short stories. After days of practice, each group performed in front of the class using the stage’s block props and colorful masks. Each group was then judged on their performance methods by their peers and teachers. The class feedback allowed the actors to better understand how they can be more creative with their body language and how to clearly articulate the storyline to the audience.
The students will show off all that they have learned from Ms. Shiroma in their 50 minute performance starting from October 29 through November 2. The performances features multiple short stories, each with their own unique storylines and fabulously masked characters. This performance is sure to leave you inspired and intrigued to watch future shows to come.
Images by ULSMedia/Austin Tanaka