1. GENERAL HEADING: Voice and Body Exercises
2. TITLE OF EXERCISE: "Painting with the Breath"
3. GOALS: To connect deep breathing with imagery, language, and expression; to incorporate the text.
4. NUMBER OF STUDENTS: Any number of students, working individually.
5. EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES: None
6. CLASS TIME NEEDED: 15 minutes
7. STEP-BY-STEP DESCRIPTION: (Students should be well warmed up before beginning this exercise.)
Take a deep breath and direct it out between teeth and lips on a "FFFF" sound. When you run out of air take another breath and continue the "FFFF" sound.
Imagine that the jet of air is a stream of color that you can paint or draw with. Move your head and your entire body to direct the airstream of "FFFF." The whole body should be connected to these deep breaths.
a) "Paint" a picture: a ship sailing on ocean waves, with clouds and sun in the sky.
b) Make a moving picture, so that the images change and transform: with your breath, "paint" the movie of Jack and Jill.
c) With your breath, paint the movie of your Shakespeare speech; describe each action and image with the shape of your breath.
d) Speak the Shakespeare speech, bringing the same kind of deep breathing to power your voice.
8. POINTS FOR OBSERVATION, DISCUSSION:
(Note: this exercise requires some stamina, and some young students may not be ready for the deep emotional connections that the breath work may uncover.)
9. SOURCE/REFERENCE: Prof. Audrey Stanley, University of California at Santa Cruz, 1995-96 NEH Institute "Shakespeare Examined through Performance."
10. ADDITIONAL READING: N.A.
11. VARIATIONS: N.A.