Stage Use is one of those awards that you hear at a Rock Challenge® or J Rock™ event and might be puzzled as to what that means. Surely by performing at all, you are using the stage? That is true but this aspect of the judging criteria is about the thoughtful, considered use of the stage to enhance the storytelling of your performance.
It’s important to consider what actions you’ll take to use the stage early so that it can be incorporated into choreography, set design and construction and just the overall planning of how your performance should look. Here’s some top tips to consider…
- Draw stage plans for each of your scenes and map out where the set will be and what space the performers will have
- After you have a map of each scene, think about how you will transition from each one into the next to make sure it all flows smoothly
- Think about layering the stage so that if your scene can happen near the front of the stage, you can be setting up the next scene behind flats/boards – that way when you transition the next scene can be instantly revealed
- Think about how performers are going to enter and exit the stage, try to think of different ways to keep it interesting – maybe they don’t always come straight on from the wings into their positions, can they be revealed through your set?
- Think about how set and performers are going to interact on stage, if they can it may tie together the whole thing rather than them being separate entities on the stage (however it is not always possible or appropriate so only when it makes sense to do so!)
- Think about how you are going to use the whole stage so you don’t have any empty, unused space – and remember using height can be very effective too.
Creating performances for Rock Challenge® and J Rock™ is all about your ability to communicate your story and through stage use you can combine the performers and the set onstage you make a cohesive performance for everyone to watch!