WATCH LIVE: Calgary Folk Music Festival with The Halluci Nation

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Exercises

  1. Stereotyping.  Ask students to spend one minute writing a list of adjectives that describe them (5 – 10).   Ask students to spend one minute writing, privately, a list of qualities a stranger might attribute to them based on their age, race, gender, culture, social class, religion, ability, etc.  Have students revisit the second list and cross out any items that do not accurately represent them.  Discussion: How many similarities/differences were there between the two lists?  Why do stereotypes exist?  Are they ever useful?  Can you think of a character in theatre, literature, television or film that reflects the way you see yourself?  How does outside representation affect the way you see yourself?

 

  1. Anthropomorphism or Personification is when human characteristics are given to anything other than a human being.  Ask students to name anthropomorphized characters in the play (Big Mama Sega Genesis, Skunk, Angelina).  How does this give us added insight into the story and characters?  When we have a first hand account from the main character, what is the value of an outside perspective?  Ask students to animate an everyday object in their lives in a written monologue.   Students should then swap text with a partner.  Have each student prepare and share (or read aloud) their partner’s monologue, then discuss what is learned by telling a story from this perspective. 

 

  1. Myth and Legend.  Oral History.  Huff and Wind use the legend of the Young Warrior to understand their parents’ complicated relationship. Legends are often romanticized accounts of true or well-known stories, retold over time.  Details may differ with each retelling, but certain main points remain intact (e.g. there was definitely a hook on the hand of the escaped mental patient on that dark and stormy night. I heard it from a friend of a friend of mine).  Together as a class, try to recount the details you remember from the Young Warrior Legend. Note the details on which all agree, and those on which some differ, if any.  Ask students to think of urban legends in circulation now. Using the Young Warrior Legend as an example, have students create a stylized legend based on something that happened recently in their lives or in the news. Which parts of the story would be included? Which parts would be embellished?  How would they tell the story differently if they assumed the audience didn’t know any of the people or places involved?   Students may be asked to share their legends by reading aloud, assembling into groups and performing short skits or depicting their legends in visual form. 

 

  1. Gift from the Creator.  Wind’s laugh-giving power is his special Gift: something that seems remarkable to others, but comes to him naturally. Ask students to reflect on their own intangible gifts, perhaps to list up to three things that come naturally to them.  Standing in a circle, do a brief physical warm up with students. Ask the first student to step into the centre and physicalize their Gift.  Have other students repeat the physicalization. Ask students in the circle to guess what gift is being depicted. Go around the circle until all who choose to volunteer have participated.

    

  1. Forum Theatre.  As in any story, there are many points when a character could have made a different decision, and the story could have ended differently. Ask students to improvise different potential outcomes for any of the following scenes (or invite students to identify parts of the story when they would have acted differently).  
  • The magazine catches on fire. The boys run away.
  • Miss Ratface says “Anything you say is irrelevant.” Wind throws a balled up insult at her. 
  • Charles says “only faggots don’t jerkoff.” Wind and Huff unzip their pants.
  • Wind and Huff refuse to go to bed. Donna gives them a can of Lysol.

Discuss the difficulty of making decisions in challenging situations.Ask students what factors influenced their decisions in their scene intervention. Discuss situations in which there don’t seem to be many choices.

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