This short video shows a musician creating a hip hop beat out of a giant piece of paper and some scissors. That’s it. If you just listened to the music, you’d have no idea what was making the sound. He is creating a world (in this case a piece of music) and we’re along for the ride.
Students often get hung up on the notion that in the theatre, sets, costumes, props all have to meet the standard of the movies. They have to be three dimensional and real. A car must have four wheels and move. A house must have two levels and different rooms. The truth is actually quite different – a theatre audience is very forgiving. If you let them know what world the play inhabits (two people sitting side by side on cubes, one holds their hands up as if holding a steering wheel) they will believe. They will go along for the ride. A single object can be so many different things – a chair can be a chair, or a car, or a mountain. The possibilities are endless.
Try this exercise to encourage students to create worlds on stage with little to no movie realism: