Playbuilding Reflection The black rose


Our group decided that we would do a horror story in our first lesson because we thought that horror stories were interesting and would meet the criteria. We each did some research at home and brought it to class for the group to discuss. We did most of our research in class as a group because it meant we could discuss the ideas straight away and add new ideas to them. We began by researching stories on hitchhikers that had gone missing. We started to form an idea on a story about hitchhikers. Our idea was that some girls would be hitchhiking and be picked up. The girl who sat in the front seat would discuss hitchhiker stories with the driver as the stories were played out behind her. After realising that we should focus on the brief of myths and legends we decided to focus more on horror stories we had heard around the school yard and among our friends. Hope brought forward the idea of the black rose. After doing some research we found that the Black Rose was a story about a woman whose husband had died. She began placing roses on her children's bedside table as an act of love towards her husband. However, the florist was always one red rose short and had to give her a black rose instead. The child who got the black rose would always die. When the mother had only one child still alive she gave that child the black rose and hid in their room. She then witnessed arms coming out of the rose and strangling her child. She cut the arms off and returned to the florist the next day to find that the florist had no arms and was therefore the murderer. As a group we decided that this story would be the best to do as it had a lot of detail and could be used to convey the message that 'time is fragile'.

Websites I found:


"10 Creepy Stories Involving Hitchhiking - Listverse". Listverse. N.p., 2017. Web. 12 Mar. 2017.


Richardson, Jancy. "5 Horrifying Hitchhiker Horror Stories That Make 'The Hitcher' Look Tame!". N.p., 2017. Web. 12 Mar. 2017.


"Urbanlegendsonline.Com - Myths, Rumors, Scary Stories And Hoax Emails From Real Life And The Internet.". N.p., 2017. Web. 12 Mar. 2017.


I used this picture of a clock as a backdrop image for our performance to create an atmosphere and emphasise our moral that time is fragile. I also edited music to go with this picture finishing the performance with the fading of the clock and music in unison.

Difficulties we Overcame:

  1. Deciding on a final idea - We all had many ideas that we combined to create our final idea. We worked quite well as a group by trying out all ideas no matter how different they were to our ideas.
  2. Having the children sleeping in beds but still being part of the scene - We decided that the best way to make the bed scenes fully involved in the play and with the audience was to create beds on the back wall. We had each child stand on a block and pretend to sleep standing upright. This meant the audience would know they were sleeping but would still be engaged and able to see what was happening while they were sleeping.
  3. Staying within the 4-6 minutes time limit - I edited our music so that it was about 5 minutes 30 seconds which meant that we would stay within the time limit if we stayed with the music.
  4. Trying to fit the play with the music - It was very difficult to time the play with the music. We practised many times with the music before the actual performance but during the performance we were too slow for the music and had to speed up some sections of the performance.
  5. When we finally performed the play the projector didn't work so we could not project the clock image onto the screen - We decided to continue on with the play despite not having the projection. We also briefly discussed as a group that because the projection was not there to fully emphasise the message; ' time is fragile' we would have to emphasise it through our acting.

Final Statement:

Overall I think our group told the story of how time is fragile through the use of the Black Rose Myth quite successfully although I would change certain aspects of our performance if I had more time to work on it.

What went well:

  • Idea - I think our idea met the brief of being based on a Myth or Legend very well because we used the story of the Black Rose to convey the idea that time is fragile rather than just retelling the story of the Black Rose.
  • Group work - We worked well together as a group to combine our ideas and create this play.
  • Context at the beginning of the play - Hope narrated the beginning of the play from the perspective of death warning the audience that time is fragile and giving context to our idea and message.
  • Tension - I think that we created tension throughout the whole performance because the audience didn't know why everyone was dying at the beginning but started to suspect the florist of it at the end.
  • Speaking - In our performance we tried to only speak as much as was necessary so that we didn't have long sections filled with just speaking.
  • Improvisation - The only part of the performance that was scripted was Hope's narrating at the beginning of the play. I think we successfully used improvisation throughout the whole play.
  • Performance space use - We focused on many aspects of spacing such as Hope's narrating from behind the audience at the beginning, the beds on the wall, the florist stall on the opposite side of the stage to the children and more. Overall we successfully used the whole performance space to engage the audience.

What I would further refine if I had more time:

  • Timing - I would make sure we practised it many more times so that we could fit the play with the music even better.
  • Relationship between mother and other characters - Having never played a motherly character before I had to create a completely different character for myself. I tried to work in the aspects of love and need to protect her children as well as sorrow and misery for the loss of her husband and children. My character was very complex and I think that if I had more time I could continue to develop that character and her relationships with the other characters a lot more.
  • Lighting - We had many plans for lighting such as spotlights on each child's bed, black outs as each child died and more that we were going to use. Unfortunately we ran out of time and did not know how to use the lighting we wanted so we therefore resorted to simply turning the light on and off. If we had more time I would definitely work on lighting as it would make a great atmosphere and create a lot of tension.

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