After the thought tunnel exercise, as a class we decided that a hot seating exercise would be beneficial to our war workshop in general, of which I played a conscientious objecta in the hot seating exercise. Hot-Seating is when you are asked a variety of questions and you have to answer in role. In my opinion, this technique is vitally important in drama because it essentially helps you to develop and empathise with the character you are playing, and is useful to know characters background and what type of person he/she is, which consequently helps strengthen and improve our work, because we will know more about our character.
Above all, by hot seating, we discovered the various reasons as to why some people objected to war. Another point to make clear, is that I was chosen to play this role at random from volunteers. Moreover, the stimulus for our hot seating, was ‘No Man’s Land’ by Paul Swift which focused on a character whom was a conscientious objecta named Percy Garland. When the class Hot-seated me, we found out a lot of information about the character. Naturally, little things such as “How old are you? ” and “What is your name? helped minorly, however, it is clear that the more open questions led to a relatively more focused discussion and therefore a lot of the information provided by hot seating could benefit and help develop our drama.
Furthermore, the hot seating exercise guided us with our role play’s, for instance, if in our role play’s we wanted to include a conscientious objecta, we could build upon the information given during the hot seating and moreover, develop the plot and characters. For example, somebody asked me “What are your reasons for objecting to war? and my reply was “It’s because I don’t agree with war, there is no good outcome from it, and I dislike the government” , we could produce a role play based on a conscientious objecta who’s beliefs are similar to what I described; This is just a typical example of how Hot-seating helps. Supplementary to this, the questions I found more difficult to answer straight away were the ones that challenged my views and I found myself a lot of time contradicting what I had previously said.
An example of a question I found particularly difficult to elaborate on was- “What would it take, for you to go to war? ” of which was further developed by the questioning, that as I am not going to war, I am putting my own family in danger and letting my country down. Throughout the hot seating, I was constantly trying to effectively justify my arguments, nevertheless I found this increasingly difficult as more questions were asked. I continually emphasised that I was not religious but I just didn’t see any positive outcome from the war.
Various other details we discovered as a result of hot seating were; I was 18 (I decided this age to show the vulnerability of the more younger soldier’s that are called up to war), as well as this, I expanded on the views of my family towards me objecting to war, and how this has affected by decision, this specific point was highlighted by questions such as- “Does your family want you to go to war? ” and “What does your dad think about you not going to war? From this I answered “Yes they do, my dad is mainly disappointed with me, and thinks I’m a coward for not fighting for my country. ” This elucidated that conscientious objecta’s were often viewed as cowards, hence the white feathers put through their door, and expresses the social convention that steers people to believe that war is the correct thing to do and nobody should object to it, this was indicated by my point “I got a white feather through my door yesterday.
Furthermore, some answers I gave, provoked new questions, such as the question- “What if our country is over run by the Germans? ” hence this led to the topic of ‘what ifs’ which was of course prominent with conscientious objectas of that time. The question that was instigated from the previous question was “How long have you lived in England? Don’t you think you should fight for your country and give something back? Just like the thousands of men that already are.
This provoked an altercation with the arguments I was giving, and made me think about what I would do if I were actually put in that position, therefore causing me to empathise with my character and consequently after this, I felt able to give more details, opinions and answers. Overall, I feel the hot seating was extremely effective in helping develop our workshop of war, for the simple reason that we got an insight into the mind of a conscientious objecta of which we could incorporate this new knowledge into any further role plays or otherwise.
Despite this, I think if I were able anything I said in the hot seating, I perhaps would have gone with the argument of religion, as I feel this is the main factor in why people objected to war, apart from the argument I gave- No positive outcome of war. If I were to give the reason of my religion, I feel I could have elaborated effectively that my religion does not allow killing in any circumstances- The Ten Commandments, this is only because in my opinion, a lot more detail could have come out of this. On the other hand, I feel I did give effective responses as they were alternative