Sunday, February 5, 2012

From the Spectator's Seat

I've decided I don't like it. Sitting in the audience during a play, that is. There were so many times when I just wanted to jump up and change EVERYTHING!

                  ^Everyone else ^                     ^Me^         
                   in the audience                                                     
I think part of my frustration was stemming from the fact that it was aimed to reach the kids. I know that a bunch of you loved BYU's Merchant of Venice for that very reason, but it drove me bonkers. Maybe it's because I've only done serious plays and/or serious(ly evil) characters; all I really know is I had a hard time taking in the play with any sort of enjoyment. And considering how much I love Shakespeare's plays (I've been in at least a dozen), that's a pretty weighty statement.

But I suppose there needs to be something enlightening about the performance--other than my utter detest of it. I've decided, to keep MYSELF invested in the post, to comment on the acting. In order to do so, however, there are a few technical "actor" terms you might need to know to understand what I'm saying.

1. Objective: the overriding WANT/GOAL that the character has driving him. Must go through another character.

2. Tactic: a method/mean by which the character attempts to get his objective fulfilled. Better to go through another character.

So with those two definitions in mind, let me explain what I saw, mostly in the Narrator. She was, by far, the only non-detestable character in the entire show (which is ironic, considering the play doesn't call for a narrator). I say this because she had to play so many different parts. In the midst of playing each of these changing roles, she also had to keep track of each character's objective(s), as well as what tactics that character would use based on his or her established personality. The fact that she could switch from being peeved to mischievous to gloomy (and not necessarily in that order, or with those certain emotions) was... I suppose a close enough word is amusing. She, more than anyone, was directed towards the children, but she also pulled a number of 'adult' traits out of her hat for a few of her various roles. I wish that some of the other characters had been that well-rounded (Yes, I am talking about how whiny and silly Portia was).

I don't know, perhaps I'm biased. I have been happier (surprisingly) looking up scholarship for Hamlet and riddles than I was sitting in that theatre seat. Topics, of course, that I intend to address within the next few posts. Til tomorrow! ©Cortnie

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed the fact that the play was aimed toward children, but I'm probably less mature than you are (and less knowledgeable--over a dozen Shakespeare plays?! Impressive!). But I can see how someone as experienced with Shakespeare as you would be less than impressed with an extremely simplified version of such a great literary work.