Tuesday, April 7, 2009

New Works

Well, I managed to see a few shows during the festival in between rehearsals, performances, work, and class and want to comment on some.

Fernando and the Killer Queen was hysterical! Watching the play was like taking a roller coaster ride blindfolded. Each twist and turn was unexpected, thrilling, and bold. For example, when the queen first reveals herself. From the program you already knew that it was going to be a man, but it was such a surprise entrance and the actor owned every moment of it. I loved how each character was given these little nuances to play around with. I don't know how much of it was the playwright's doing or the director's, but they really gave a sense of individuality within the group, i.e. Brenda's almost OCD obsession with the wrinkles in her dress. My favorite thing about this piece was their manipulation of language: the way characters spoke, not so much in the third person, but as if reading stage directions, and how no matter what was going on, they had to respond immediately. 

Its interesting to note that a lot of the plays in the festival dealt with similar, if not identical, themes: myth, love, free will, discovering yourself, sex, finding oneself and that journey towards discovery. You saw it in The Psyche Project, 101 Ways, The 7, the Poet and the Philosopher, Fernando and the Killer Queen, and the Problem Box, to name a few. It shows that this generation has questions and a shares similar concerns over what issues need to be addressed.

101 Ways was a great show to watch because you weren't really seeing actors put on a role, but people expressing their own thoughts and opinions. The piece was truly a work of collaboration where every voice was acknowledged and given the freedom to express themselves uninhibited. Similar to The Psyche Project, the audience was laughing throughout the piece, essentially being set up for serious issue at hand, in this case, Jenny's monologue. A truly great piece of theatre has that power have you doubled over in laughter and then welling up with tears on the turn of a dime. I believe that this was brilliant accomplished  in a number of the works that were presented.

Overall, I think the festival showcased the tremendous amount of talent that arising from this department's students. I wouldn't say that everything I saw was flawless, but they all showed great potential and put forth a bold and unapologetic performance, and that should be acknowledged  and commended. 

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