Intention and impact

We created a theatre piece that looks like a wake to make the audience feel like regret. We had one of our actors lie down on a table had another actor place something in her coffin. The same actor stroked the dead person’s face and utters: “I should have known.” We had Natalie Merchant’s depressing piano ballad “My Skin” playing in the background to make the audience feel regret and impending sadness. Our word was “regret.”

What the impact was was the actual sadness but not so much regret. We dressed the actor laying in the ‘coffin’ in white to symbolize a pure spirit, and we elevated the actor on a table. The audience understood that this was a wake. One of the actors failed to say their line, which was the major indication of regret. The actor who looked down into the coffin stroked the cheek of the actor inside it, visually establishing a close connection between the two. What we could have done to make it better was have a clearer pronunciation of the line, and have all of the actors in the piece notice the dead body and act sad. People would then have understood that the feeling was more of regret.

PSA: A review.

PSA 1: Teen Anti-Smoking PSA

1) What was the message they were trying to convey (Intention)

Trying to raise awareness about the effects of smoking despite it’s popularity.

2) Was it successful? (impact)

Yes, it showed graphic images related to smoking which most likely disgusted the viewers.

3) What choices did they make that supported their intentions, what choices were unsuccessful?

They chose images of popular celebrities smoking to show that the media was, in fact, positively displaying smoking.

PSA 2: Stop Bullying

1) What was the message they were trying to convey (Intention)

That verbal and cyberbullying had an impact on it’s victims.

2) Was it successful? (impact)

It most likely successfully scared the viewers.

3) What choices did they make that supported their intentions, what choices were unsuccessful?

It depicted a realistic bullying scene, however the actors were clearly not teenagers and the PSA lacked an element which made it personal to the viewer.

PSA 3: Consent

1) What was the message they were trying to convey (Intention)

Consent is verbal and nothing else.

2) Was it successful? (impact)

Yes, it displayed the numerous counterarguments that the public generally have to rape claims.

3) What choices did they make that supported their intentions, what choices were unsuccessful?

Bold messages were clear- no need for much interpretation. Again, PSA lacked personal aspect that should reach out and seize the viewer.

The Skin of Our Teeth- Chaos on Paper

As I began to read “The Skin of our Teeth”, confusion settled into my mind.¬† The story starts with a main character, Sabrina, introducing us to the Antrobus family for whom she works for. Then, she starts to explain that the depression happened ‘a few years ago’, so this gives the reader the impression of a time frame and’ where this story takes place. However, the seemingly orderly story begins to twist as we discover that in this story, the coldest day of the year happens around August. Then, Sabrina steps out of character and becomes ‘Mrs Somerset’. She interacts with the stage manager before stepping back into character. This all happens within the constraints of Act I, and seeks to confuse the reader. Sabrina steps out of character multiple times to address the audience directly to let them know that she doesn’t comprehend the story either. She advises the audience to not search too deeply into the play for meaning. This disrupts the usual format of a play, because in the first act the reader is usually told the time frame, location and subject of the story. Here there is none, and the characters step out of character.

 

We are then introduced to Mr Antrobus, one of the main characters, who has just invented the wheel, the alphabet and the times table. The rest of the Antrobus family is presented: Mrs Antrobus, the wife, and Gladys and Henry, the children. Then, to further the non linear plot of the story, the reader acknowledges baby mammoths that dwell inside households, a dinosaur that seems to be able to speak, one of the Antrobus children, Henry, who is supposedly four thousand years old, and an ice age that is dauntingly dawning on the earth. Famous characters such as Homer and Moses make an appearance. Out of place characters are also there, such as refugees and nine women that seem to be nuns.

 

This first act alone defies any sort of known logic because the invention of the alphabet and the times table are nowhere near the ice age that is supposedly happening in the story. Secondly, never have humans, mammoths and dinosaurs all interacted together. Also, the characters seem to be speaking in comprehensible english even though the alphabet has just been invented. Homer and Moses are also present, which disrespects a historical timeline. This is to throw off our perception of time as we know it, but also to introduce us to a situation where all of these characters interact for a comedic effect, even though they didn’t exist at the same time. As the characters Sabrina quoted in the act, “Ladies and Gentleman! Don’t take this play serious […] I’ll say the lines, but I won’t think about the play. And I advise you (the audience) not to think about the play either.” (Act I. page 153).

 

The second and third act seem to not be connected to the first. In the second act, we are placed in an event similar to ‘Noah’s Ark’, where a fortune teller predicts a flood and all the animals embark on a ship, two of each species. The reader also finds out that the Antrobuses have been married for five thousand years, which is longer than any human lifespan. This is a play on the reader’s perception of time. The third act begins at the end of a war, where the Antrobus women have come out of hiding from a shelter. The Antrobus men return from the war, and there seems to be a dysfunction between them, and the reader gets the impression that the two faught for different sides during the war. Again, there isn’t any logic behind the timeline of events, however, some characters begin to have profound thoughts contemplating life as we know it. Starting in act II, Mrs Antrobus begins to contemplate the meaning of marriage and shares the thought with the audience. She also reflects on what women are and how they are portrayed, and the thought is meaningful but out of place. In the third act, Henry, Sabina and Mr Antrobus also begin to reflect on their lives and what it means to begin again after a disaster. Meanwhile, between the thoughtful diatribes of these specific characters, others step out of the scene and the readers/audience are told that some actors have fallen ill backstage and that they need to be replaced by other actors.

 

While some parts of this play as a whole make sense in a nonlinear fashion, the ensemble of the illogical events and circumstances make the script difficult to read. My first impression of the story was not a good one. I didn’t enjoy the story because of all the apart√©‘s and the presence of characters and props that did not help the story. It is hard to follow and probably even harder to put on as a show. The audience would have to focus incredibly to be able to understand the story. The play might become interesting upon further observation, but it is initially pure chaos.