Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Performance Analysis

Düsseldorf 04.05.1996
Director: Karin Baier

- Begins after all characters leave stage except Lysander and Hermia.
- Ends when Lysander and Hermia kiss and Helena enters the stage.

Theatre space: End on, fourth wall present, so as to focus audience’s attention on actor/actor relationships instead of actor/audience.
Performance space: No different levels on stage, simple square stage with blackened out background (where orchestra lies). Once again, this could be to focus the audience’s attention and to allow the audience to come to their own conclusions of the characters instead of putting them on differentiating physical and moral grounds.
Actor space: At first, Lysander takes centre stage and Hermia is positioned in the corner. Further into the scene both actors take centre stage. This is mainly to show that this is the central – as well as only – action in this scene.
Actors movement in space: Lysander, at centre stage, makes exaggerated movements with a fixed position to emphasise his frustration. The not being able to move highlights his helplessness in the situation he is in. Hermia who is at first distant to the action becomes more engaged and comforts Lysander. They talk for a while with fairly gentle movements which represent their love for each other. As they become more excited by their new plan the tension and humour increases and so too does the levels. First Lysander stands and then Hermia follows. Thus, tension is proportional to levels in this situation. The tension is released when the two characters kiss in silence and Helena enters the stage.
Set: No set design, perhaps the director’s intention was to focus the audience’s attention on the character relationships and the complex issues that arise from the action, also, to not be distracted when they should be focused on the many complicated meanings behind the multiple languages used on stage.
Costume: Costumes describe how the characters fit into society. Hermia is wearing a suit much like the other characters. What is different about her appearance is that she is wearing beautiful sapphire jewellery and has tidy hair. This is a contrast to the other women on the stage who are viewed as fairly unattractive, untidy, and have unkempt hair. The other women are also not wearing a suit but instead wearing rather drab clothing. The effect it has is that it portrays Hermia in a very attractive light. Lysander is an outcast and is in Jewish attire. This is to underscore that Lysander is very different from most characters.
Sound: At the beginning of the scene, to build tension whilst Lysander is panicking and making exaggerated movements, there are fierce drum rolls being played. The music stops to highlight the transition between the conflict of the society clash and the calm of the two lovers together. Lysander and Hermia become more excited when they cultivate a plan and to increase tension they begin to talk louder and more frequently. This then stops to release the tension when they kiss. There is also a silence to insist in making Helena’s entrance more dramatic.erHerfer

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