Thursday, April 24, 2008

Schnee Review

Regie Lars-Ole Walburg
Bühne Robert Schweer
Kostüme Nina Wetzel
Dramaturgie Malte Jelden
Musik Theo Nabicht
Video Sebastien Dupouey
Licht Stephan Mariani

On the 23rd of April around half of our class went to see the production Schnee from Lars-Ole Walburg. The play was in German so was fairly difficult for me to understand. The storyline I did not fully comprehend but picked up that it was some sort of social critique on Islamic culture and the turban issue. The play in itself was fairly complicated so I tried to focus on interpretting or picking up on the director's intensions. I had some ideas, but most of them were quite hard to remember since I had no context or storyline to match them up with.

The set was very interesting though. It began with a pile of fairly old-looking TV monitors ranging in sizes all piled up and displaying signal interference. They went from dark to light in colour, and when they were light, the pile looked very much like a large heap of snow. Whether this was the intention or not I am not sure. But I know that in Britain the signal interference is seomtimes referred to as snow. The reason it is referred to this in the UK is because when interference occurs one sees white marks moving around on a black background and on US monitors you see black marks moving around on a white background, sometimes referred to as "bugs".

The visual parts of the performance I found very exciting since I could not understand the aural text. One of my favourite parts was when they used a live AK to shoot blanks. This can be seen in the above picture with the Turkish flag in the background. The shots were very loud and the effect was very realistic. I also enjoyed when Ka the main character picked up a handheld smoke generating device and used it to mask most of the stage [shown right]. The effect of it moving around the stage was really cool and was followed by an actor, who's character name escapes me, playing an entertaining song on the keyboard which I was able to translate successfully and find interesting. Although where it fit into the story that I was so unsure about, I don't know. Another visual effect I found interesting was displayed in the last 20 minutes, which were just an actor talking and telling a story; so for me this was highly uninteresting since I could not speak. The effect of falling snow that was meant to represent real snow. It was very convincing and very asthetically pleasing. Both myself and Paul (who also found it difficult to understand the spoken text), were fascinated by the snow and were staring at it for, well, 20 minutes.

All in all, it was an interesting experience and I did somewhat enjoy it, despite not understanding about 95% of it.

Ibsen Set Design Evaluation

Initially, I was very satisfied with my Ibsen set design of A Doll's House. My idea was to create a home a modern home that captured all the main themes of the text; a disfunctional family, money, appearance vs. reality, deceit. More detail on how these themes are incorporated in my set can be seen in my journal.

So when I received a 5 I was a little dissapointed. However, I knew after looking at other people's work why mine was not worth more than a 5. Most other people's sets were a final product of a lot of research. They took a lot more time into researching different types of traditional sets, as well as what aspects of a set can bring out different theatrical qualities. My mistake was to have an idea in my head and carry it out without sufficient enough research. Also, I did not go into much detail with my script analysis.

On the whole, despite the flaws in my work, I am proud of what I produced because I feel it was a good attempt. However, some other people's sets I greatly admired, specifically Lana's. Not only was it very asthetically pleasing, but it was obvious that alot of time and effort had gone into the making. I enjoyed Andrej's also, but thought that a lot of his intention or a lot of the sets feeling was lost in his method of presentation. It was difficult to really appreciate what he was getting at since the graphics weren't perfect - the "slanting" ceiling for example. It is alright once he has explained to us that the ceiling should be slanted, but to see it in true really helps to envision the final product that he was trying to explain.