Essay, Research Paper: Beyond The Dead


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This play was the resounding voice of the dead. The direction of the play
closely followed the original direction of the script. By that I mean that the
unity of the play was contingent on the premise of the original writer. I
believe that the director of this play was trying to uphold the message that
Irwin Shaw first presented with this play. The play was directed very well. It
seemed that it drove the intended message home well, which in this case I would
consider an appreciative success. The view that I carried while watching this
performance changed dramatically. Before the viewing, and during the first
scenes, I was convinced that the plot was too dramatic. There has always been an
enormous amount of sacrifice by soldiers during times of war. I thought this to
be more of a degrading look at war, and it's atrocities. I believe in the
sacrifices of war, or at least I thought I did. The play convinced me that not
always is sacrifice necessary, and often times the sacrifice goes unnoticed, or
without proper revere for those giving up their lives. I would call the
performance a sensitive, yet very real portrayal of the very large, yet mostly
unseen, and unappreciated, losses of life. The actors did a pretty good job. On
simple terms, they all remembered their lines, and the specific movements
required of them. I guess that I don't know that for fact. If there was a
mistake though, it was covered very well, which would indicate even better
acting to me. The group of men that played the soldiers worked well together.
They all seemed to be plagued by exactly the same symptoms. Of course they were
all dead, but no one knows how to act dead-alive. Their individual acting of the
symptoms was great, because in each we could see the same traits. They all
swayed from side to side, or all kept a very somber, quiet look on their faces.
Then they six were all further challenged by having to maintain these
similarities, while at the same time displaying individual characteristics. The
biggest part to all of the acting was the realness that all of the characters
portrayed. The general is the best example of this. He was strong, and loud. The
way he acted produced fear even in me. He was exactly the general I would
picture or imagine if reading this performance to myself. The acting overall was
strong. I don't know the scenery that was originally intended for this play, but
I didn't like the set that was used. I however did agree with the structure
being plat formed. The use of height to represent power or authority was an
excellent choice. It is very easy to distinguish who they were, and what status
they held because of the platform. One thing we discussed in class was the use
of plain fatigues by the director. I believe that this choice was excellent. It
made clear that the brutally and horror of war could be felt by anyone an any
army. The lighting in the play was great as well. There were two particular
parts that I noticed specifically. The first was the mood the lights cast. The
back lights were blue and orange in color, and I believe that they helped set
the mood. The second way I noticed the lighting was in more specific ways. The
blinds on the wall in the press woman's office, or the leave cutout that were
displayed through the larger covering lights to produce a leaf like effect on
the floor and set. The spotlights on the individual soldiers when they were
talking to their loved ones was also extremely creative. The way in which each
soldier was totally lit, while the rest of the stage was dark had a profound
effect. It gave more seriousness, or emphasis on their lines. The sound was
vague. The gunshots sounded fake, and were difficult for the actors too act out
correctly. Other than the gunshots though the sound seemed to fit in. I didn't
notice any other problems, so I would assume that it was sufficient. The
audience seemed to enjoy the performance I attended. The applause at the end of
the show held out for a noticeable amount of time. During the production the
audience seemed as captivated as I was by the plot. The message, and the
realness that it can hold is overwhelming in this play. Relating to the story
seems almost natural for anyone who has loved ones. I only noticed one problem
with the audience. I sat near the late entrance. It was somewhat distracting to
have people shuffling in during the first fifteen minutes. I know in the future
that I will avoid this at all costs. I think that the play was a success. The
actors did an excellent job with lines and movement. The props were real enough.
The director also seemed motivated by the topic. I think with the combination
that was present, and the interest that the director seemed to have, you can
only call this production a success. Here's to the cast and crew of a moving
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