Essay, Research Paper: Polaroid Stories

Theater

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I have never been to a live play performance before, but I have seen one on
video. I loved it as though I was reading a great storybook; being able to stop
at anytime and pick up where I left off, but I never thought about the
relationship between the performers and the audience. Nor did I think of the
impact of all of the aspects that deal with creating a play and giving a great
performance. For my first live play I went to go see Polaroid Stories; a play I
thought would not be so shocking to a first time audience member. I was wrong;
this play almost literally looked me in the face and slapped me. The play had
the look of a run down playhouse that had little funding and little direction,
but I later pieced it together that they made it part of the play, and obviously
you are not supposed to see those who are back stage directing. Additionally, I
over looked the performers’ costumes, the stage lighting, and set design;
everything I took for granted. I thought I could see the props and everything
that was strategically placed or used, but I missed them all. I was surprised at
how these people in charge took the look of a run down playhouse and made it
their stage. This was life on life’s canvas and it was totally different from
watching television. Everything became so tangible and real. For a moment I lost
my self and really got into the play. I didn’t think I was watching a group of
people on a set acting for my entertainment, I felt I was actually watching
life. As if I stepped out of my body for a moment and walked the streets seeing
the life of these street kids. You can’t exactly get that from television;
your mind is constantly running when you watch this play. The fact that the
stage was right in front of me does not compare to television. If I took one
step forward I would have been on stage, if I wasn’t already. One of the
actors I felt breeze by me, and I could smell the smoke of another actor’s
cigarette. I kept having the feeling I was there, that the whole stage was
really outside. The stage was the one aspect that kept me believing. The way
everything was setup, the closeness it brought between the performers and the
audience, and the sounds it created when the actors walked across it or banged
on it. I felt apart of the stage and I guess that is why I felt so close to the
action of the stories, and how I got lost in them. Going to this play was a new
experience, but watching this play was a crash course in the emotion you can
actually get from the way everything is setup. This new media had an impact on
me that you can not get from television. And I’ve come to the assumption that
you can save lots of money by going to good theatres like this, than by
purchasing surround sound for television. You can hear the closeness with all
the speakers you need, but you’ll never get that tangible feeling as if the
performers or the stage are really there.
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