The Container

Written by Zeying Lang

Figure and Info Retrieved from https://www-digitaltheatreplus-com.proxy2.library.illinois.edu/education/collections/digital-theatre/the-container

Hunger. Stink. Darkness. Uncertainty. In a dark container, five people, from different countries, are bundled with the same destinite. They have zero control and information about what’s going on at the outside of the container. 

The Story

The production tells the story of stowaway. There are five characters in this play, and they have different backgrounds and are from different countries, but they have the same goal that they all want to be smuggled to England. An agent made deals with them before, and promised them that they would be smuggled to England. However, after they departed, they experienced an extreme shortage of food. As time went by, the trust between the agent and the smugglers started to collapse. And the agent asked extra money from the illegal migrants for taking them to England. Hidden in a container, five characters told their own stories and the intense relationship in this small container attracts the audience to keep watching and wondering what would happen next.

A glance at The Container

Screenshot from the play (by Zeying Lang)

Characters

Screenshot from the play (by Zeying Lang)

The clothes of the character’s can reflect their social status to some extent: the businessman is wearing the finest clothes. The dirty marks on each character’s clothes indicates that the environment in the container is not favorable. In the talk among characters, the audience could feel different personalities of each character. The young black woman is a kind, thoughtful, brave person. She took care of another girl when the girl didn’t feel well. Everyone else in the container thought the girl was sick and stayed far away from the girl. Even though in this small container and facing the unknown of her own destiny, she’s still willing to make friends with people. When the teacher was forced to be taken away, she was the only one that stood out to stop it. The background of the teacher is also complicated. She’s a widow carrying a baby. In her country, she’s not allowed to teach and learn just because she’s a girl. The ruler’s tracking down all the knowledgeable women and hence, she wants to leave her home country and live in England.

Design

As the name of the production is the Container, and the only scene in the production is in the container. The light in the container is pretty dark, and it perfectly builds the foundation for the atmosphere of this show. At the end of the show, when the container is lit up, I found that all photographers, actors, and the audience are in this scene — the container. The audiences were sitting on the benches on the two sides of the container, and the actors performed directly in front of the audience and cameras. I bet that must have been an awesome experience for watching a show like this.

Screenshot from the play (by Zeying Lang)
Screenshot from the play (by Zeying Lang)

Reviews

  • https://www.denverpost.com/2010/10/13/theater-review-the-container-is-theater-both-in-and-out-of-the-box/
  • https://slotkinletter.com/2016/09/review-the-container

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