Memory is an integral part of being human. Our identity is based on our personal experiences, in our own growth and changes. Theater Re’s performance shows a take at what it can be like to have a personality interrupted by memory loss. This was particularly interesting to me because I have family members who have trouble remembering from age-related mental deterioration, and it was both insightful and moving to see that experience from another angle.
The play had me sitting on the edge of the seat, curious to watch till the end of the performance. It was spectacular how the story came across so beautifully despite the fact that the show had little talking.
The performance indicated memory through the use music and sound. They used jarring music that sounded like broken minds and the discovery of memories. The play then continued with a new memory after the jarring music.
Through the use of lighting, they focused the audience’s attention on a particular object/action. There was another scene when they were watching a home movie together and I really enjoyed that one too. Each time the lighting focuses on a new object, it signified a new memory. In this school scene, they focused the lighting on the tables and the actor and actresses.
Through the use of movement, they expressed their emotions so clearly. When Tom and Isabella got married, they danced. Their dance expressed happiness because they were dancing so fluidly and with such exaggerated big actions. Other than using dance, some movements were jagged, which made it seem like a transitioning memory.
Through the use of set pieces, they reflect different scenes. The most notable set pieces were the bicycle when Tom was riding with Isabella, the school tables and the changing room. They brought out the different scenes and memories really well. The use of costumes also helps to reflect different memories and scenes. This goes hand in hand with the use of set pieces. For example, when the clothing racks and chair was in the scene, together with “Isabella” dressed in teenager clothing, it represented the present, when Tom is trying to get dressed for his birthday. However, when “Isabella” is wearing a school uniform, wedding dress or the red dress, it represented a different memory.
Gem of the Ocean is a play written by August Wilson that was performed at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday night. The characters of Aunt Ester, Black Mary, Citizen, and Eli entertained the audience and the set gave the story an almost eerie mood.
Geoff Sobelle brings his interpretation of home for the people of Champaign-Urbana
Written by Edward Huang
On a chilly Friday evening, guests gathered at Colwell Playhouse in Krannert Center for the Performing arts, eager to see what “Home” by Geoff Sobelle had in store for them. The stage was set with a display of mystery. There were bright lights glaring at the audience, preventing them from seeing anything in the dark backstage. I felt that this built up the interest of the crowd. When an actor from the audience walked onto the stage, the crowd waited in silence, all with piqued curiosity for what was to come.