Written by: Lydia Amezcua Ramirez
Where to start off…first of all this class gave me an insight on all the creative things that the University provides which we must take advantage of while we can because our time there is short. This semester proved that point. We never know how long we have with something, it is up to us to not take it for granted and take every opportunity given to us while it’s there. I feel this way about this class. I am glad I ended up taking a class I never took before because of all of the amazing events I was able to experience. That was something I could not have done on my own, but now I may thanks to this class.
Even though our in class person time was cut short this spring semester of 2020, that did not stop the learning nor viewing the events in an alternative manner. Thanks to Digital Theatre Plus, the online viewings were still made possible. Even though it was not the same experience as an in person production, it still continued the entertaining as the other events.
Productions through Krannert
“The Butterfly Lovers” was the first production that the FAA 110 class introduced us to. I was really glad it involved butterflies in the title because butterflies are so captivating to me, which got me more excited for the performance rather than viewing it as mandatory. What I loved about this production was the acting through ballet, the performers could not speak with their mouths so the only other alternative was through dance. I really believe they did an excellent job in conveying their message to the audience because after all, everyone stood up for a standing ovation !
“Step Afrika!: Drumfolk” was the second performance that we viewed through the Krannert Art Center. Originally I thought this performance was going to be mostly drum playing, but it meant much more than that. This performance gave me an insight on a culture’s traditional ways of expressing themselves. It brought to life the horrors of the past but at the same time the kindled spirits of those who are warriors. It was truly a wonderful and impactful experience that I would recommend for others to view if they ever have the chance.
“SOMI” was the third production that I got to view in person. What I liked about this performance was the fact that the main singer, Somi, had an amazing and diverse range of voice pitches to share with the audience. I’m pretty sure that everyone was amazed with her work. Personally, I really looked up to her given the fact that she always took the time to have the rest of her performers recognized, asking the audience to clap for them whenever they had an individual part to play or whenever they played with her. That showed her humbleness, which I really admired.
“Anna Deavere Smith” was the fourth In person production I was able to watch. This was a new type of experience for me because I had never gone to see a comedian/storyteller before so I did not know what to expect. Anna Deavere Smith had a unique form of storytelling that was new to me, but it was well vocalized given that the audience kept laughing at the jokes that she would incorporate in her stories.
“The Cabaret” was the fifth and last in person production I was able to view. This performance also included a historical event but it was told in events leading up to it, through different people. This production was more musical/entertainment like, which I really enjoyed to see. To me, the characters really drew in my attention because of how different everyone was and how they viewed life back then in Berlin, Germany.
Productions through Digital Theatre +
“The Container” was the 6th production I viewed, but the first one through an online database, because of in person classes being suspended. What I enjoyed about this production was shedding to light the gruesome realities of the world. The actors took on the role of what refugees seeking refuge go through because of the opportunities they are denied of. A tragedy, but this Is real life for many people, which we often don’t think about.
“Metamorphosis” was a production that I never imagined seeing. So many aspects of this play made it unique, the costuming, the storytelling, the set, but most importantly it was the storyline. The life of an ordinary salesman is turned upside down as he transforms into an insect out of nowhere. When I first heard the title I associated it with growth and butterflies, when I viewed the film it was nothing like metamorphosis for the better of an individual. It was more like a metamorphosis for the family and how to continue going about life.
The final production was a Shakespeare one but one of my choice. I chose to view “Macbeth” because I have heard about it in high-school but never got to read about it. The only thing I knew I was going to be in store for was confusing language. After reading an overview of the film I was able to go along with the storyline and conclude that Shakespeare productions are filled with tragedies and drama but at the same time creativity.
Overall, all of the productions were all entertaining and had a unique storyline behind it as well as the way the performance was delivered. Being in this class was an amazing experience and what makes it well liked are the teachers behind it. I am grateful that I had amazing, helpful, and encouraging teachers, Dr. Collins and Dr. Robinson, that really helped me through the class and explore messages within the productions.