The Merchant of Venice is an adaptation from William Shakespeare’s famous comedy of the same name. It tells a story about an antisemitic merchant in Venice named Antonio who could repay the loan he took from a Jewish moneylender named Shylock. The production was about 130 minutes in total and was captured live in Stratford-upon-Avon. I watched this online via Digital Theatre Plus.
Anna Deavere Smith held a story telling event that lasted approximately an hour followed by questions from the audience who were intrigued with her work. In her performance she was able to express themes that involve issues in America. This event was held on Tuesday February 18th, 2020 in the Colwell Playhouse at the Krannert Art Center.
Written by: Lydia Amezcua Ramirez
Anna Deavere Smith’s theater performance was unique in the way that she took interviews to perform real people. By this I mean that she had taken the time to sit down with people, have them share the story they wanted to convey to her, took their story, and performed it in a way that brought laughter to the audience yet still conveyed a specific theme. At the beginning of each new theme she told the audience what the title of each story that she would present would be. This is how I could tell that she presented a new person, based on the different titles. Also, at the end of each story she would say thank you and the audience would clap.
Another thing to note about her performance was that she was dressed in a simplistic manner and the set was also set up that way. This is important because she was still able to indicate character without any extra garments to wear. All she needed to present her characters were her use of voice and body gestures. For each new theme she presented she would use a different type of voice to depict that character. As for body gestures, she would also keep it simple and use body movements that indicated the character she was in.
In her performance, Anna D. Smith was able to represent different aspects of the American past through interview in the way that she selected her themes. The people that she interviewed had a specific theme to share which she wanted to convey surroudning issues of community, character, and diversity in America from the past. For example, she had portrayed a character of a reverend during the civil rights movement. Her themes relate to the present due to the issues that occurred back then in which can still be seen today but less problematic as they were back then.
The way that this performance is different from the news or documentary films is that those are matters of factual detail and given events with names and dates. In Anna Smith’s performance she used theater to convey her characters through acting without giving away the names of the persons she interviewed for the stories. This was a creative performance on her part, especially when she was able to have the audience constantly laughing.
Eric Andre his entire audience captivated and wanting more at Canopy Club with his visionary humor.
Written by Catherine Webber
As part of his Legalize Everything tour, and as an act of the Pygmalion Festival, comedian Eric Andre played at Canopy Club this past Saturday to a crowd of very enthusiastic fans, and these fans were not disappointed. Once I saw that Andre would be part of the Pygmalion Festival I quickly texted my brother to see if he would make the journey from Chicago to join me in the crowd, and he very eagerly told me that he would and couldn’t wait. Andre is known for his off the wall and oftentimes absurd talk show on Adult Swim, and this stand up was definitely reminiscent of the farcical show.
As I watched the dancers and violinist perform on stage of the Colwell Playhouse, all I could think was, “What is going on?” However, not in a negative tone but out of curiosity. I was intrigued at how unorthodox this performance was. It was certainly something I have never seen before, and I gladly admit that I enjoyed it.
The creative play on a young man’s eventful life and how he molds his perspective about who he is and what he can do.
This play was more than a play. It was an experience. It drags you into the life of an unordinary 15 year old young man from Europe. He is extremely smart, yet, others he encounter in the play would probably say too smart for his own good. However, through his expanding curiosity, the play allows you to be a part of his mind as he goes on a journey to answer his many questions about why life is the way it is.
Tonight I went to the Krannert center and watched the play “A funny thing happened on the way to the forum”, as I went into the theater and started to take pictures, a staff member nicely told me that they don’t allow taking pictures during the show, I realized that maybe my movement was too big, so I took the picture of the program notes and the tickets.
This week the class went to see A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum in the Colwell Playhouse at the Krannert Center. I had an absolute blast watching this musical comedy. Everything came together perfectly — the set, the actors, and the music .It was two hours of nonstop comedy, and I enjoyed watching every second of it.
A evening filled with beautiful voices, acting, and belly laughing.
Written by Emily Reeter
I really enjoyed the performance this last Thursday. I went in without any expectations because it had been years since I had the opportunity to attend a theater event. When I first arrived I was mesmerized with all the different decorations, lights, and stage settings. The crowds continued to pour into the theater and you could feel the excitement through the immense chattering. It was extremely lively and vibrant. I couldn’t wait for the production to begin so I could see it all come to life. Continue reading →
If this class keeps going at this rate, I am going to go to every theater production that the Krannert Center for Performing Arts puts on because… WOW. Click below to read more about the amazing performance at Krannert this Thursday. Continue reading →