A Streetcar Named Desire and Running were two of the plays attended this semester, saying both plays did a fantastic job is an understatement. Each play had interesting storylines that kept me intrigued throughout the duration of the entire showing. All the characters and respective directors did an awesome job as well. Although I had not been to many plays before coming to Washington College, had the plays not been mandatory I feel I still would have enjoyed attending them regardless.
Both plays had clear objectives, obvious character identities, identifiable locations, consistent voice and movement, active listening and focus, and kept me interested as well as being believable. Attending the plays were the best decisions I could have made. In Running, clear character objectives were expressed. It was clear that Stephen wanted to prepare for his marathon that he would have to wake up early for although he had to entertain a guest named Emily. However, as the play went on, it became clear that Stephen needed someone to talk about his marriage as Emily began speaking on her fallout with her loved one.
It was clear that Emily needed a place to stay as she left her husband to return to her old apartment due to finding pornographic images in her husbands possession. The findings clearly hurt Emily and she needed somewhere to stay and speak about the horror she went through. The play showed both characters had some issues in their respective relationships and they needed someone to talk to about the issues. In A Streetcar Named Desire, character objectives were clear for the most part. A mother named Blanch goes to see her daughter Stella and her husband Stanley in New Orleans.
It is not completely clear as to why Blanch visits her daughter so the audience was left to assume she went just to spend time with her. However, upon spending time in the household of her daughter, she realizes Stanley is abusive but Stella will not take action. Blanch just wants the best for her daughter while Stanley and Stella just want to be together although their unusual relationship. Even though the situations involving abuse in the play were violent, objectives and wants were made clear. It was clear who the characters were and where they were in Running.
It was made clear who Emily was when she entered a living room setting in an apartment and asked Stephen to stay the night in her old apartment that his wife (her old roommate) was. We find out Stephen is a married man and he lives in the apartment when he answers the door as well as when Emily asks him if he is her old roommates husband. Through setting and conversation it was easy to see who the characters were and where they were too. While it was clear who and where the characters were in Running, the same can be said for A Streetcar Named Desire.
We know Blanch is Stella’s mother when she hugs her daughter and starts brushing lint off her daughter while critiquing her appearance and outfit like a mother would do. A key moment that signified Stella and Stanley were husband and wife was when they would talk about their child that was on the way and show affection to each other as well as sleeping together. At first I thought the setting was in the street because of railings and a messy table with alcohol on it. I came to realize it was a room when someone would answer the door, use the bathroom, sleep on the floor, and use the railings as an exit.
I was easily able to tell who the characters were but it was a little difficult at first glance to see the setting was in a room. Movement was extremely consistent in Running. Even though the setting was in an apartment, movement was excellent and the director definitely did a great job at highlighting it. Stephen constantly moved from his bedroom to the bathroom located offstage to get water to hydrate for his race. Stephen also sat in different chairs too from whenever Emily woke up and wanted to talk.
He also went to the fridge to get his guest food as well as the door when he departed for his race. Emily had some movement by moving on the couch when talking to Stephen and going to the pantry as well as other parts of the apartment to reflect on the place she used to live in. Movement was plentiful in Running. Movement was just as great in A Streetcar named Desire and was consistent throughout. A lot of movement was created from the fighting scenes and love making scenes. Not only that, but the poker scenes and conversations added movement as well.
Blanch created movement by going to the bathroom and her trunk. All the characters created movement by quickly exiting and entering trough the rails during the play. The copious amounts of movement made the play seem very fast-paced. Both plays did a fantastic job of using movement. Voice in Running was used to my satisfaction. Both characters showed sadness and curiosity when talking about the flaws of their respective love relationships and asking the other questions involving their life and why they were sad.
Stephen showed he was annoyed and acted dismissive as he needed to get ready for his race early on when Emily badgered him with questions. Emily showed happiness and curiosity when asking Stephen about the apartment beside when she told Stephen what happened with her husband. The ups and downs in Running were made clear through voice. Voice in A Streetcar Named Desire was filled with sadness, anger, and happiness. Blanch showed happiness when she would talk to her daughter but showed frustration when she would tell Stella to stand up to Stanley.
Blanch also showed sadness when she would talk about her past lovers. Stella showed happiness when talking to Stanley and her mother, however she started getting mad at Stanley toward the end when they would have an altercation. Stanley constantly showed anger toward Blanch and Stella. The only time he expresses happiness and love was when he was trying to get Stella to stop being mad at him. Voice in A Streetcar Named Desire was expressed through a rollercoaster of emotions containing love, happiness, and anger. In Running, I liked the play but I was not fully engaged.
While I was not fully engaged, the play was believable. I felt myself drawn away from the play when Stephen would constantly talk about his race and when he would go offstage. I thought the play was believable when Emily and Stephen were talking about their loved ones and the emotions they conveyed. Even though I was not engaged when Stephen would go offstage and talk about the race, I still thought it was more than believable which is a great attribution to his acting skills. Although I was not engaged in some parts of Running, I still felt as if I was seeing something in real life happening.
I felt A Streetcar Named Desire was significantly more engaging and believable than Running. A Streetcar named Desire kept me intrigued the whole time up until the last few minutes. I feel like I was more intrigued in this play because the pace of it was so fast and non-stop. The characters did a fantastic job of making the play believable. What stuck out to me the most and made me feel as if I was in the play was the surplus of characters. Something else that stuck out to me and made me believe the play was Stanley.
He expressed his violence in a very believable manner without actually hurting Stella which made the play seem like real life. Blanch and Stella did a great job of making the play believable by conveying their emotions which can be a result of their acting skills and their voice. A Streetcar Named Desire made me feel like I was on the stage watching people interact in their everyday lives. Attending both Running and A Streetcar Named Desire was a great experience. Each play showcased clear objectives, obvious character identities, identifiable locations, consistent voice and movement, and kept me interested as well as being believable.
Even if the plays were not mandatory I wish I still went anyway because they were so entertaining and I am not a big play person. Every character did an excellent job which reflects the mastermind of the directors. What kept me intrigued were the storylines that I am not used to when I typically watch something. Whether an acting major or not, every student should go to at least one production while attending Washington College, they will not regret it and certainly enjoy it.