Performance Analysis: “300 questions” in Chapter

THE PLOT
  • Two people in relationship are trying to go from ‘the fresh new days’ to ‘ good old days’. Looks like they’re somewhere in between.
  • They’re asking many -many questions about everything, using what if, would you, how does, why, do you, what do you think, what are you?
  • When the guy was asking the woman was either standing and looking in front of her, somewhere far away, eating an apple, laughing or dancing repeatedly and nervously
  • Improvising and being just the way they are started a conversation in my head – were they playing characters or not? – the question was caused by the fact that the two actors seemed to just two actors as themselves in the situation , yet in character.
  • Can there be a story without characters or a character without the story? Were they just so believable in these characters so we started to feel them as themselves? Or were they just expressing the emotions of difficult and over-whelming relationship
  • Even though there were lot’s of questions and confusions, there were many different kinds of moments which made tha play enjoyable. There were funny moments, surprising moments, improvising moments, sad moments, which atogerther created a deep and complex overview of love and people in love.
  • Connotations: in a relationship every little thing matters, every thought, idea and act, not anything material. This may be because we want to understand every thought and desicion the loved one has made, is about to make and so on. Although we all understad that we never would be able to comletely understand and think like someone else, in a loving relationship we want to see in each other’s mind and heart as well as possible and how much the one let’s you to look. It is all about trust and opening yourself. The funny and truthful fact is that often, when one is trying to open up, talk and feel the closeness then the other is not in the mood, not listening or is expressing their feeling soehow, which doesn’t make any sense to the other one.
GENERAL DENOTATIONS AND CONNOTATIONS
1. Note down how the performance begins. –
  • First image, there’s nothing but the audience standing in a black box
  • The audence is asked to put their coats on the floor and to wait for a couple of minutes, they’re fumbleing and talking excitedly
  • Then the audience is lead into a small rectangle shaped unfurbished room with wooden walls and ceiling. There are items as racket, yarns, skull of an animal, trumpet, scarf, a clock etc – any of these items were actually mentioned or used in the play, they seemed senseless and reasonless. Consequently it could be said that these small everyday items do not matter at all.
  • First image, there’s nothing but the audience standing in a black box
  • The audence is asked to put their coats on the floor and to wait for a couple of minutes, they’re fumbleing and talking excitedly
  • Then the audience is lead into a small rectangle shaped unfurbished room with wooden walls and ceiling. There are items as racket, yarns, skull of an animal, trumpet, scarf, a clock etc – any of these items were actually mentioned or used in the play, they seemed senseless and reasonless. Consequently it could be said that these small everyday items do not matter at all
2. How is the performance ‘framed’?
  • it is in an unconventional theatre space
  • Are actors visible when the audience arrives? The actors are already in the space when people arrive
  • Is music playing? – there is no music playing
  • Is there a bow at the end? yes there is
  • How is the end of the performance signaled? The actors stand up, bow and ask us to leave.
3. Do the systems of performance function to create the impression of a coherent production?
  • it is a coherent production, there are no stages where it stops or seems clumsy, the plot flows within their dialogues and finds and and when everything necessary is said
THEATRE SPACE
  •  where does the performance take place? In the theatre building but not in the main hall, but in a small room
    • describe the type of theatre space – a rectangle small room with wooden walls, floor and ceiling
    • what kind of expectations does the space set up – that it is intimate, because the room is very small. The fact that we were lead into the small room after leaving our coats in the main hall says that it is not classical way of theatre
    • describe the auditorium and the relationship between the stage space and the auditorium – the auditorium was sat on high chairs, so their eyes were on the same level with the actors, which made the connection very clear and close, though the audience didn’t seem to be there whilst the characters discussion, the fourth wall was broken in quite a few places. For example as the male character wrote something in his notebook he asked one of the members to read it out loud and say what he though about this.
    •  who is in the audience (class, age, gender etc)? How did the audience react? – the audience was a mixture of middle aged and young people, there were no elderly people nor any children. The audience reacted quite modestly, but was laughing and enjoying.
    •  draw the set and the delineation of space as you see it when you first arrive – a rectangular room with a small table in the centre of stage and different items and details hanging on walls such as racket, laces, telephone, clock, boots, hat, trumpet etc..consider how the audience is positioned in relation to the playing space – tha audience is basically on the same level with the actors and makes them feel very close to them. The stage was on the same level with the audience, the actors were standing up in the room and audience members (about only 12) was sat on high chairs. — it improved the connection between the actors and audience. It could have been arranged like this to state that the audience and actors are the same, so they would identify with them.
  • SCENOGRAPHY
    • describe the playing area: size, shape, how it is demarcated from the auditorium and from ‘off-stage’ – as the audience is very close to the stage the line is very thin, thougjh certain. There is no back-stage because there are no entrances to the stage. The actors do not leave stage during the play, so there is no off-stage situation.
    • how is playing space constructed and organized – use of levels, architectural forms? Think about vertical and horizontal planes – how the dimensions (e.g. depth and distance) of the stage are created and used – as a narrow rectangular space the focus was clearly on to one end, to the stage. The audience was sat on the same level to the actors, moreover they were sat on high chairs which made the audience to feel just as imortant as the actors.
    •  describe shapes, colours, textures, fabrics – the shape of the room, the chair and the wooden spoken constructions were all rectangular, the objects on walls were shaped asymmetric
    • what does the environment represent (place, time, mood)? – the environment is regular, common and unpolished, unfinished and rough
    •  what does the set suggest about the world of the play? – that it is regular, everyday common, unpolished, humane, unfinished and rough
    • how is the use of space and setting systematized? – the space and setting support the environment and attitude of the play. The objects on the wall are not systematized, though as an audience member I tried to systematize them, but failed
    • is the set constant? – it is a one-act play with no interval and the set is constant, doesn’t change during the play
    • what changes in set take place? – all that changes is the location and position of the tables, which may have been a physical expression of ‘tables are turning’ in their relationship
    • How are set changes organized? – tha actors move the table during their actions
    • what relationships are developed between different stage areas? – as the stage is small (about 3×2 metres) there basically are no different areas to be recognized. The male character climbs on the wooden wall beam-construction, which is an effective use of levels. They never go down to the floor.
    • what is the relationship between on- and off-stage space? – on stage is vry close to to off stage, off stage (the auditorium is stuffed with people, so there is no space to move off-stage. When the play ends the audience is asked to leave before the actors, because the only door is behind the audience’s backs and the actors need to wait for them to leave in order to exit the room/stage.
    LIGHTING
    •  is the lighting constant or does it change? – the lighting is constant and doesn’t change during the play
    •  what areas are lit? – there are no stage-lights used, the room is lightened with main lights from the ceiling, the audience is as lit as the stage
    •  what level and intensity of light is used? – the intensity of the light is quite high, so it lightens the whole room well enough. There are no darker corners or areas. The light is uniform, steady and bright
    •  what light sources are used (candles, torches, lamps, stage lighting)? – only regular pendant lamps to light the whole room
    •  are lighting effects made obvious (e.g. through the use of colour)? – there are no colourful lights, no light effects
    • what motivates changes in the lighting (e.g. time of day, the nature of the action, changes in mood)? – there are no changes in the lighting
    THE ACTORS
    • describe the actors. Why do you think particular actors have been cast? – they both looked common people, there were nothing particular in their appearance or voice. The reason for this could have been to represent ordinariness of the people and through that the ordinariness of the situation
    COSTUME, MAKE-UP, HAIR
    •  describe the costume, make-up and hair of the performers (style, colour, texture etc.) – woman: tight white jeans and a sky-blue flimsy shirt, which trifled when she was dancing. The guy was wearing a white shirt with red stripes and jeans as well. Common everyday clothing. Nothing remarkable, noticeable.
    •  what do all these elements represent? – the characters were middle-class middle-aged european/brittish people
    •  are there systems of costume used across the performance? – there’s no system of costume used, it doesn’t match anyhow to each other or to the surrounding, but only with the fact that it looks ordinary
    PERFORMANCE STYLE
    • how would you describe the performance style? – the text was presented clearly, but was fast-paced. It was naturalistic and realistic and lifelike.
    • how is movement and gesture used? – the actors were moving a lot, expressing their words with hands, sat down on the table, climbed by the wall or danced.
    • how is the voice used? – in a lifelike way
    • how are performers grouped together? – the woman and the man are once together and other time separate
    • what is the relationship between actor and role – as the performance style is mixed with naturalistic lifelikeness and modern audience-involving situations, but the actors/charachters stay the same, it makes the audience to believe that the actors are actually just as they are and not in a character, so the character becomes so believable, the audience doesn’t believe that the actor could be a different person
    • does each performer play one character? – each actor plays just one character
    • does the actor identify with/embody the character? – the actor becomes seemingly one and the same with the character
    • is the difference between the actor and the role made obvious? – no, the actor could be believed to be the character oneself

    STAGE PROPERTIES

    • describe the types of stage properties used – the stage itself is rectangular as well, the audience is sat on only one side and the stage is surrounded by walls (with object on them) from three other directions.
    • what is the style of properties used? – unconventional, the actor seem to be stuck on the stage, as there is just oen entrance for the room which in in the other end behind the audience
    MUSIC AND SOUND EFFECTS
    • is music used and when? – there is no music or sound effects used
      4. What is your response to the production – to specific moments? Do you consider certain moments or aspects to be ‘strong’ and others ‘weak’? What are the criteria you are using in order to develop your response?
FEEDBACK: 54 out of 100
Try to be more clear, to make sense of everything, extend your ideas and open thoughts deeper.
Do not state anything you’re not sure about.
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