TESTING UPLOADING NOTES DO NOT LOOK
TESTING UPLOADING NOTES DO NOT LOOK GEOG 121
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Katie Notetaker on Monday January 18, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to GEOG 121 at Ball State University taught by in Spring 2015. Since its upload, it has received 17 views.
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Date Created: 01/18/16
Katie Geer Group 4 Theater 103 Dr. Tyler Smith The musical Merrily We Roll Along ranks among as a favorite of any Sondheim musical. Merrily, an episodic journey in the life of Franklin Shepard, reminisces on his life choices that made him and the people around him. The characters in Merrily unfold in a complex, thoughtful way that plays off the thought, theme and argument portrayed throughout the musical. Also, it allows the audience to look into their own lives and remember their dreams and ambitions, along with being careful in achieving their goals. The Ball State University department of Theater and Dance does a superb job at achieving their objective through the careful planning of production choices and directing choices. By using these choices, especially in set and choreography choices, Merrily comes to life in a unique way that is a treat for everyone. Through the production choices set by director Michael Elliot, they enhance the original text by giving the audience member a relatable connection to feed off of. This can be seen in the set choices of the play. The set of the play bounces off Frank’s life in several ways. One example of that on the set is the bright rectangular panels. On these panels, they have different colors, most of them being red and yellow. This helps the audience members understand the character’s fiery and ambitious personalities. Along with the choice of color, in some of the panels, they have the dates of when each event took place. This is significant in that certain characters would open certain panels, marking the date a said person was affected around each time period. The choice to put the dates inside the panels and having them opened by certain characters make a clear choice about the character’s background and their interaction with Frank. This helps make it easier for the audience to follow the action taking place. Another way that set make Merrily a fantastic production is the way that set was built. On the right side of the stage from the audience’s perspective, there were a lot of stairs, and most of the floor was a mash up. On the main part of the stage, it was like any other stage, with the floor and a little step. Although subtle, it makes a huge impact on how the people on stage interact with each other and how they portray themselves throughout the course of the play. For example, in “That Frank”, we see how some of the characters on the zig zag stairs are more, shall we say, crazier. This can be seen in Mary and Gussie. In the scene, Mary was drunk beyond all heaven, and towards the end of the scene, we see Gussie on that side of the stage while talking to Frank. This further proves that the set has a enormous input as to how the characters act on stage and their complexity of their personalities. The choreography plays off the set to describe their character to give off the thought, theme and argument that the people in this play go through. Michel Worcel does a great job doing so in the way that his dances show off the thought, theme, and argument in a clear and relatable way. This can be seen in most of act two, especially in the musical number “Good thing going”. In Good Thing Going, it goes of on the irony in that they, indeed had a good thing going, until he settles for big fame in the earlier acts. This also sets the ground work for all the events that happen in act one. It reaffirms the fact that you have to be careful what you sacrifice as if an individual wants to move up in the world, and that success isn’t what it’s all cracked up to be. This can also be seen in “Old friends”. The way that they dance with each other shows the troubles of that fame and its costs. Towards the middle of the song, it shows Charley and Frank dancing with Mary. In their dance though, either Frank or Charley are holding on from the back side of each other as they dance with her. This implies two important details. By making this choreograph choice, it clearly sends the message that Mary is the glue that hold Frank and Charley, and with out her they would broken up way earlier. Also, it shows how one of them is always going to be on the back burner, no matter how hard they try to avoid. This gives way to the theme in several ways. First, it shows that fame can consequently make the people who you have relied on for most of your life disappear within a blink of an eye. Also, it demonstrates that fame can be a two-headed monster if you don’t control it. While have the fame and the fortune can be great to have, to can turn you against the people that you love, and thus makes it hard to be happy in a life that you wanted so much. By using the set and choreography choices to portray the characters and the thought, theme, and argument, Merrily comes to life in a way that no other play beforehand has done before. Thus, the production and choreography choices balance the complexity of the characters and the thought, theme, and argument. The reason that the choices made by Michel Elliot and Michael Worcel made to portray the show does so well is because each of their choices helps either emphasizes or build up each of the points of both sides of the spectrum. Ball State University department of Theater and Dance I believe did a good job at making this impact effective to the audience. Their take on Merrily puts a fresh new look on the show, and brings it back to its original roots that made the show so wonderful the people who watched it the first time. The set and choreography choices by the department add so much to the characters and their traits, giving them their own littles stories if they wanted to.
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