INTRODUCTION LITERATURE ENG 200
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Judge Gusikowski on Wednesday September 30, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to ENG 200 at Western Kentucky University taught by Staff in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 17 views. For similar materials see /class/216689/eng-200-western-kentucky-university in Foreign Language at Western Kentucky University.
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Date Created: 09/30/15
English 200 MWF 9 10 Outside Event 4811 Devon Woosley Hamlet The Solo Actor On Friday April Smat 730 pm I attended aHamlet Prince ofDenmarkproduction held at the Kentucky Repertory Theatre in Horse Cave Ky This was a free event which might help explain many of the points I ll discuss later One of the very unique points about this production was that the entire cast of characters from the play was portrayed by a single actor Greg Petroff a member of Actors Equity With just a single actor this production was basically a recitation of all the lines in Shakespeare s original version of Hamlet rather than a performance of any kind Although this event was primarily a social outing with friends I felt it would be a valid choice for the outside event assignment due to its literary and educational merit With Hamlet being my favorite Shakespearean play I found it interesting that someone was able to recreate all of the many characters in the play through a single actor With each change in character Petroff tried to depict this by moving to a different position on the stage As a result of this technique and the fact that no set design or props were employed using your imagination was crucial to gaining an understanding of the play and its plot The use of a single actor also meant the use of a single costume to portray the entire cast of characters I found it interesting that the director and the costume designer were able to analyze all of the characters and come up with a costume that represented all of themAlthough the limited budget of the production probably determined these theatrical decisions I felt this was an interesting way to present the play because it allowed the audience to visualize their own interpretations from the skeleton presented on stage Rather than forcing a highly embellished image on the audience the production merely presented the lines of the play and allowed the audience to interpret the plot and characters based solely on how Shakespeare chose to present them in the text of his play Although I did think the use of a single actor was an interesting and unique way to present Hamlet I don t feel it was an effective way to present the play if the goal was for the audience to leave with a better understanding of Shakespeare and Hamlet Even though I have read the entire play and watched a movie of Hamlet in a previous English class I had great difficulty keeping up with Petroff for the majority of the play It was often dif cult to discern which character Petroff was attempting to portray especially since he maintained the same monotonous voice for the entire cast of characters For someone with no prior experience withHamlet it would have been nearly impossible to understand the plot In fact two of my friends that attended the event with me had no idea what was going on in the play Looking back on the event Ifeel that having a complete text of the play before me would have made the production much easier to follow Although Petroff s memorization of the entire text of the play was quite impressive to say the least it was compromised by his limited use of acting to help communicate the plot a lack of voice manipulation and a failed ability to bridge a connection between the production and each of the audience members
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