Monday, January 18, 2010

Journal 01.18.10

On Friday, I went to watch the school play ‘Julius Caesar’, a play by William Shakespeare. Unlike the last play, it was an onstage sitting, so I had a seat where I couldn’t see the screen whenever people were holding up a white screen to watch. The play was translated into a modern version; the setting and some lines were changed in order to make it familiar to the people. The script was similar to the original play, with several changes added. The fact that they use more modern language helped me understand the play a lot better.
Before I actually talk about how the change to a modern script helped, I want to talk about the thoughts I had about it. The first thing I saw was the interesting seating. The onstage sitting made me feel like I am part of the play, not just an audience who watches what the actors are doing. The only bad thing was that there were not enough seats for everyone. The second thing I noticed was the simple stage. Unlike most of the plays, there weren’t many props, which meant the play was based on the people not the beautiful backgrounds or the interesting sound effects.
The setting was changed to a high school during a class president election season. It was a confusing setting at first since I was expecting an ancient Greece setting with the white long clothe they used to wear. After I got used to the whole plot, it seemed to be a good modern version of the original ‘Julius Caesar’. It seemed to be a better way to make the people interested than the original play where the audience is not familiar with the setting. The modern setting which all the people know well and agree with keeps the story more real and interesting. Actors being students at our school, it felt like election was going on in our actual school; the very realistic daily announcement helped also.
The play also used many modern words that students would use these days. Saying “I will text you” instead of “I will send you a letter” made it humorous and interesting. There were many unexpected laughs hidden in each scene, keeping me interested. If the play used the original script, the little children who came to watch the play might have felt lost and become bored. By making it modern, the more people could understand enjoy the play, because the Shakespeare plays are impossible to understand by hearing once.
The modern setting might have helped the actors and actresses too. The modern script must have been easier for them to memorize and the modern setting might have helped prepare the props more easily. The outfits were modern and didn’t make me feel distant.
Overall, I loved the modern version of “Julius Caesar” and feel glad that I did go to the play. It was special in a way that it was a school play that I actually enjoyed. It was a nice Friday night play.

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