Wednesday, April 17, 2013

La Vie en Rose

I’m extremely excited to be working on the One Act Festival, every play in it is very well done and the group that we are able to work with always provides a bit a fun. Auditions just wrapped and we’re all now figuring who will fill which role. I have never been a part of any theatrical production so it’s been a blast working with Liz, Chris, Megan and Mike and all the directors we have now this term.

I don’t know exactly where the influences came from. George Orwell’s Road to Wigen Pier was the main influence for the content of the play. The book is about Orwell travelling through England’s working class environments in the early 1900’s and his descriptions of the coal mines, slums and urban housing and the people who inhabited these environments were very influential in the topics under discussion by the characters. Mainly the separation of classes, the need to have one in order to have the other and the ignoring of suffering that can be right outside your own little world. There was a part of his book that described the aristocrats living their high lives literally on top of the coal mines and the suffering below, still demanding that it be brought up ignorant of what this meant and the process this required. This image is what fueled the bulk of the characters conversation.

The scene of the play came from a German film “The Last Laugh.” The opening is of a hotel bell hop that greets the guests as they walk in and out, nodding his cap to those walking by. I don’t know why but once this idea of people passing each other on the street with one main character mildly linked to them the dialogue began to flow. The play itself isn't supposed to be a dramatic life lesson but just an examination of small ideas and the presentation of a couple questions. And then instead of a simple answer picking and prodding at them until there is really nothing left.

It is the biggest cliché to say that “every character is flawed” so it would be more appropriate to say that neither character is correct in their own ideals. The complications of whose life is the one that should be lived or who is the one holding sin and who is the one holding grace are not meant to have any definitive answer. You could say the play was tragic but the ending is supposed to be a shrug of the shoulders and the continuation with the evening. This is one main point that Orwell continued to make throughout his book. That no matter how horrific the coal mines were, no matter how disgusting the slums got those who did not have to occupy those world's continued on with their life.

Ricky Zipp

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