Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Comment of the Week

Here are this week's contenders.

Comment #1: a new comment on your post "‘Rope’ leaves some details hanging":

This article provides a very common, yet crucial critique. It's commonplace to mess around with the time period and setting of a play. In many cases, it's helpful to highlight that the themes of the play are timeless and worldly. For example, setting Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" in the 1950's. But, when this change-over is done, care must be taken to completely put it into one time and place or the other, instead of melding the two. By melding the two, the point of timelessness is lost. Apparently in this case, the director didn't take care in editing the script, to fit the time period, nor did the designers (costume and set in particular) put any such care into modernizing the place and solidifying it's changed time period and location. It's just a lesson learned, that when the director doesn't have a clear message or dedication to a time period change, it shouldn't be done. The creative team can't do their job, if they're getting mixed signals or unclear communication from the director.

Comment #2: a new comment on your post "Video: The Exonerated: True Stories of Innocents S...":
These two people are very compelling and the play that they worked on sounds incredible. One never considers what happens to the people after they have been wrongfully incarcerated, especially if their fate was the death penalty. There are plenty of stories about revenge and being wrongfully accused but there is never really acknowledgement of what happens to "normal" people. People that don't have the intentions to strike up a revenge plan. I would think that those that have been wrongfully accused would go back into their regular life and society and learn that it is incredibly difficult to do so.

The interesting part of this video was the way they pulled up some statistics regarding a smaller community and racial communities. I didn't know that the African American communities were quicker to get back to normal than say a caucasian community. I guess it makes sense because there was an incredible amount of racism in America and wrongful imprisonment was only one of the many hoops that community had to jump through. The small town affect is also another interesting little fact. I would be curious to know if anyone moved away from that environment after going through something like that. It is certainly hard to imagine trying to move on when your entire community thrives on gossip. Especially when that community can't look at you in the same light again.

Cases like these can really damage a person. It would be good to know if any exonerated people have experienced imprisonment in a place like Guantanamo Bay. It is a great idea to bring this play out and show it to the world. Maybe it will change the way we view the death penalty and how we choose to react to those that were wrongfully subjected to this type of punishment.

Comment #3: a new comment on your post "How to Answer “Where Do You See Yourself in Five Y...":
External monologue: Most likely goes something like this article suggests. It is good to hint that you are looking to settle into the company and could see yourself planning a longer career with them. It's a stock answer, yes, and I find that it's also good to be memorable as well. This answer with a twist might not be so bad. I'm sure there's plenty of ways to shoot something unique into the mix while still saying that you want to be motivated and meet/improve the needs of the company which is looking to hire you.


The number one tip for a successful interview is to never let that crazy slip out.

Comment #4: a new comment on your post "In Defense of Blackface":
I'm not quite sure what to think about this article.
For one, I absolutely agree that the instance of college students dressing up like Ku Klux Klan members with a noose and another friend in blackface is racist and unacceptable in all settings, Halloween included.

What I do have a problem with is the title of the article and its premise. The title "In Defense of Blackface" is certainly eye-catching and grab people's attention. And I do understand that historically speaking, blackface may have more benign, non-racist roots (the jealousy/envy that he talked about), although some of what he talks about, like the looser sexual culture, came about because of white owner's disregarding slave marriages and splitting up families by selling husbands or wives or children.
However, I'm not sure that these historical roots are relevant to the discussion in the 21st century, as interesting as they are. Meanings and symbols can change DRASTICALLY over time, and blackface has evolved into a racist expression. What it's MEANT to be is irrelevant; what it's perceived to be by the vast majority of the population is what matters. 100 years ago, holding up your middle finger at someone might have meant absolutely nothing, and 400 years ago, maybe it meant "I love you." That doesn't change the fact that now, holding up your middle finger at someone means something else, and people are going to interpret it with that 21st century view, NOT the view of 100 or 400 years ago.

Comment #5: a new comment on your post "Representing Asian-American Actors on L.A.'s Stage...":
I think this article is very interesting. I'm hoping that there will soon be more productions featuring Asian Americans on stage. George Takei's "Allegiance" looks very promising in elevating the Asian American character in drama. Perhaps it will even inspire Asian Americans to take the stage like Lea Salonga. I agree with Dang that the talent is out there; the opportunities to acquire a role just have to be created. I'm also wondering if what Dang wants is different from all-Asian-American productions. Dang just states that he wants diversity/ more roles for Asian American actors. But is that the same as having plays entirely made up of Asian Americans? Does he want diversity or just more opportunities? It's kind of similar to "The Wizard of Oz," usually made up of white actors, and "The Wiz," usually made up of black actors. Should the theatre world be focusing on creating more opportunities for different ethnic groups, even if that means a continued segregation between those groups? Or should it be focusing on creating and integrating these roles? Personally, I think Dang needs to go one step further and not only create more opportunities on the stage, but also integrate the roles in productions

Put your votes in this post's comments by Thursday.

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