Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Vote For Comment of the Week

Here are this week's contenders:

Student #1 has left a new comment on your post "Here's A Wild Idea For Shakespeare: Do It His Way":

This is great, for several reasons.
First of all, I think that history is neat, and historically accurate things are awesome. Going to this show would seem like a half-way point between conventional theater and a medieval recreation at a museum or something, and I would absolutely love to experience it, purely for its historical value.
The second reason, of course, is that I'm tired of Shakespeare being re-invented in modern times and places(as most of us are). The argument often seems to be that audiences can't relate to events set in the middle ages. Uh, wrong. Sure, I can't quite understand what it's like to be a knight, but that's not what Shakespeare's plays are about. They're about people living life, and that's something that I can definitely relate to on a pretty basic level. If a play is good, it doesn't need its setting to be completely changed for the sake of relevance. The only thing that I think can be confusing to certain audiences in those plays is the language, and throwing a leather jacket on the actor delivering the lines really won't enhance comprehension of a way of speaking that most of us are unfamiliar with. And on a more personal note, I don't relate to Romeo and Juliette when it's set in the inner city between two rival gangs in modern times any more than I do when it's set in Verona, several hundred years ago.

So, the point is, yay Globe Theater. I have nothing against re-inventing old classics, but it's now way overdone and it's nice to see some change. You can always count on the British to bring some good old tradition back into our world of moon Othello's and other heresies. 

Student #2 has left a new comment on your post "Do U.S. Arts Suffer From A Lack of Working Class V...":
I was just talking to a friend about how expensive art school is and it just doesn't make sense. It cuts out regular folk or it puts you into a lot of debt. Also, artists usually don't make that much money, so overall it just really doesn't make sense. Also, why do art when you know it is never going to be profitable? Sad, but usually pretty true. You don't go into the arts to make money -- you do it because you love it. But also frustratingly this makes it impossible for many of people to do.Then I found this article. The author poses some good questions at the end -- does programming not connect to audiences because of the privileged backgrounds that many artists come from or do those with money have the influence over what is being shown/performed/made, etc.? I think there are artists from all walks of life, despite expenses, lack of funding, etc. I think maybe the second question is more worth exploring -- do those who fund the arts control the arts? I'm not sure -- to an extent, certainly. But there are still performances, art spaces, shows, etc. out there doing their thing despite financial instability. Interesting questions. I'm sure there are some very interesting answers out there with more research. I'd be interested to hear what is found. 
Student #3 has left a new comment on your post "'Princess Bride' Stage Show in the Works":
This is a terrible idea., mind you, usually when talk rolls around about making classic films into stage shows I hands down agains it. I realize theater is about being open minded but something so classic should not be altered. Look at Big fish for example, the film was excellent, witty, charming, and magical. The Broadway show on the other hand was a flub. The problem is that there is a difference in the way a film goes about telling a story and the way a stage show does it. I'm not saying I'm entirely against adaptation. It works wonders when books are turned into films and plays. Animated films also tend to make great musicals ( Julie Taymor's the Lion King being a prime example.) The thing about the story told in the princess bride is that part of the humor in the story relies on film aspects. The fire swamp horrors and the rodents of unusual would not be the same on stage because they can't embrace the campy film quality the the movie has and if the stage version tries to encompass that, it is a very different play. The other part of the film that I don't see an easy way to change into a stage version is the scenes where is cuts between the grandfather telling the story to is sick grandson and the actual tale of buttercup. Those scenes are as funny as they are because of their abrupt nature. There's a sudden cut and the audience is left yelling "wait go back, I want to know what happens" you can't create that effect as well with a black out or a frozen pose because you can still see the performers on stage. You know they are there and that they'll have to move eventually. When you cut to a different screen in film you loose the image and are give no promise that it will return. And those are just some of the problems with creating a stage version of it, don't even get me started on a musical version. I think one of the biggest issue is that it is a cult classic. If a company wants to try and turn a film into a stage play I can't hate them for trying (as uncreative as it may be). But to take a cult classic loved by so many and possibly ruin it beyond recognition with cheesy gimmicks and unnecessary musical numbers is just wrong, not to mention a slap in the face to the original film. 
Student #4 has left a new comment on your post "See the Freaky, Animatronic Baby That Almost Invad...":
I completely agree with Akiva. They say they did not want to use a "fake thing," and yet they ended up using a fake baby through CGI. The baby was not creepy because it was an animatronic puppet. Sometimes, things are creepy because they look so realistic, but that is not the case in this situation. Chuckesmee doesn't even have the correct human anatomy. Her eyes are too big and spread apart, the face sculpt and makeup do not look human, and a one-day-old baby will never have long eyelashes and that much hair. The puppet itself moved very well, and overall the technology worked. I think the art department made a huge mistake in how the baby looked. If the head sculpt was better and if the artist actually knew how big and where human eyes are on a baby's face, the result would have been better. I have a feeling that they did not recreate a puppet because of the cost. I hope his baby animatronic is done again in the future with a better design aspect because I think this is a really good idea overall. I looked at the Curious Case of Benjamin Button again, and yes you can definitely tell the aged-baby was CGI, but that was a movement issue. It at least looked like a baby. When Benjamin dies, however, I believe they used a real baby. Because the scene was so somber, the baby actually looked wise beyond its years. The only question I have for the director is, "Why didn't you use a real baby?" 
Student #5 has left a new comment on your post "Nuggets mascot ‘Rocky’ collapses after being lower...":
Anyone who has left a comment on this article that stated they didn't know how this happened should click on that link that David posted. This is something that will come up any time you work on a production in which you fly a person. This was an issue we had to face a little bit on Sweeney, and a great deal on Angels. Before we got anywhere near the tech process of either of those shows Carnegie Scenic, Production Management, and Stage Management sat down and figured out how long someone could be suspended in the air in the cage or on the swing for Sweeney or how long the Angel could be suspended in her harness before the performers needed to come down. This time wasn't just how long they were suspended above the stage, but began as soon as the performer's feet left the deck backstage. We made it clear that no matter what was happening on stage if we hit the 10 minute mark of having Imari in the air, we had 2 minutes to begin the process of getting her back into the deck. That didn't only mean she needed to be on the deck, it meant that she needed to come off of the flying rig and walk around for 10 minutes before she could go back up. While this slowed the tech process considerably while training that portion of the show, it was what needed to happen because of the safety constraints.

It sounds like the people who arranged for this mascot to fly in from above the arena didn't know the proper safety protocol for using a harness system. It looks like they had no way for the mascot to communicate that he wasn't feeling well, and no one was monitoring him in order to know that something was wrong. It also looks like the mascot was suspended above the arena while waiting to come in to the floor, and had no way to take the pressure of the harness off of his body. If he needed to be suspended for longer than a few minutes in order to make this effect work, then it never should have even been considered. This was a gross oversight by all involved, and probably could have easily been avoided.

1 comment:

Ethan Weil said...


or #2

but mostly #5