9/25/17- Journal #2 This week as a class, we were introduced to Lysistrata and have been tasked to come up with a different time period and geographical area to set the play. This will become a part of a practice director's notebook for us. When thinking of different wars and times to set the play, I initially thought about World War II, and was excited thinking of the costumes and such. However, I could not come up with a solid project from the conflict. I then thought about other wars and conflicts that involved the US, and decided to look into the American Civil War. This would fit nicely into the project, due to the fact that the enemies were close together, and some of the fighting was done in close proximity to southern towns. Since few Union civilians lived or were near the south during the war, the absence of their presence will be similar to the set up of the play as it is in Greece, and the backdrop of a Confederate town will be parallel to that of Athens.
9/18/17- Journal #1 This past week the class looked at Elizabethan theatre and more specifically, technical elements of the stage and sets during that time period in the Globe Theatre. I was particularly intrigued by the use of the stage that had permanent elements such as the inner above and inner below, the heavens, the balcony, and especially the trap door in the center of the main stage and in the middle of the heavens. I am fascinated by the idea that no matter where or when the play took place, the playwright could decide to either use these technical elements or just ignore their existence. When looking into the use of trap doors more and more, I found that with the actual stage being five feet high, the place underneath the stage, referred to as Hell could hold props, and actors easily. Both spaces would be used for actors to enter and exit. One would enter or exit above in the heavens and would exit or enter below in the main stage. I also found that for Shakespeare specifically, he tended to use the trap doors in tragedies either to portray ghosts such as in Hamlet, or witches such as in Macbeth. I think its interesting how historically, theaters were able to portray special effects and mystical elements, without having the technology that theaters have today.