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I was so tired today that I took a big nap after getting home from Scribendi duties. (Bulletin board and schmoozing.) And I'm still ready to sleep at normal bedtime, even though the nap was at seven o'clock. Of course, being woken up at seven in the morning might have had some effect, too. And really, it's probably a good thing that the dulcet tones of our squeaky front door woke me, because someone turned off my alarm. (If I remember correctly, I didn't bother to shut the thing up when I left yesterday, making the prime suspect my dad.) I might have been able to go back to sleep if the door hadn't heralded the arrival of my niece and nephew, who were not exactly quiet. So, fortunate that that happened today, but not so fortunate that they'll be getting here at the same time next Friday, which is my fall break and not a getting up early day.

It was a sort of long day, despite the lack of class. Instead of having a normal Latin class, we watched the production of Iphigeneia at Aulis instead. Or part of it, as it started an hour before class. And I did catch most of it, which helps cut down on the Troy reading for next week. But I should probably still read it, because I found several things about the production distracting:

1. The modernization aspect. I don't have a problem with updating/modernizing plays in general, but it is one of those things that you have to do just right in order to pull it off. And you have to be bold about it. This production? Not so much. They had Agamemnon wearing sunglasses at one point, and helicopter sounds at the very end, and the chorus leader(?) turned into a reporter. Oh, and the women (besides the reporter, who was in pretty much normal clothing) were in quasi-bondage gear. Not bad elements in themselves, but they did not mesh with anything else in the production. The costumes were very stylized (again, not bad in itself) and somewhat "period", if you can call it that. Iphigeneia and two other girls whose functions I haven't figured out yet had toga-esque things over their corset/garter/fishnet combos. (Not sure how I feel about those costumes.) So really, it was some half-assed mixture of modern and "traditional." There were elements that said, "You are watching a play written by an ancient Greek," like the columns and the men's costumes. Which made the things like the sunglasses, reporter, and helicopter really jarring because they were not integrated. I didn't even realize the reporter was actually in the show at first. Until she started speaking, I thought she was some sort of production assistant, and even after her first line, I was still confused.

2. The scenery chewing. Oh god, the scenery chewing. Everything was a Grand Speech for some of the actors. Which gives them nowhere to go when something is actually more important than something else. And for all the changes that the characters were supposed to go through, that didn't show in portrayal. It's hard to see how someone changes when they have one expression and one tone. And some of the prosody was just off. Plus, I think some of them didn't actually know how to project, so they shouted all their lines (Iphigeneia, I'm looking at you). A lot of the stuff going on onstage was stylized, and there were some very nice bits there, but again with the not going far enough.

Overall, it was decent, but they really needed to push it more. They needed to pick a direction and run with it, instead of trying to cobble together multiple approaches.

And now I really need to go to sleep.

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sjester

May 2009

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