I am applying for the position of director because I know I can put greater effort into this play then I could put into writing a research paper. This is because of the simple fact that I will enjoy directing this play. I am willing to put forth the time and effort required to make this play a success, not because I want a good grade, but because I want this play to be an enjoyable experience for both the audience and the performers.
Planning and strategies are very important to the successful execution of a play, or any large performance for that matter, however experience is also very important. I will address my experience in leadership and directing first. Being a good director is a lot like being a good leader, you need to make the decisions necessary to accomplish your goal while watching out for the people who are following you. Much of my experience with leadership comes from my active role in Boy scouts. I participated in boy scouts throughout middle school and high school and rose to the rank of Eagle Scout. This required many hours of leadership to achieve as well as organization and planning. I was able to apply my leadership experience to my eagle project, which requires the culmination of the skills learned as a boy scout. Unlike many eagle projects, that involve making benches and clearing trails (termed "trail projects"), my project was a vast departure from the standard. I decided to put on a variety show at the National Lutheran home near where I lived. This is where I was able to apply my leadership skills to directing a large event with multiple performers. This project took over 100 hours of phone calls, auditions, rehearsals, planning, and scheduling to complete. As you can see, I am no stranger to the planning involved in directing a play and I am willing to do what it takes to make our play a success.
I have been studying Lysistrata and have begun to formulate many strategies for how it can be successfully performed. The most important factor in the success of the play is the planning and effort that the people involved put into it. For my part, I am willing to dedicate much of my free time during the week as well as time on weekends to make sure this play is a success. I believe our play should come before my own leisure. Another important factor ranking second to the planning of the play is the number of interpretations of the play available to draw from. As director I would not follow my own ideas to their bitter and tragic conclusion (unlike Creon or Oedipus); I would encourage the performers and anyone else who wants to contact me about the play to explain their own interpretations to me. If I am elected director I will make both my email and my phone number known to the class for this purpose.
I will fairly judge all these ideas, choosing the one that I believe would allow the play to flow smoothly. I would also suggest the creation of a non-acting role in the play, the purpose of which is to read through Lysistrata repeatedly and formulate suggestions and interpretations of different parts of the play to assure more then only my input.
I also have formulated strategies for how the performers can pull off some of the more artistically burdensome or mutually objectionable (performers and audience) parts of the play. First of all, I do not think masking all the performers is a very good idea, even if the class was somehow able to come up with the resources. Masks, unless well made, tend to encumber a performer’s speaking voice, as well as eliminating all facial expression, thereby requiring the use of gestures. Masking the main speakers is a possibility, however they would look a bit out of place compared to the other unmasked performers. Overall, masks seem to be a serious undertaking that would most likely not be worth the endeavor. Another issue with Lysistrata, is its concentration on sex, resulting in many scenes I would term mutually objectionable in today’s society (basically the scenes involving nudity). I considered many ways of getting around this and have come up with a plan that I feel will not detract from the spirit of the play while bypassing the nudity. I would cast male characters in the lesser female roles that involve nudity at some point in the play, such as the chorus and the extras. This would allow them to get close enough to totally naked to get the point across as well as not offend anyone. In addition, this has the added bonus of mimicking the way the play was actually supposed to be performed (with men playing female roles). Masks could be useful here to prevent confusion among the audience about which characters are supposed to be the men and which are supposed to be the women.
Another concern is the musical aspect of the play. I am definitely not the person who should be doing anything that involves music. If it is decided that the play would work more effectively with musical accompaniment, I would appoint another, musically inclined person to handle this matter, which I am sure would involve a reduction in the research paper. This decision would be to everyone’s benefit. Another quasi-musical issue is the poetic rhythm of the play. A good example of this rhythm was given in the video presentation of the Libation Bearers. While I think that rhythm is important, I am against trying to do anything as encompassing as in the video presentation. The performers would simply not have the time to memorize their lines AND match their rhythms due to the huge numbers of rehearsals that would be required.
I have the experience and the planning necessary to make our play, Lysistrata,
a success. I will draw from many interpretations of the play as well as
my own to create the best scenes and offend as few people as possible.
I not only want this play to be a success, I want it to be enjoyable. If
the performance is not more enjoyable then a research paper; it is not
a success. If I am elected director I will do my best to assure that this
play is a success AND more enjoyable then a research paper.
Scott Bell says:
well, i guess it's kinda late, but i thought i'd still check to see
were too late to nominate myself for director. just reading the play i got a
really good sense of who each character is and how they all interact with
each other. i also understand now why there are such a range of
interpretations of this play! i think for our class though, and my plans,
would be to focus on the speaking and pronouciation of the words, the
choreography of the movements on stage of the characters and the chorus, and
also the slapstick comedy( this play rocks!! visions of austin powers-like
three stooges abound!). given the fact we've got a budget of probably nil, i
think that we are much more likely to capture the essence of greek comedy in
this way while getting our own grins in at the same time~