Reflection on the Creative Interpretation of the Scene and the Roles
Our group acted out the Act II, Scene IV and Act II, Scene V of the play “The Spanish Tragedy”, together in order to complete the assignment given to us. As a group we turned the play into a modern style scene using New York to make it closer to the modern lifestyle and to represent the gangster life there. Also because that is how we perceived the tone of the play would best be represented - where Bel Imperia is the beautiful, smart and educated lady princess, on the other hand her boyfriend, Horatio, is trash. I guess our perception of a New York style city with garbage cans in the back alleys and the streets in the night, where crimes can occur, would best be represented in the context of modern lifestyle.
The scene we chose revolved around the murder of Horatio, so to add to the effects we chose red shirts underneath our suits. Adding the red roses to our shirts symbolized the murder scene involving blood. These costumes added special effects to the scene while we were acting and it gave strength to the performance and created the relationship of the red color with the stabbing about to be committed. Everyone was wearing red symbolizing murder; men were wearing suits except for Horatio, Bel Imperia's boyfriend, who was dressed more or less trashy. Bel Imperia was wearing a red dressed and a fur overcoat to represent the mafia style depicted in the play. The costumes really worked for us as they helped portray the setting of the play.
We practiced to act out these scenes and used excellent expressions as required by the dialogues of the characters. For instance where Horatio, played by (Name) makes a stupid face while saying the dialogue “You couldn’t reject a face like this, could you?!” the character’s facial expressions were acted remarkably and gave a feeling of the involvement with the character. Additionally the feelings shown by the character of Bel Imperia, played by (Name) while screaming the words “Murder! Murder! Help Hieronimo Help!” created silence in the act while she showed complete engrossment in her character. My character, Balthazar, was brought forward when I performed on the line “But I love Bel Imperia”, where the sternness and the enragement expressed by me in the delivery of the lines was notable, as his character changes to a villain when he kills Horatio with Lorenzo. I believe my role portrayed the rage Balthazar had within him against Horatio because Bel Imperia fell in love with him, leaving my character behind. The last scene consisting of the character Hieronimo, played by (Name) left everlasting effect on the audience and gave the feeling of sorrow of a father over his dead son. Together we tried to make the scene as alive and true as possible as if it were taking place in reality not on the stage. It portrayed our true feelings for the scene while acting out the emotions of the characters.
As being part of the play I suggested creating a Power Point presentation to make the scene livelier, and it also added visual effects to the performance. Adding these visual effects contributed more imagination in the act and made it more dynamic instead of just having a simple act. I also suggested to my group to edit the lines of the first draft of the rewritten lines of the scene of the play, as I found that they were a bit too exaggerated and resembled the language used in the TV show “Family Guy”. I feel making these changes helped in giving the scene its own new style instead of being exaggerated as it was before, it was a bit more explicable to watch when we made these changes. Furthermore, to create more visual effects, I suggested to add a huge drawing of a sky scraper on the board to show that the scene was taking place in hustling and bustling, New York city. Moreover, we used garbage cans to represent the trashy streets of New York where the boyfriend took her. This even highlighted the gangster places of the big city. These visual effects I believe added extra depth in the scene and also had its effect on the characters while they were acting as it helped them visualize the setting. Also they helped the audience visualize the scene we were trying to act out. This was an experience through which I learnt that while staging a drama many possibilities can be considered; however, as a group we chose these ones, performed in our play, because we thought they would best suit the scene and interprets the effects of the modern mafia world well.
Overall I believe that we were trying to bring out the scene as much as possible by using the costumes, background and the acting of the actors. Throughout our creative performance, we were trying to describe the characters in their true form. As you can compare from the original scene and characters, the boyfriend, Horatio is not a gentleman rather is simply a trashy person of the streets. However, Bel Imperia is a smart, beautiful lady who was in love with or maybe was flirting with Horatio that resulted in his death. To inculcate a modernized theme in the play we chose the city of New York and dialogues as used these days in daily life by the people. We chose to stage the play in the streets of New York as it consisted of murder, which do take place in the modern times as well especially in the dark, back alleys of the city, hence in order to add the effects for showing the life of the mafia, crime and blood we chose the city. However, if I would be given a chance to do this assignment all over again, I would add more effects to the scene, such as turning off the lights to show night time, maybe with more sound effects, background backdrop to be drawn properly, and would show blood by using a red substance in order to create a real picture for the audience. Since the performance went by very quickly, I would want the actors to speak more moderately, in order to make the staging more entertaining and informative for all of us. Furthermore, to make sure the audience is more involved, I would present the scene in a way that it would make the spectators feel as if they are looking from the window or the door of the house where the act takes place.