Danielle Belleau

Drama Duo Performance Critique


Word Count: 967


            Reflecting on the performances from drama duo performances, there are aspects that many of the groups did well and places that need improvement. In this critique, I will be discussing what I thought were successful. Also, I will be noting what needs improvement overall and give duo examples.

            First, I would like to start by mentioning what was done well. Staging overall, I believe what done successfully. Many of the performances set their stage well, moved within the space, and interacted well with the physicalizer's that characters where interacting with. The duo's I thought did this successfully was [STUDENT] and [STUDENT] in "Late" by D.M. Larson. They set it up so they had enough space to create the scene the characters where in. Both interacted well with the environment, Thaddeus was exceeding this adding physicalizer's that added that he was working in a shop. Also, I thought [STUDENT] and [STUDENT] performance of "The Red Devil Battery" by Tennessee Williams, had great staging as well by creating the hotel bedroom, this included the chairs and the bed. They used the blocks to create the bed and I thought it was cleaver because the blocks even created a headboard. Lastly the performance I thought that did a great job with staging was [STUDENT] and [STUDENT] in "The Pillowman" by Martin McDonagh. When they set the stage closely with the placement of the chairs close to the bed, it created the cell scene well. It felt small like a cell is and I could see the rest of the cell. Overall, I believe where and when it took place was done well, especially by those I mentioned above.

            There were a couple of performances that I think could have benefitted having better staging choices. [STUDENT] and [STUDENT] performed "Oleanna" by David Mamet I think set the stage too far back and would have been better for the vocal tone used. It was so far back I was losing the lines. This also caused them to often times turn their back on the audience. Also, I thought that [STUDENT] and [STUDENT] who performed "Death of a Salesman" by Arthur Miller, had used their stage well but I felt that one section of the set was set up in an awkward place that caused them to have their backs to the audience. This caused me and others to not be able to see their facial expressions.

            Also, the performances overall had great introductions. [STUDENT] and [STUDENT] performed "Death of a Salesmen", I believed they did a great introduction because it set up what we were about to watch. Along with again [STUDENT] and [STUDENT] "The Pillowman", they gave us enough information to set the scene because a lot happens before the scene that they chose. It set up the cell scene and they had information that drew my attention in immediately. I thought [STUDENT] and [STUDENT] who performed "Night Mother" by Marsha Norman had a fantastic intro. When they warned of the content it was respectful to those who had been affected by suicide and it gave people the opportunity to leave if they needed. Also providing that one of the characters was epileptic was respectfully done. It runs in my family and it was respectfully talked about in the introduction.

            Utterances were done well throughout performances. This was a something everyone needed to work on from introductory performances. [STUDENT] and [STUDENT] did this well, especially [STUDENT] with his character. In the scene, he moves throughout the scene and interacts with it while using utterances. The part where he sits down to eat was what took it up a notch for me and made it memorable. He was smacking his lips in a way that made it seem like he was eating. Then when he burped sent it over the top for me. They also did active listening well. They were in sync during the performances and reacted well with one another. Especially right before the scene ended when they were talking around what I believed to be a table.

            [STUDENT] and [STUDENT] did a great job with active listening as well. When the two characters where talking about what [STUDENT] character did to the children he murdered, [STUDENT] reaction was spot on with proper facial expression and vocal tone. One thing that could have improved their performance was that more physicalizers and movement. I thought in the beginning they were sitting for too long before movement had occurred. Also, there were a couple of times I couldn't see [STUDENT] face. This could have improved how believable it was by seeing her facial expression. Their performance the best job of their characters psychological and moral characteristics. [STUDENT] portrayed well that her morals were torn by his decision to commit the crime he did. [STUDENT] character is morally he doesn't care about what he did and seemed unaffected by it. Psychologically, [STUDENT] character seems to be in the beginning that he knew what they did was wrong and battles with himself when Reagan's character points out to him why he committed the crime. Because he makes the comparison between what their parents did and then states that is the same as to what [STUDENT] character did and sends him into instant denial. Their scene was very believable.

            Overall, I thought our class performed the drama duo's well. We improved from our first performance using more utterances. Also, had improved and shown what a good introduction can enhance a performance. Things I think we need to work on as whole are to work on not lowering our voices to the point where the audience misses our lines. Along with understanding where to set up your stage so the audience can still enjoy the performance.