Essay title: Nickel and Dimed
As a college student, concentrated in my own daily schedule, attending the Nickel and Dimed production was a change in my routine. I was looking forward to the many story lines that would be produced on the stage. I was more connected to the first story in particular because I was previously in the food business. Like Barbra, I was a server of food and constantly had to produce special orders to the chief. This was how ever a temporary summer job but I was curious how they were going to portray the scene on stage.
Some other points that I thought about before going into the play was the stage set-up. I was able to hear from the producer of the show and see a model of what the Mabie Theater looked like. I was surprised how small the stage looked.
It was of course a model but making judgments of the size by looking at the door frames that were stationed at the edges of the stage in comparison to the rest of the model. The steal structure, giving no walls to hide the actors behind the stage or waiting to enter, I was skeptical about. I was visioning some dancers in black leotards doing some interpretive dance because of the degree of modernized stage. I was excited to see the incorporation of the turn table in the middle of the stage. I have gone to many productions where the use of the moving scenery was put in good use.
One example is when I went to the play of “Joseph and the Amazing Techno Colored Dream Coat.” On that stage, a track ran through the stage which enabled the audience to see fast moving cardboard camels and people zooming past, giving the actors the appearance of traveling long distances.On the day of the production I was taking notes on what I saw. I moved to my seat that was in exact center of the Mabie Theater. Slowly the people trickled in the theater. From my seat many of the occupants were 50 years and older.
Only about a third of the members were 25 and younger which I was surprised about, due to the surrounding college campus. There was modern music playing, songs ranging from the artist or Maroon Five and Five for Fighting. The music was a calming and tranquil. The play started.
The acting in general was reasonable. From scene to scene, the characters were formed to have distinct different qualities. The costume change was able to make the audience members, unfamiliar with the book, know the location in general. They needed this because there had to be a lack of scenery. The one thing that I could not get past was the feeling of need I got from Barbra’s character to inform us about her moves through yelling. Her constant higher pitch yelling gave me an impression hat what she was telling the audience member was so important that if it was a decimal more, it would stick more. My mother tried that when I was young, and it wasn’t working here either.
The scenery that I thought would be very complicated to use was superb. Do to the lack of funding, the amount of props was scarce and the flow of the production had to keep going.The turn table in the middle was able to deliver the essential props to the performers when they were required through out the production. The props that needed to be disposed of were quietly taken away from the back of the real. In the instances that the main focus of the performance was far away from the turn table, my favorite part of the play came out, the gray suited people. In discussion, students brought up that the gray suited people were representing the big business and how they are in our everyday life.
The idea of that the big employees still handed the people lower on the pay scale was also brought up. When watching the performance, the mind set that I got from the gray suited people was nothing like that. I envisioned a busy New York side walk with busying business men and women racing off to their appointments like drones. They were unimportant to the general viewer, and became props them selves in the play. The gray suited people were essential to the production because the movement of props, whether it was to give a laptop to Barbra at the tip of the stage or to be a temporary window when it was called for.
They did it in a non-distracting way by keeping the same walk speed, and never crossed the entire stage. Their faces were like stone and served the same position like in the book, non-existent.Something that was very existent and prevalent in the play was the pause of the play during a scene when Barbra is working for a maid service. During the production, an actor came out and talked in an unscripted way.
The audience was confused and finally realized that the play was no longer that but a small question.