How Are the Elements of Realism Used to Present Believable Characters to the Audience

Topics: Sugarcane, 1950s, Ray Lawler Pages: 4 (1366 words) Published: March 25, 2013
How are the elements of realism used to present believable characters to the audience? "If you know your character's thoughts, the proper vocal and bodily expressions will naturally follow" said by the creator of realist theatre Constantine Stanislavski, is used heavily in the assistance to the portrayal and understanding of the characters in Ray Lawler’s ‘Summer of the Seventeenth Doll’. Actors and actresses can achieve great heights with the depiction of the characters through Lawler’s use of dramatic elements and a constant realist setting and symbolic props. ‘Summer of the Seventeenth Doll’ is a play set in Australia during the 1950’s which was a crucial period in the development of the Australian identity. It was a time of post-war reconstruction and immigration, of materialism, a wool boom, of suburban comfort and conservatism- the first decade since early in the century in which the ordinary Australian had not been hounded by war, depression and drought. It was also a time period in which the sugar cane industry was booming and many workers made their way up to the sugar cane fields in Queensland to harvest the sugar cane and earn a living. This was the occupation of Barney and Roo as they are coming back from their seventeenth year working in the fields as the play begins. Like all realist and naturalist plays, the characters portrayed in ‘Summer of the Seventeenth Doll’ are in a constant state of flux, reflecting human actions within the cultural milieu of 1950’s Australia, attempting to present perspectives on ‘truth’ in such a way that the Australian culture can digest that ‘truth’ as they desperately struggle to hold on to the adopted traditions that regularly take place within the lay-off season. Lawler effectively uses symbolism to distinctly highlight the characters ongoing futile attempts to hold on to their various illusions, through the accidental smashing of the vase containing the seventeenth doll, and as the play progresses their...
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