Top Dog/ Underdog
The theatre production I decided to attend was Suzan-Lori Parks Topdog/Underdog. This was the first play or theatre performance that I have attended. I was unsure of what to expect, but I heard great things about this play. Furthermore, the first aspect of this production that caught my attention was the design of the set. The design gave the feeling of a run down urban neighborhood by making the outer parts of the stage look like an old brick building. The building looked like one you would find in a low-income area or projects. The scenery of the play set the stage for what type of production this would be. I especially liked the way they carefully chose not to place just any kind of props on the stage. The dusty floor, old couch, and the mattress for a bed made the apartment look worn and rundown. This play showed some very realistic designs for the time period and life of some low-income individuals struggling to make a living or hustle. This is especially true when Lincoln pointed out that Booth had no running water and he felt that he was in a third world country. I was impressed by how they were able to make the apartment appear so old and the items in it seem battered. I really thought I was peeking into a real bedroom not just a set. Also, the way the set was designed it makes sure that the individual watching the play is focused on the stage and the characters. There is not a point in the play where my eyes left the stage or the actors.
Another design element that played an important part in this production was the lighting. The Lighting crew put an old light fixture in the middle of the room of the set. One light worked and there was one blown out. This gave the audience an even better idea of the characters and their life. The one working light bulb showed the economic stature of the two brothers. Also, there were breaks in the scenes where the lights would go out for the characters to leave the stage and get prepared....
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