BWW Reviews: THE MISANTHROPE In Rep at Rocky Mountain High School
*DISCLAIMER: I DID MY STUDENT TEACHING AT ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH SCHOOL IN SPRING 2012.
I was invited to review THE MISANTHROPE written by Molière performed by the students of Rocky Mountain High School. They did something different this year, they have two casts and did the play in two different styles. One cast performed the play in 1910's style of acting and the other cast performed it in the modern style.
I thought this was a great way to learn about how the different eras approached acting. Both of the casts did a great job of interpreting the script (originally performed 1666) to the era they were representing. The different styles were well cast and the students were on par with many of the community theatres in the area. They were in a much larger space that makes it more difficult to hear and yet, sitting in the center of the auditorium, I was able to hear many of the actors. Many of the community theatre actors would be hard pressed in such a large venue. A select few of the actors are on par with some college students I have seen so I will be excited to see what direction they choose. There were absolutely some actors to keep an eye out for in the future.
It was interesting to see the different casts, from different eras, using the same witty script. There was only the one adaptation (by Timothy Mooney). It was well suited to the 1910 era yet felt a bit out of touch in the modern era; a bit like Romeo + Juliet (1996). But the most interesting part of watching these two performances were the different approaches each cast took to the script and the way each cast interpreted the script. I thought that some of the script was clear in one performance and that same part was lost in the other or at least not as strong and vice versa. I don't think I would have noticed had I only seen one version on its own, nothing was "wrong" just different from each other.
The costumes were fitting for the characters as well as the eras. I do have to admit, my favorite costume piece was the red dress worn by the character Arsinoe in the 1910 era version. I think in the modern era it was much easier to tell the characteristics of the characters because we are more familiar with the stereotypes and where they are in the scheme of society. We know that a "skater dude" is not necessarily as popular as "letter jacket jock" and that "rugged prep" can be a friend to either. In 1910, there were not necessarily stereotypical costumes that would be readily identifiable to the general public today.
I enjoyed watching the different acting styles and interpretations of the script. The casts were having fun and it was obvious, but it always has been at Rocky Mountain High School, the students love Erin Davidson.
Photo Credit: taken by Bryce Funkhauser
Pictured (In Left Photo) Athena Watkin
(In Right Photo: from left to right) Sydnee Williams, Alison Doyle