Written Assignment #4 – Goethe

Topic: ArtMovies
Sample donated:
Last updated: March 20, 2019

Last May, I attended a student production of Tennessee Williams’ play “Period of Adjustment.” The play was performed at a community college before an audience of about forty people. There was a very simple, but evocative stage-set although the play was actually performed below the audience on a floor rather than a stage, proper. Because the production was not given in an actual theater, the lighting and staging of the play seemed abbreviated, although both the lighting and the staging were quite effective.

I’d read the play before I saw the performance, but I felt a much more intense response to the play while seeing it performed than I did reading the play. One reason that this was true was, I think, due to the fact that I had a difficult time imagining the play’s characters in my mind’s eye while reading the play but they seemed to really come to life right from the beginning of the production when I saw the play performed live. The intimacy of the space and the energy and honesty of the actors helped me to better understand the meaning of the play, which, although I had believed I understood the general meaning of the play when I read it, seeing it performed brought it into much clearer focus.

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The play is about marriage. That is, it portrays two couples, one young and newly-wed; the other older, and longer married. The two men in the play were friends during their service in the war, the two women had never met.  By showing two couples at various stages of marriage, Tennessee Williams wanted to try to express not only the challenges of marriage, but its benefits and gifts as well.The interesting thing about the play is that in order to celebrate love and marriage, Tennessee Williams actually mocks love and marriage in the play.

He shows how sex and physical beauty play too intense of a role in what people think about one another and he also shows how aspects of love, like the love of two male friends as depicted in the play can actually be as meaningful adn sustaining as a romantic relationship in a marriage.I think that the play is very well written, but ironically, it is difficult to appreciate how well-written the play is without seeing it performed. For some reason, the characters of the play seem flat when “on the page” but more lifelike enough on stage, even in am amateur production, that the play is one-hundred percent believable.The realism of “Period of Adjustment” may be its most accomplished aspect adn also the main way that Tennessee Williams attempts to show his theme to the audience.

Because the people seem so average and ordinary and believable, the idea that the bonds of love and friendship play as urgent a role in the lives of average people as stars of Kings of the great tragedies  feels like an innovation even though it has been decades since “Period of Adjustment” debuted.The play is simple in staging and costuming and lighting and therefore seems more immediate and realistic than most movies or plays. The idea that love can both brighten and completely upset the average persons world is  a theme that I think is an important theme and one which is skillfully articulated in “Period of Adjustment.” By blending humor and tragedy and wrapping the lives of four different people under the common theme of marriage and the struggle for happiness, Tennessee Williams created a social microcosm, that very effectively probes the issues that most people face falling in love and afterward when the real world comes to call.Instructions:Submit your assignment as a .rtf or .doc file. Name your file `goethe_lastname.

rtf` Be sure to include your name, assignment title, class, and date in the upper left hand corner of your paper.Attend a play or musical and use Goethes three questions to evaluate the production. What was the artist trying to say (or do)? How well did the artist say (or do) it? Was it worth saying (or doing)? Be sure to write where and when you saw this play. The paper should be 500 words.


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