Being an Audience
The play entitled “Arsenic and Old Lace” is about the story of comedy towards tragedy and dilemma. It emphasized the main product of the play, which is the elderberry wine that the main characters used to kill and bury people who had no family. Despite of its tragic complexity, the characters build widespread comic elements to lighten the effect of the story. Being an audience is actually a good but hard task.
It enables you to understand fully the story and the implications of its resolution but having extra sensitive to the actions, words, the setting of the play in order to incorporate your ideas and imagination towards the whole situations, and sometimes may apply to the reality. The audience will determine whether an event, play or movie is good, better, or best for they could see the whole actions, that they are outside the frame of acting – they are the judge in the court.
The original title of this play is Bodies in the Cellar.
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It began as a stage play opening on January 10, 1941. Arsenic and Old Lace play 1,444 performances on Broadway and 1,332 in London’s West End. The non-musical play conquered stages around the world in many languages – “Aresnico e Vecchi Merletti – in Italian. In 1944, Arsenic and Old Lace secured its place in the human consciousness with film direct by Frank Capra. The venue of the play in Ohio Theater House Square is an encouraging place to watch.
The seats are comfortable and the ambiance is good as if it attracts its audience to participate in the play. Before the beginning of the play, people are talking to their friends and companions regarding their expectations in the story – the characters, the music, and the story as a whole. Some of the audiences observed the scenario of the place in order to be familiarized with the concept of the play. The audiences were approximately 150 to 200 people who are in higher and middle class, mostly whites.
Even if there are blacks in the venue, only few of them exist. They sat at the right side of the stage where almost all of them are together. The dress of the audiences in the play manifests to their social status. A group of friends or family who are in the higher status wears dresses that are more beautiful while people in middle class, dress just like the same as going to school or church. They were also excited while chattering and laughing at their friends and family.
The audience started to pay attention when the host went to the stage to introduce and orient the audience about the Indian’s game status and play that we are going to watch. After his remarks, lights dimmed. Some of the audiences yelled in excitement but most of us (including me), gazed at the beauty of the stage as the curtain opens. As I notice while watching the play, people at front part and at my both sides are amazed by the characters.
Because the characters played very well, they encouraged the audience to become participative through their laughs and yells. The movements of the character are like dances. As the music come along, the actions of their bodies also went through the beat along with their voices and facial expressions. The history of the play did not result any negativities towards the audience but a standing ovation also because of the pure and unique performances of the characters as well as the setting of the play where audience may think that it is true.
After the play, the audience made a significant applause to all the characters and the makers of the play. This kind of play is not easy for they need to build extra grave to bury all the bodies that the main characters killed. Aside from this, the plot, characterization, and resolution of the story merged as one to bring the comic tradition of tragedy, fallacy, and curiosity. The impact of the play to the audience made a distinct action throughout the story. The audience remained at their seats without talking to one another.
As the twist of the story revealed, almost everyone in the audience reacted as if they were part of the play. As a whole, being an audience in this kind of event is grateful and unbelievable experience. It brings new life to the tradition of old culture where actors and actresses played their roles without the camera but all bare to the naked eyes. That is why it can be said that they are better than those in the television and movies for there are no director’s cut and editor’s cut – all is true and realistic in a fictional setting and environment.