Studying structure

I watched the new play “Row after Row” at the Women’s Project Theater with great interest.  You know I’m interested in new works and am a passionate advocate for women’s creativity.

In particular, I found myself analyzing the structure of the play, which interweaves contemporary scenes with historical.  The writing is fairly taut, playing out the themes of loyalty and union among the three characters, both the set of Civil War re-enactors of today and the soldiers characters from the war era.  Following the time shifts was effortless, aided by lighting and subtle transitions of costume.  I noticed how the playwright used humor and soliloquies, and when those strategies worked and didn’t.  I noticed when I was tense enough to clutch my hands and when my mind wandered.

As I’m starting to put a play together coming out of my thesis, all this analysis proved fertile fodder.  I am working through a similar structure weaving the historical and the modern, as the issues haven’t really changed all that much.

I do hope to get back to simply enjoying a show for itself.  In the meantime, my next analysis will come with the new play about the founding of the NAACP, through the lens of “Dr. Du Bois and Miss Ovington.”  Let me know if you want to join me.

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