Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Friday, September 21, 2018

Review: AU Rude Mechanicals perform “Festival of Dionysus”

The Shakespearean festival was full of laughter and entertainment

Upon entering the Kreeger Theater, one is transformed back in time to a world of traditional theatre. On April 7 through 9, AU's Rude Mechanicals performed their third annual Festival of Dionysus. The Festival of Dionysus, performed by the student theatre group, is a mash up of highlighted Shakespearean, traditional and contemporary pieces.

This year’s festival featured performances of "Twelfth Night,” “Women in Congress,” “Fuenteovejuna” and “Pyramus and Thisbe.” Many of the plays involved different conflicts; however, all offered some comedic tones through the impressive acting of the students.

The first performance, “Twelfth Night,” started off slightly slow. “Twelfth Night” is about twins Viola and Sebastian, who were separated at shipwreck. The clown, portrayed by College of Arts and Sciences freshman Will Thai, brought the performance to life. Thai’s energy was unmatched by other actors in the scenes. He had strong projection and a very animated presence. The play itself was led by a strong opening through the aisles of the Kreeger auditorium.

Fuenteovejuna is written by Spanish playwright Lope de Vega. It is based on a true story that takes place in a small Spanish village featuring a revolution against an unfair leader.

This performance had the strongest cast of all the four plays because the actors had the strongest energy. Sophomore Ethan Ragins played Commander Guzmán and senior Lexie Tyson played Laurencia. Both didn't break character once and kept the audience members on the edge of their seats with their dramatic and intense acting. The story was the most serious of the festival and featured the largest cast.

“Women in Congress,” written by greek playwright Aristophanes, was slightly lighter in story and offered a variety of characters who played off each other well. The strongest of the four women on stage in this scene was Praxagora, played by sophomore Fab Clemente. Clemente led the story of four strong women trying to break into Congress to take over political roles. The play reflected themes of smart women with hopes for a better future and and a refusal to be opressed. Within the festival, this play was most relevant and relatable to the current times.

“Pyramus and Thisbe” ended the festival with the most animated and energetic acting done by the whole cast. It told the tale of love in the form of a play within a play. This performance received the most laughs from the audience because of the characters’ physicality and the staging. Will Thai appeared once again with a comedic performance in the prologue.

The Festival of Dionysus, performed by the skilled actors of AU Rude Mechanicals, offered a variety of Shakespeare plays, with some stronger than others. The different stories had their own sets of strengths and weaknesses, but it remained an entertaining evening filled with enlightening theatre.

life@theeagleonline.com


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