Week 3 Hedwig and the Angry Inch Response

Fuchs Questions

The physical world

The space feels like a stage that looks raw, worn, and messy, and it has a door opens to Tommy’s concert, which in contrast is more stunning, luxury, and full. The time in this musical starts from Hedwig’s childhood when Berlin Wall was built. The time moves by important life event of the protagonist, especially events related to love and identity. The climate is emotionally charged in this musical. It feels more cloudy at the beginning, and moving to a more sunny feeling towards the end, but It depends on the scenes. 

The social world

The social world revolves around the main protagonist, Hedwig. It feels like a public world yet Hedwig shares very private moment of his life throughout the musical. Hedwig forms different duo or groups with people appear in different life event chronologically. Characters’ love and relationship with Hedwig is the main focus. Other characters mostly interact as how Hedwig perceives them. The language feels very narrative, like telling about memory.

Change

At the beginning, the young Hedwig is looking for love, and she is curious about it. As the story develops, she felt heart-broken by the men she met, and her gender identity evolves too. In the beginning, the world is a tight space and isolated. As she met the American army man, she chose to cross the line, and the world became different. The change in landscape depends on who Hedwig is interacting with and his emotion at the moment. 

Myself

I feel the musical asks audience to think or resonate with what love is, the desire of love, and self-exploration on gender, and societal norms on gender.

Mirror

The music style is rock ’n’ roll, and the musical refers to few rock musicians during that time.

Character

Each character changes how Hedwig thinks about love and gender.

Concept Sentence

Hedwig and the Angry Inch is a musical that explores love and gender.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch explores human’s desire, curiosity, and struggle of love and gender.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch illustrates a men’s journey of love and gender. Hedwig grew up in East Berlin, and he believed love is to make two people feel whole again. Then, he married to an American sergeant, which he did an operation to become woman. Later, her husband left him, and she met Tommy, and they had a good time making music together, but Tommy got scared when he saw that Hedwig was biologically a man before. Hedwig was very sad about that, but at the end, he is free.

Week 2 Cornell Box

This is a cornell box of an emotional response to the play, Artifacts of Consequence. After reading the play for the first time, three keywords came to my mind: blood, ocean, darkness. This is why I chose to use red, blue, and black to construct a chaotic structure like the picture below. Underneath the ocean, blood and darkness are coming out of the seemingly quiet yet dangerous water.

Week 2 Response

Play Analysis

The physical world

This play happens mainly underwater. It feels like a very contained space. When I read the play, I often see a rectangular tank with round corners, and it has wood interior. The time in this play is pushed by whoever comes from outside to this underwater space. For example, when Dallas comes back every time. The climate in this planet feels a little stressful and old, while the outside feels toxic. The mood in this play is tense, as characters struggle with surviving, love, and arts. The sound in this play sounds like little mechanical noise, like leaking is happening underneath the story.

The social world

This is a public world in a contained space. Characters tend to just appear in front of you. Language is simple almost commanding sometimes. Characters have tasks to do, and they need to follow protocols and their roles.

What changes

As every character is supposed to do their job and follow their rules. The rules are slowly broken. New character comes into the space as they are not supposed to be in. Dallas leaves and Minna quits at the end. Minna changes from a mono tone to more anxious and annoyed language as they cannot find more supplies. The world collapses little by little.

Changes in me

This play questions the value and perspective on theater, arts, love, and culture. Audience are evaluators in this play. The artifacts in human society is being challenged when basic life supply is insufficient. While trying to take in how the world in this play runs, the evaluation process is in a way brutal. If an artifact is not wanting to be kept by the majority, does it mean it has less value?

Mirror

The play often refers to other musical, plays, and films.

Character

Minna: in charge of the place, make sure the place can keep running

Dallas: find artifacts in the outside world, but been asked by Minna to find supplies

Ari: looking for love

Theo: trying to survive, left Ari at the end.

Concept Sentences

Artifacts of Consequence is a play about humanity.

Artifacts of Consequence is a play about value of arts, culture, love, human relationship, and basic survival needs.

Artifacts of Consequence is a play happened in an underwater facility, when most of the human world has gone above the surface. Minna runs this facility to maintain its function, while Dallas is in charge of finding artifacts left outside of the facility. The facility often hosts evaluation to decide whether an artifact worth to be kept. In this process, the play questions the value of artifacts in human society, and how our culture and relationship was tested during a time of struggle with basic life supply. 

Week1 Reading Response

Visit to a Small Planet

When I did lighting design for theater and dance before, I was often asked to answer the question: how the world looks like. I found it more difficult for me to answer this question for theater compared to dance. When I think about the “world” of a scene or a play, it usually comes to me just location and time. This essay, Visit to a Small Planet, broadens my definition of what a designer can do to help facilitate my imagination of what the “world” could be like, and inspired me to explore more from play analysis.

The notion of imagine a play happens on a planet is helpful to me. It sounds like to me that this planet would have something that I can associate with life on earth, but it is a different world that can have different time, space, and weather. Another quote I found interesting is that in a play “nothing occurs by chance” and “nothing in a play is without significance.” Relating this idea to what later mentioned in the essay about how character is constrained by the special physical and social circumstance on this planet, every detail is there to contribute something for this play.

Empty Space

I feel it is interesting of how Peter Brook talks about deadly theater. I do resonate with what he describes as deadly theater especially with Shakespeare plays. I often find the language difficult to understand, and thus it is difficult to engage with the play when acted in a traditional way. It is interesting that Brook points out that how the traditional way of acting is not relevant to today’s lives.