10+hyo ji+critical+essay


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10+hyo ji+critical+essay

  1. 1. Critical Essay – The Trial<br />Name: Hyo Ji Kim<br />Grade: 10<br />Subject: MYP Drama<br />Teacher: Ms. Rankin<br />Word count: 1051<br />The performance of The Trial was about a woman named ‘Jane K.’ She worked hard as a bank clerk and had a normal life. However, her life had been changed after K. was arrested for no reason by anonymous power. The Trial emphasized feelings and spirits of the character in the play. In this essay, I am going to talk about how varied elements of Drama were used in the performance.<br />Figure 1: K. getting shocked by the anonymous people<br />The main character was named Jane K. Her voice was normally low and quite but became high and loud when she was upset or shocked. She used strong gestures that were very clear to understand her feelings. For instance, when the anonymous people went to K. to accuse her, she spread her legs, put her hands on the head and kept moving her head (See figure 1). These movements showed that K. was in chaos by these people, and therefore, indicated that she didn't know them and even suggested that they were not good people.<br />Figure 2: People with masks and black suits surrounding K.<br />There were many forms of symbols, including costumes, make-up or movements in the performance. People who belonged to the court wore neutral masks and black suits with cushion (See figure 2). The masks signified the invisibleness of the Law (which the court applied to judge one's crime) because masks hid actual faces of the people from the court. In addition, the cushions made these people fat and big and thus indicated the absolute power of the court. Furthermore, people from the court surrounded K. and kept touching her although she disliked. These movements also showed the strong power of the court because K. couldn't escape from the people. The touching movements signified that K.'s privacy was invaded. Symbols in the play helped the audience understand more about the story.<br />The performance created different pace to the scene. In the act 1 'The City - The Train', the scene began with the fast tempo. Numerous people in the train were very busy with their works, such as having a phone call or watching newspaper. The fast pace was used to show how the modern lives of the city looked like. However, tempo began slow as K. got on the train for the trial at the court. At this moment, the slow pace was used to show K.'s sadness because K. knew that the trial wouldn't be going favorably for her.<br />Figure 3: The red gel illuminating K at the end of the performance<br />The lights worked effectively and were used in a symbolic way. In the end of the performance, there were red gels when other characters hung Jane using a rope (See figure 3). Red gels were used to indicate how mournfully and painfully K. died. With the red gels, the death of K. seemed to be more dramatic because red color was strong and bloody. Therefore, the color choice was successful to give strong visual message to the audience.’<br />The music in The Trial was great. In the act 1 ‘The City – The Train’ scene, K. sang a song named “The Dream”. The song was poetic and told one’s belief that dream would come true. Therefore, the music choice was effective to indicate that she had a dream even though she couldn’t get out from the invisible and absolute power. It worked well in showing the loneliness and hope of K. The music changed after Jane arrived the offices of the court. In addition, in this scene, characters except K. made train wheel noises like “chhh, chhh, chhh”. These sounds worked nice to show that K. was on the train.<br />Figure 4: El Dotore’s masks in the Commedia dell’Arte (www.ravenwoodmasks.com, 2008)<br />The costumes in The Trial helped the audience understand more about the characters. The lawyer put El Dotore’s mask of Commedia dell’Arte (See figure 4) and it highlighted the lawyer’s clever and sharp characteristics and high status. It affected to the physical movements of the lawyer as he bent his back and knee. Having the mask worked effective to the lawyer as it developed the character. In addition, the manager wore black cape and put heavy make-up on eye and lip. These things gave a bad image of her and also let her tiptoe to indicate her evil personality. Costumes were nice to represent the personalities of specific characters indirectly.<br />Figure 5: Frames in the performance<br />The performance used very simple set design only using frames. However, frames were very effective because they could create different things for the scene. For instance, when K’s checking the characters, frames were lined and became partition for each people (See figure 5). In different scene, when the characters were on the bus, frames created the bus. Every character took one frame and moved as the bus was going. For another example, when the court people went to K., the frames became the door of each people. Frames were useful for the set design of this play.<br />The trial tells about negative influences of the Court and the Law to normal people's lives. From the play, we can realize that the law was invisible but absolute so the court (where law was applied to judge one's crime) exerted great power on normal people. I liked the performance because different forms of Drama, such as Commedia dell'Arte and Melodrama were involved. In addition, actors' physical movements of the machine and sounds of the train or the machine like “zzzz” and “chhh” were very realistic. One thing I disliked the performance was that stage design was limited, which only used frames. The stage was not visually pretty and also it was difficult for the actors to move the frames in each scene. This performance could be improved by adding more stuff to decorate the stage and changing K.'s costume to a white dress. She wore white shirt and black jean as same as others like a lawyer. Therefore, K's white dress could emphasize that K. was a main character and could even indicate that she was a normal person. I would like to recommend this play by great Drama aspects it showed!<br />Bibliography<br />"Commedia Dell'Arte Mask - Performance Masks by Alyssa Ravenwood." Ravenwood Masks - Award Winning Masks for Theatre Performance and Masquerade. Web. 05 Jan. 2011. <http://www.ravenwoodmasks.com/theater-masks/commedia-masks.htm>.<br />