Bulrusher Play Analysis

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Bulrusher is the first production that I personally have been involved with at the University of Southern Mississippi. For this reason, I was really excited about the production from the very beginning. However, when I first read the script, I was a bit disappointed. The script moves rather slowly, lacks action, and explores its themes mainly through dialogue. Initially, I found the script difficult to understand, particularly due to the sporadic use of a virtually unknown colloquial language, and I was somewhat concerned about whether or not the audience was going to understand the themes behind the play. However, after the final curtain fell, I can truly say that I enjoyed the production and that the production team was fairly successful…show more content…
The black box theater is a very intimate setting to begin with, and as I took my seat in the theater, I felt that intimacy. The theater was dark, and the audience was virtually silent before the production began. As I sat waiting for the performance to begin, I took in the lighting, the props, and the set as a whole, and I began to feel as if I were sitting just at the edge of a different time period. The design element that stood out most to me was the lighting of the river because the gobos and the selection of down lights made the river come to life, almost as if it was another character in this production. I was definitely drawn into the world of this play due to the intimacy of the black box theater and the lighting design of the…show more content…
Bulrusher longs to know who her mother is and why her mother abandoned her. In addition, she is exploring her own sexuality. Madame is facing her own identity crisis because she must decide whether to choose to be with Schoolch or with Logger or to leave this place completely and start a new life. She questions who she is and who she wants to become. Schoolch, Logger, and Vera are also facing questions about their own identities. Throughout this process, the director talked about the idea of identity, but in my opinion, the focus became blurred toward the end of the production process. Perhaps this was due to the fact that the main method for communicating the concept of identity was through dialogue. Although they were executed very well, the sound design and the set design actually did very little to help communicate the main concept of identity in this production. The songs selected for the production during the pre-show, intermission, and during the play did not contribute to the overall message and might even be considered distracting. Because the dialogue was so important, perhaps a better choice would have been to utilize subtle instrumental music in addition to the water sound effects. The set design could have added to the concept of identity better if the original plan had been executed. The panels hanging at the back of the set
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