Elemeno Pea Character Analysis

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Response to Elemeno Pea
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s production of Molly Smith Metzler’s Elemeno Pea was a comedic yet thoughtful portal into modern class structures, personal values, and interpersonal relationships. The program promised that the play, a recent rewrite of the original version, would challenge audiences “to question what we might be missing through our quick judgements of each other,” and the show delivered; with the playwright’s portrayals of complex characters, situations, and issues, the audience was allowed and encouraged to examine and reexamine their first impressions before the show ended and left viewers with their final thoughts on the events that had transpired within the Martha’s Vineyard estate. It …show more content…

Characters’ word choice, accents, and vocabulary level lent extensively to their characterization. Devon’s Buffalo accent, vulgarity, and simplicity of word choice helped the audience place her as lower-middle class and without much pretension, while Ethan’s posh slang and flamboyant inflections cultivated a sense that he was detached from the common man. Jos-B’s Puerto Rican accent and occasional use of Spanish were indicative of his ethnicity. Michaela presented the most interesting employment of this element of drama; her Yale education was mentioned, but, even without such an explicit indicator, her lofty vocabulary and the measured, distinguished manner in which she spoke, not unlike that of a staunch professor in a lecture hall, gave the audience a sense of highly educated professionalism. Her descents into wild, uncontrolled temper, accompanied by a drop of this collected vocal façade, hinted to how she was losing her heightened social status, which was represented by her superior …show more content…

Before the performance started, speakers played songs about women, by women. Kelly Clarkson declared “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” Cyndi Lauper reminded the audience that “girls just want to have fun,” and other, similar songs introduced the female empowerment and female-driven themes throughout the play. Within the production, characters played songs to convey their moods, such as when Michaela turned on Adele, music about heartbreak, while she was upset with her husband, and when Devon played “Everybody Hurts,” a song about the universal nature of emotional pain, when she satirized empathy for Michaela, who Devon believed could have no real problems due to her extreme wealth. These were the only uses of music, as no further soundtrack or orchestra was used during the production to indicate mood not acknowledged or controlled by the

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