Justin Streichman Character Analysis

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Long before I saw Justin Streichman and George Lamen as Vanya and Spike respectively in the appropriately named comedy “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” I understood the dynamic between these characters and the rest of the cast as it was heavily alluded to in the posters shown across campus. In these posters, Streichman stands in the corner of the scene, holding a tea cup and staring away in embarrassment as the people next to him are admiring and enjoying the silly and outrageous behavior of the practically naked Lamen. This one image perfectly captures who these characters are meant to be and how the actors portray them in the play. Vanya is meant to be the more mature, introverted character which contrasts the characteristics of Spike…show more content…
When people are just having a discussion, Streichman would simply sit properly in the corner with his back straight and his arms closed, which showed that, even though he wasn’t an essential part in certain scenes, he would still be present, listening calmly and attentively. Even when Streichman was forced to become directly involved with the other characters in the scene, he would hold this quiet and restrained demeanor by calmly talking to them even when everyone else was crying, yelling or just simply laughing. This politeness is also present in his voice as it stays within a certain level of calmness and volume. Nevertheless, Vanya is still human and cannot keep this temperament at all times, which Streichman isn’t afraid to do in certain situations. While his voice has a sense of respect and sophistication, his words do not follow suit as they can be arrogant and disrespectful. When talking to Gambardella’s Sonia, he is more honest and blatant, judging her without regard as he is more comfortable and used to her. On the other hand, when his sister Masha first appears in the play moments later, rather than simply standing in the corner silence and sipping his tea or giving same judgement he just had for Sonia,…show more content…
While Lamen continues to brings Spike’s ignorance and indifference to life by not reacting to the pleads and suggestions of others and speaking in the same manner as before, Streichman shows how vulnerable Vanya is to his emotions as he starts to lose his calm, becoming less restrained by instinctual interests and self imposed modesty and more overwhelmed by impatience and anger. Instead of sitting in silence, waiting to be talked to to respond with condescendence, Streichman unleashes Vanya who, during his long tantrum, yells openly about his feelings and his stance on the world around him but Streichman luckily doesn’t just forget who Vanya is and allow his character to unexpectedly shift completely. He doesn’t simply keep yelling and yelling without stop; Streichman acknowledges that Vanya is still uncertain about what he is saying as this is the first time the character is actually unfiltered, and he shows this hesitance by slowing down his tantrum with pauses and moments of thought. Streichman is still angry and loud but he is also doubting what he saying. While his words tell us this uncertainty as he considers the benefits and disadvantages of the past (ie. the old cartoons and the mistreatment of its creators and stars), the change in Streichman’s voice and tone from nostalgia to disgust show Vanya’s confusion. Without
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