Thursday, August 25, 2011
Theater Week: Crime and Punishment
The structure of the play, combined with all of the supporting characters being played by two actors serves to focus on Raskolnikov's mental state, and its decline from guilt. The acting required to carry all of this off was absolutely superb. While playing multiple characters successfully is certainly impressive, it was the changes in individual characters (specifically Raskolnikov and Porfiry) that were the most impressive. When Porfiry came clean to Raskolnikov about what he knew, at was as if a switch had been flipped. He was a different person, though he maintained the same core of compassion throughout. Raskolnikov's decline was raw and absolutely excruciating.
The play took place in APTs indoor theater, a small, extremely intimate space that served to concentrate all of the emotions from the play, making them stronger and more intense. It also created a deeper relationship between the audience and what was taking place on stage. That made it extremely powerful when Raskolnikov broke the fourth wall and tried to justify his actions to the audience and himself. When the lights went out at the end, I am sure I'm not the only person in the theater crying (including the actors). It was an experience that will stay withe me for a long time. I definitely want to read the book now, but I find it hard to imagine that it can be any more powerful than the show. When I read it, I'll be sure to let you know :)