Notably, play is meant to be performed, rather than read. The purpose of dramatic art as seen in the Twilight Extra Credit play performance extends way beyond words carefully written on paper. The reason is that when reading a play, one misses a lot of different experiences such as facial expressions, lighting, and intonation among others which are captured in the performance and not on paper. Reading and later watching Anna Deaveres Twilight play has helped develop my understanding and appreciation for films.
It is worth mentioning that Anna Smith writes plays and then performs them herself. The Twilight Extra Credit is a monologue that focuses on the civil unrest in Los Angeles after the verdict in the first Rodney king trial. Anna wrote the plays after interviewing different people about the riots. The play presents different perspectives of actual people in the solo performance directly or indirectly connected to the unrest. Remarkably, watching the play performance brings out a better understanding and appreciation of the characters.
In essence, reading a play and watching it are two unique experiences. In fact, it is as different as dreaming and reality. When I was reading Anna's play, it was more like I was dreaming because words are like magic sticks, conjuring feelings and characters in my imagination. During the reading, my imagination created images in my mind and also awakened my impulses. Reading the play was flexible as it allowed me to create a personalized experience in my mind. However, watching the performance is like a wide awakening, where every aspect from characters to feelings takes on a real shape guided by the actor.
Additionally, my interaction with the play when reading it was very different from watching it. Keeping in mind that the play is a monologue, I read it as a continuous text in one voice. However, watching Anna perform was a completely different experience as she brought out the different voices. For instance, Anna uses a distinct accent for the various characters. In addition, she brings out the actual picture of the different characters to mind from the way she dresses, facials expressions, and the way she acts the various scenes.
Noteworthy, time is an issue that is significant in both reading and watching literary works. It is worth mentioning that a story or performance should be solved within the resolved time during the execution. For example, Anna has a limited time to express herself in her performances. During the short period, she is required to quickly transform from one character to the next and still bring out the best act. I find this very exciting and fun. It also comes with a lot of suspense. However, reading the play on paper does not have the limitation of time. Therefore it affects the way a story can be told or read. Also, it is not as fun and exciting as watching the actual performance.
Also, different aspects such as lighting, staging, intonation, costumes, physical expressions, and audience experience are essential when it comes to understanding and appreciating a play. However, these aspects are not presented in the written plays. As a result, when I read the play, I missed out an all these essential elements. Although I created some of them in my imagination, they were not as well articulated as Anna showed them in the play. For example, Anna's costumes are different depending on age and gender of the character. The physical expressions and her voice changes depending on each characters specific traits. The lighting and the staging also add to the understanding of the different aspects of the performance unlike when reading it.
When reading a play, I directly interacted with the play actively. It came with a lot of imagination as I tried creating different characters in my mind as I read it. Additionally, reading the play directly altered my feelings as I actively interacted with the imaginary characters in my mind. On the other hand, watch the movie was to an extent a little passive in that Anna created the character and the feelings she wanted to portray herself. As a result, I only had to relax and watch the play without active participation.
Also, while both reading and watching plays utilize themes, symbols, and other tools during interpretation, watching a play portrays the exact character that the viewer can relate to much better than while reading. The reason is that when I was reading the play, the fantastic picture that I created in my mind brought out different characters, feelings, and meaning to the play. On the other hand, watching the same play as Anna performs it I get to understand the characters from her perspective which is different from what I imagined.
Lastly, it is easy to remember the plot of play after watching it than it is after reading it. I tend to remember the fun and exciting things that I interact with sooner than others. I can say that reading was not as impressive as the play was. Therefore, I quickly forgot the plot, the characters, and the different settings of the scenes. Although I vaguely remembered a few parts here and there, the actual performance of the play has brought out a better understanding and appreciation of the work that I believe I will not forget anytime soon.
To conclude this discussion, plays are meant to be performed on stage by actors for an audience, rather than read. The reason is that the purpose of play goes far beyond words or writings on a piece of paper. A play is an interaction between the actor and her audience. Rather than just the words, an actor uses other aspects such as expressions, intonations, costumes among others to communicate its message to the audience. Therefore, in order to understand and appreciate a play, I had to read and later watch Anna's play to see the difference. However, it does not mean that reading a play does not give the reader the intended message. But one is able to appreciate the work and the performer more.
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