The Theatre of Politics
October 28, 2004 2:45 PM
Political Theater Live kicked off their first major show this semester in Malcolm X plaza, Thursday, Oct. 21.
Under the electric blue autumn sky, the evolving troupe known as Political Theater Live presented the show as a way to create awareness through laughter about the upcoming November 2nd election. The hour performance consisted of skits parodying the “Lord of the Rings,” spoken word acts, and musical satyrs.
The group believes that political theater is an alternative to the speakers who simply take the stage spouting out cut and dry intellectual responses to the issues, said Lyons.
“I feel what's good is to go up on stage, especially while young students are on the campus, and inform the audience of what's happening through humor and parody,” he said.
The audience, which Lyons speaks of, is not the average theatergoer, who pays their admission with expectations. Instead, for these outdoor performances the audience is usually unaware that is about to begin, which requires the actors to use different skills then if they were acting in an indoor theater production.
In order to deal with an outdoor nonchalant audience, the actors have to make themselves heard, seen, and understood through over emphasized movements and vocals, Greg Zema, an actor in the performance, said.
“This is one medium where over acting is encouraged and embraced," he said.
Capturing the audience’s attention through over emphasis was only part of the problem the actors faced when organizing Thursday’s show. After initially gaining the attention of the audience--people eating, studying, socializing--the performers now had to hold their interest, Lyons said.
“There has to be an electricity that flows through the whole show. You want to do a scene, then jump back into a song, a spoken word piece, or another scene,” he said. "So the key is to jump from scene to scene, because any lag time in between gives the audience a chance to catch their breath and leave.”
Though some in the audience were hitting girls up for their phone numbers and talking to friends, there were enough catcalls and applause to let the actors know that people were listening.
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