Ideas are flowing....

Our Theorizing and Scene Study classes this week have in a way merged into one for me. Theorizing spent time looking at the impact of scenography (design elements; costumes, set, props, sound, light, space) on our understanding of a play, specifically to do with ideology. We used mainly a structuralist approach to deconstruct scenes and look at what was going on in them. What really stood out for me was the role of power and ideology...looking at HamletMachine the assertion was made that this play is about the absence of ideology, the failure of signs. I disagree with this; the very nature of this play Mueller gives us is subversive, staunchly democratic in the strict communist world he is creating for. The fact that the play has no clarity for how it should be presented, what is or is not to be said or shown, is a rally against the dogmatism of the communist regime.

Onward and upward...Scene study was intended to be a focus on Violence in Greek theatre, with a guest speaker from King's College, expert in Greek history and theatre. His presentation was really fun and engaging, and got ideas flowing for me about not only greek theatre, but theatre in general:
- theatre as a space of citizen decision making
- violence represented through beauty/as beauty or art
- violence at the heart of the practice of theatre
- what is it about plays (art/objects) that engages us, even 2000 years along?
- does our current society really resist violence?
- tragedy as a vital forum for democracy

I think the biggest thing for me to come out of this class is the ideology, the re-inforcement of the status quo that we see through the emblems in the Greek theatre. In The Bacchae, women are invested with male acts; congregation, sex for pleasure, war/violence...and madness ensues. Dionysus represents both sides: male/female, order/disorder....and Euripides' message reinforces the social structure, and the balance necessary with this god.