Saturday, November 30, 2019

Producing Marisol Essays - Marisol, Jos Rivera,

Producing Marisol Marisol, a play written by Jose Rivera, is the play I enjoyed reading the most this semester. Rivera, one of the leading contemporary Latin American playwrights, writes with an image. After reading Marisol, I came away with a very specific picture of what Rivera had in mind. He easily combines the realistic moments of life, the dangers of the Bronx, dealing with an emotionally unstable young man, Lenny, and the friendships developed with those we work with, with his world on the verge of apocalypse where the mundanities of life we take for granted have changed. Marisol has elements of pure theology where Rivera's own possible musings are written in to his characters. These elements include the appearance of Marisol's guardian angel in Marisol's dreams, the threat to Marisol's life in the form of a woman turned to a pile of salt and the smoke from a fire in Ohio blocking the sun in New York City. These all occur in the first act before the War of the Heavens begins. This play was written in the early nineties, copyright 1992, 1994, and revised and copyrighted 1999. Rivera was very specific in his stage directions and overall views of the design and production of the play in order to facilitate his image. These stage directions and other designs should be followed by the people producing his play in order to produce the image the play means to impart to the audience. He poises a gold crown, suspended in the air over the set, over the actors, over all of his creation, signifying God. But this crown, this God, remains motionless, remains detached from all the proceedings. To support his unnervingly imminently apocalyptic world, the mundanities that we would take for granted that are missing from Marisol's world, like the moon and the extinction of coffee, are dropped to the audience in a conversation between June, a co-worker and Marisol's best friend, and Marisol at work(Rivera 22-23). To accomplish the subtlety of unnerving the audience, Rivera gives a perfect office building; two desks, a radio, books, papers, the New York Post (Rivera 20) contrasting perfectly with the utter absurdity of facts pouring out of their mouths. This show should be done in a small theatre, and for design explanations, I will use the Studio Theatre at Towson University. This will allow the action to be closest to the audience, including them in the show. The set would consist of three brick walls painted directly onto the walls of the theatre. The wall behind the center rows of seats would remain black due to seat proximity. The back wall of the staging area (backing the scene shop) would be painted to the rafters , leaving the balcony itself black but the wall behind the upper balcony painted. The wall would have faux windows with iron gates on them running horizontally at about four feet above the floor. The two side walls would also have brick running up above the balcony. The two side walls would be completely masked by a black dropcloth for the first act. There would be two wagons used in Act One, neither bigger than 8 feet (which I am guessing to be the width of the scene shop door). The graffiti'd poem, "The moon carri es the souls of dead people to heaven./The new moon is dark and empty./It fills up every month/with glowing new souls/and carries its silent burden to God./Wake Up." (Rivera, 9) will be painted on the scene shop door which will remain closed. All entrances and exits will be from the four studio doors. The exterior door of the studio will be Marisol' s apartment door and have a series of locks she will lock behind her. It will only be used once. There will be a ladder from the balcony to the floor that the angel will use for her entrances. It will lock onto the bars for support. On one of the wagons will be June's kitchen, and the other will be Marisol's apartment, including bed, table, lamp, and clock (Rivera 12). The office will be downstage with the two desks, chairs and props wheeled in from opposing house doors and meeting in the middle.

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