Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Study Abroad England - Globe Theater

I enjoyed the Globe Theater tour and felt that it set up a good baseline in terms of what to expect later that evening. Some people disliked the fact that our tour guide was a Globe actress, but I liked having that perspective. Rather than hearing strictly about the history of the original Globe and its former incarnations, I got to understand the theater from the perspective of a professional who uses it as her stage. I especially liked her discussion of the acoustics inside The Globe, and how the rounded shape and set-up allowed for excellent projection of the voice. Once she pointed it out, I did realize that the shape of the theater reminded me of the multi-layered echo walls/chambers I saw at The Temple of Heaven in Beijing. Her perspective really helped inform my viewing in the evening. I stood to the side, and leaned right up against the stage. My favorite parts were the audience participation, how as a collective it became a living and breathing character in the scene acted out before us. We were expected to voice our approval, our cheers and our opinions. We were a part of the action, and sometimes even joined in; the actors addressed us directly, both as a group and occasionally singling out individuals. Our tour guide had talked about this as well, completely transforming the way that I think of and examine the soliloquy...how the actor does not turn in on himself for these personal monologues, but rather poses their thoughts to the audience. This is something that someone merely reading a play instead of watching it performed might totally miss. My proximity to the stage also heightened the experience, the physical closeness facilitated a closeness of experience; it felt like I had walked into someone else's life, not just that I was watching it, as in a movie theater. I also especially enjoyed the music, how my limited perspective from the side caused me to rely much more on audio cues; I could not always see their facial expressions so I turned to the music to deduce the current mood of the scene. All in all, I loved the experience and would love to go again if I get a chance before I leave. 
- Jane Ma, Senior, Biology major, Golf Company

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