On November 16, Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director Charles Newell and Professor David Levin held a digital talkback about the cast’s previous reading of the play. Here are 5 takeaways from their conversation.
1. The vibrancy of cast performances draw you in.
Getting to see this family full of vibrant, lively individuals interact with one another and getting to know their individual personalities, hearing their names reduced to a list of murdered relatives at the end makes their loss resonate even more deeply with audiences as the play sucks them in further over the course of the performance.
2. Humanity, emotion, and intellect
Stoppard’s play has all three, making it an exemplary play to engage with due to Court’s thoughtful approach and its connection with the University.
3. Variety of POVs
The POVs of different characters mesh and clash with one another to create more intriguing relationships and interpretations of them. With the time jumps and large cast, more interpretation is needed to decipher certain events and relationship developments that happen off-script, like the process of reconciliation between Hermann and Gretl after her adultery is revealed.
4. Who am I?
Questions such as the one above, “how did I become who I am now?”, and “where do I belong in this world?” are pertinent to the play when considering the characters’ existences within the cat’s cradle and in response to the developing situation in the world.
5. UT Austin and Court Theatre
The library at UT Austin wants to document how theatres are making theatre in the pandemic, so this institution, home to Stoppard’s archive (including boxes of handwritten notes, script drafts, and more), requested access to Court’s recorded performances of Stoppard’s works.
And with that, we conclude our Deep Dive series! If you missed out on any sessions, recordings are still available via the links and passwords previously sent out to audiences who registered for the event. Tune in to our next component of our Theatre & Thought series, Caryl Churchill’s Fen + The Dramaturgical Process.