Misery Essay, Research Paper
A New Misery
Matt Joseph s version of the Misery is certainly different from what one would expect. While Stephen King s Misery gave the audience a feeling of suspense caused by silence, Joseph s Misery definitely kept the audience on the edge of their seats as the characters in the play were more aggressive and show more emotions. When I first came to watch the play, I only expected to see an amateur play with mediocre costumes and performance. Boy, was I in for my surprise .
The play was performed at The Little Room Downstairs, a stage that seemed to be renovated from the garage of what was once a house. The area of the stage itself is about ten feet wide and twenty feet long, and the rest of this garage is spread with semi-stadium seats surrounding three sides of the stage, so during the struggle scene the actors nearly hit me with their swinging arms and legs. Less than two hundred dollars was used in preparing the props and the stage, but one could hardly tell that the sheet wood that laid out as the floor and the walls were outlined with magic marker to get the appearance of real oak. There was a double sized bed placed in the middle of the stage, which remained for the duration of the play. A half-wall separated the rest of the house (a third of the stage) from the room, were the play mainly takes place. There was also a wheelchair, a small desk and an old typewriter used in the play, but otherwise not many props were used on the stage. The costumes also matched the time during the play. Of course, the time period that the play took place was probably during the early 20th century, so costumes did not pose a big problem.
While watching the play, I was captivated by the acting. It was almost as if I was a ghost in the play where the actors didn t know I was there, and I couldn t do anything to interrupt, even though I wanted to. Both actors brought life to their characters, making them a momentarily different being. Of course, with Jim Lawrence s (Paul Sheldon) experience as both an actor and a dancer, and Marcy Bannor s (Annie Wilkes) time with several big productions including Shear Madness at the Tower and The Great Caruso, one could easily see why it would have been easy for the actors to perform so realistically.
Lighting and sound effects of the play really impressed me. The synchronization and the angle at which the effects were timed were awesome as well. Instead of the normal narrator-tell-the-facts at the beginning of the play, the sound of a car crash and the dragging of the body up the stairs was played to let the audience know how Paul got injured and how he ended up at Annie s house. The surround sound system must have added to the dramatic scene, along with the choreography of the play, because the audience was kept up on their seats during every scene change. During one scene when Annie raised her ax to chop off Paul s toes, the lights went out as the ax came down, and the room was filled with a loud BANG! I almost jumped out of my seat.
Overall, the play exceeded my expectations, the actors were great (they even shook hands and pictures with the audience too bad I didn t have my camera), and the three hours came and passed with a blink of the eye. If I had the chance, I would definitely watch another play from the same crew.