Sunday, September 28, 2008

Kelly Kraft
The event I attended was “The Comedy of Errors” by William Shakespeare presented by The Blackfriars Stage Company. The Blackfriars kept close to the text yet developed the play with their own attitude. The audience seemed to be part the of the experience and fully enhanced the play. For the hour and a half the audience was apart of performance, not just spectators. Seeing the Blackfriars at Loyola College I was happy to see another side of the Jesuit institution I, as a freshman could experience. The Blackfriars Stage Company not only shed light on one of the diverse opportunities we can partake in at Loyola but combined a healthy mix of fun and education together for the benefit of the Loyola student.
“The Comedy of Errors” By William Shakespeare is a play about confusion. The family; a husband, a wife, twin sons, and two servants are split apart twenty-five years before the play starts. The play revolves around the two sons and their servants, unknowingly coming back to the same town. The people around them keep mistaking one son for the other. Until the end, when the husband and mothers help the two sons meet. Then the two families now complete with a wife and soon to be wife live happily ever after.
The Blackfriars stayed almost exactly to the plays original content. The play in its own context was funny. It was a brilliant comedy by Shakespeare; but they added animation to it. The Blackfriars made the pages of Shakespeare’s play come to life. When a character dances, it is a thousand times funnier then reading a character dances. When someone has
an emotional breakdown, the feelings seem truer. Not only did the Blackfriars add life to
Shakespeare’s page, they added life to the audience. Chairs were placed on the stage and the audience were asked to sit on the actual stage. During the play the actors sat down next to the audience, having the audience fan them with their hands, talk to the audience, and give the audience props. The audience had to be in constant awareness of what was going on around them. Shakespearean language being spoken to a crowded room that might have been lost on some members of the audience before, now seemed more like an everyday conversation between two people. The Blackfriars made going to a Shakespeare play a new and exciting experience.
Walking out of McManus Theatre, I was glad I had such an opportunity to see the Blackfriars. The experience made me realize Loyola is truly educating the whole person. I reflected on Loyola’s core values and core requirements. Without either this opportunity may have not been available to me. Without Loyola’s aim for academic excellence, diversity, community, and focusing on the whole person I doubt the Blackfriars would have been invited to perform. Loyola wants to educate the mind always and in as many ways as possible. Loyola also reaches out and forms bonds with others so their students can enjoy the best there is in the world and use it to help others and themselves as humans. Loyola’s core requirements always play a key role in why events like the Blackfriars can happen. Loyola opens all its doors to the student. Before going to an event like this one, a student may have never known Shakespeare could have been this enjoyable. The same thing could have been said about a math or science event. The Core lets students attend an event not related to their specific major, giving them a chance to experience all Loyola’s opportunities.
The Blackfriars brought livelihood to Shakespeare’s play “The Comedy of Errors”. They also brought the audience into the play which added a special aspect to the whole experience. Loyola College educates the whole person with events such as the Blackfriars Stage Company production.

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