Tuesday, August 28, 2007

"Under Milkwood: A Play For Voices" by Dylan Thomas.

Back in college I was earning my degree in Radio / Television Broadcasting (from Southern Illinois University - Carbondale, Go Salukis) and it was recommended that I take some voice classes from the Theatre department to help create a midwest / neutral accent. I had a pretty good Southern accent at the time, after all I was born in Louisiana and raised in Mississippi, Alabama, Texas and Oklahoma. I took an intro to Voice class taught by Alex Chrestopolous, who in hindsight taught me alot, at the time though, he was a pain in my arse. The stuff I learned in this class has been priceless and even got me interested in declaring a double major, thus earning a Bachelors degree in both Theatre and Radio/TV Broadcasting.

The most fun I remember in the class was when we as a class performed "Under Milkwood." I have been and always will be a fan of Bob Dylan and finally getting to read/perform someone who influenced Robert Zimmerman to change his name, I was intrigued. I fell in love with this play. I have since read it a few more times and this latest time I read it along with hearing it performed on an audiobook. The audiobook's narrator was Richard Burton so that made it even more enjoyable.

The basis of this play is that we are introduced to a small Welsh town and get to know the citizens and what they do to pass the time. Basically this is a big gossip column with some beautiful language. We are introduced to each character as they sleep by eavesdropping in on their dreams. And then progress through the day with their daily activities, including the scandalous and sweet. We then leave the village as they bed down for the night.

The language behind this is simply beautiful. If you read the play you can feel the rhythm and emotions of the words, but better yet seek out a performance you can listen to. The many voices really create an atmosphere in which it is easy to get lost.

Basically the play is poetry in motion and flowing without pause.

No comments:

Post a Comment