Monday, April 28, 2014

Video on YouTube!

Here it is! The video of our production of Amphitruo! The first three minutes are just me talking about the play - feel free to skip over those and get to the good stuff (i.e. running through the audience, hurling rubber chickens, etc.). Enjoy!

Plautus' Amphitruo: The Birth of Hercules -  

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Amphitruo Bro

So this is a bit late. Two weeks after the performance. But let me say! I am SO happy with how it went! We exceeded everyone's expectations! Most definitely our own! I don't know why, but I didn't expect so much laughter! We had a great audience. There was lots of Classics and Humanities majors to appreciate our Greek myth jokes.

I like that our show had a lot of variety. Monologues were a big thing in ancient Roman comedy and even though we shortened them and only did one really (Mercury's opening speech) I thought it was good that we kept some of that tradition. Then we had lots of physical humor with the slapstick fighting and running around. But we also had funny lines including quick verbal exchanges, like between Amphitruo (Chris) and Sosia (me). We also incorporated funny props like with the bit of Mercury (Rick) keeping Amphitruo out via rubber chicken and marshmallow bow among ither things. Then we also had funny customes, Alcema's (Magaret) big pregant belly and me in a dress for Bromia. There was a TON going on in our play and I think all of it worked.

If I had to criticize anything it would be myself. Watching parts of the Youtube video I realized I was really distracting, especially during Alcmena's and Alcmena's scene. My dumb faces and body postures really took away from Amphitruo's and Alcmena's argument. Probably didn't help that I'm super tall and huge. I was trying to do SOMETHING while the conversation was going on, I trying not to stop acting. But I ended up just repeating the same face and mannerisms, I could used these more sparingly and been more subtle.

I'm not saying I think I did a bad job though, I am VERY pleased with how I did overall.

I think one of my favorites things about doing the play was seeing everyone's talents and personalities being applied. I was impressed again and again by our group. I was impressed by the scence Chris rewrote based on the old 1950's comedy skit "who's on first?" It was impressive to see Rick use his skill with his marshmallow bow also when using his whistle for sound effects, there was no way I could've been as precise. Then Magaret's voice and demenor was perfect for the type of Alcmena we were trying to portray. And Then Professor Jeppensen, I was extreemely impressed by his creativty and diligence. His adaption and direction of the play really made me realize his talent and ability. Also his wife Danae was great, a faboulus prop/costume/poster maker along with a faboulous Juno!

It was a TON of fun getting ready for this play. I put A LOT of thought into my performance and I was very excited. It was an extremely rewarding experience to hear the laughter and applause. This experience has been a huge confidence booster for me.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Amphitruo Photos

Hey Cast! These are mostly from my phone so they aren't great... but here are some photos.

 Haha I screen-shotted my roommate's snapchats...

Way to go TEAM :)

Hey everybody!

I just wanted to thank you all for being such a lovely supportive cast. Aside from having a great time, this experience also really brought an artistic aspect to my major that it needed. After having had to think about the staging and production side of things, I probably won't read Greek or Roman plays the same way. This class really added to the collegiate experience. Thank you to each of you so much for all your help! 

Professor Jeppesen: Thank you for ALL the work you put into the script, and blocking, and set, and for being such a good villain. Keifer could learn a lesson or two from ya.

Ansel: Thank you for making all of us laugh and for all your efforts to rid me of pre-show nerves. 

Chris: Thank you for being so committed to our memorizing and for running the scene a million times with me because I needed it.

Rick: Thank you for keeping us on track, all your good suggestions, and for those epic slide whistle effects.

Danae: Thank you for picking up all our slack. We couldn't have pulled it off without you :)

Thanks for the memories!
I hope I see you all around next year.


Monday, April 14, 2014


This performance has been one my favorite highlights from my BYU experience. I am near being a senior and have often thought that I should have been more involved in some sort of extracurricular. This production has forced me out of my comfort zone and into something fun and memorable. What a great time we have had! It all came together and it was great. As I think about it, I can’t see anything that didn’t work. We worked hard on this production so that it would all work, and the audience loved us. It was so strange being on stage and hearing so much laughter, even at things that were not meant to be funny.  I think that the hardest part for me was keeping a straight face, especially when things got funny hearing Ansel deliver his lines. I do feel that this performance, and even this entire process has been helpful in giving me a greater appreciation and understanding of ancient drama. This is what Plautus was all about, making his audience laugh. We knocked down the fourth wall, interacted with the audience, used many different kinds of comedy, adapted a classic, and dashed everyone’s expectations for a boring night. We didn’t just read about ancient theatre, for one night we lived in its spirit.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

o, what a night!

The performance was incredible! All things considered, I think things went better than we ever might have expected.

As far as what worked, I think the modernization that we did (i.e. adapting/updating it for our audience) was an excellent choice. Good reactions came for jokes like "faster than Fox cancelled Firefly" and "no amount of extra credit..." as well as our blatant discrediting of the misogyny found in the original. Also, interestingly, a lot of the original script held up pretty well, and just the general ridiculousness of certain situations (like Ansel as Bromia) was a big hit.

As far as what didn't work, some of the jokes we expected to be funniest got so-so reactions (though there were also unexpected laughs in other places.) I suppose that varies by performance, and we only had one, and it's a natural part of these kinds of things. But perhaps more potently, I think we probably were kind of pushing it (as we knew) with some of our suggestive jokes. Particularly the protection one. People laughed, but it was largely a shocked laugh, and some feedback I received confirmed that at least some people felt uncomfortable with it. I don't think it was an unfunny joke per se, I just don't know if this was the right audience for it.

I learned a lot from this experience. And there was a lot that I believed about the importance of performing greek and roman drama that was completely confirmed! For instance, people laughed quite a bit during the performance, and I only sometimes see someone laugh when they're silently reading. Sometimes. And even then it's just a light chuckle. Also, Professor Jeppesen mentioned how roman comedies are the great-great-great-etc-etc grandfather of the modern sitcom. AND IT'S TRUE! It's the exact same format! And even some of the exact same jokes! This was a lot more tangible to me after having performed one. Also, I was made more aware of some of the more serious undertones of these comedies, such as the scene where Mercury beats Sosia, forcing him to give up his identity. I might not have thought too much about it had I not rehearsed and performed it myself. All in all it was a very enriching experience, and I'm so very glad to have had the opportunity. I look forward to any and all future opportunities to participate in such productions.