I was able to attend this performance with one of my good friends. While we spent most of the time in silence, the intermission in thought provoking, enlightening conversation. It is interesting to see the difference in perspective after watching the same piece of art. For an example, I found he had an obligation to tell the police about the offences, my friend felt he had an obligation to his family to improve their situation. However, I feel that a play like this might be better experienced alone. The hardships experienced by the characters were almost unbearable, and was a lot to take in. I feel that intense thought should be taken to fully immerse ones self in the lives of these suffering people. In order to grow as an individual one cannot be overly influenced by others. One must live THEIR good life not someone else's.
Both the outside and inside of the theater was underwhelming. Very cramped and drab, this theater did not set a good atmosphere for such a dramatic and moving piece. The acoustics in the auditorium were not very good and made the actors hard to hear. The set was simple and made it harder to connect to the characters. There was also a lot of unused space on stage and the actors concentrated towards the rear, giving an over all empty effect. My seat was not in the ideal location. Back and to stage left, I was far disconnected from the performance. However, During the play the actors made up for my poor seating by wandering about the audience as they performed.
Cultural and Intellectual Experience
The play really brought you to the dirt and grim of the turn of the century. Since I am taking AMH2020, this animated the grueling work at factories in a way books simply cannot. My friend, actually, didn't realize Canada was going through a similar transition from an agrarian to industrial based society, like in the U.S.. This play also looked at the class struggle. Poverty and the oppression of the upper class sparked many riots at the time, which, left many dead, and many still working under terrible conditions and long hours. this play shows what the average citizen's experienced through the day to day at these factories.
As a descendent of an immigrant, this play was very emotional for me. an Irish family coming to the new world at the turn of the century would have faced circumstances. It was heart-wrenching to see and hear about the loss of young children's lives. This play touched on a lot of dark themes, including, death, corruption, poverty, and the destruction of innocence. The poor simply tried to scrape by, and took whatever means were available to get out of their desperate situation.