Facing Forward Play Analysis

Great Essays
The script for the play Johanna: Facing Forward by Tlaloc Rivas deeply moved me while I was reading it. I found the dialogue to be emotionally powerful and the stage directions intriguing. The script affected me so much that I was almost afraid to see it on the stage. Unfortunately, however, I was very underwhelmed by KU’s production of Johanna: Facing Forward. Many of the scenes that moved me in the script fell flat on the stage, due largely to the actors’ lack consistent connection to their character and lack of energy. I saw the production on Sunday, October 18th, 2015 during the afternoon matinee, which may account for some of the lack of energy that I saw on stage, but not for the actors’ inability to fully embody their characters. This …show more content…
Their collective inability to connect to their own character made it so that they as individuals could not connect, and subsequently interact, with each other in character either. The actors were stuck inside themselves and were not driving the action forward by interacting and influencing each other. This made the play seem very static and uninteresting, even though Johanna: Facing Forward is a dynamic and intriguing play. There are three specific examples of this occurring which particularly stood out to me. The first instance occurs on page 49 of the script when Johanna and Juan are dancing and it escalates physically when Juan starts dancing more passionately and then starts forcefully kissing Johanna until she tells him to stop and runs off stage. On the stage, this did not occur. Johanna and Juan danced, he kissed her pretty normally, they started dancing again and then she randomly pulled away from him, delivered her lines, and ran off stage. It was obvious that they were not acting by letting their characters interact with each other, driven by the desire to influence each other. Rather Ramos and Dorado-Mariscal were reciting blocked choreography and meaningless groups of …show more content…
I noticed that when Lares would hold Huerter as Wosbély trying to comfort Juanita, it seemed very forced, as if they were doing actions because they remembered their blocking. They weren’t being driven to do physical actions from the needs of their character. Another instance of awkward character interaction was on page 67 in the script when Gus and Rachel joke about how big their bladders are before Johanna goes into surgery. Sharp chose to jokingly punch Shin as she delivered her line, but the motion could not have looked more falsified. The awkwardness would have been suitable if they were strangers joking with each other, but these were two people who have spent a great deal of time getting to know each other. They shouldn’t be exhibiting extreme awkwardness in this way. The actors combined inability to interact with each other made for a performance that fell flat of the emotional intensity and sincerity of the

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