The Long Christmas Ride Home Play Analysis

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The Long Christmas Ride Home by Paula Vogel tells the story of the events leading up to a very eventful night, the events after, and the aftereffects it has on the family. Sarah Johnson’s adaptation of the play uses light and the japanese puppet theatre tradition of bunraku to enforce the play’s themes. The play’s thematic features are also shown through the directing and performer’s acting. In Sarah Johnson’s adaptation of The Long Christmas Ride Home by Paula Vogel, Johnson and her team use design and performance elements to create tension causing a dramatic feeling of catharsis by the end of the play.
By using the design element of color, Johnson built a sense of tension as the play progresses. The color red lights up the stage when the father, played by Paul Bisesi, and his wife’s father begin to fight. The fight began simply with an argument over money, but soon became more violent physically and verbally. The color red connotes anger which intensifies the fight between the two men further and also
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Johnson uses color to steer the audience towards feeling certain feelings such as anger. The use of color also builds up the intensity of certain situations which can cause the audience to feel and release tension. Johnson also relies on the performances by her characters and their puppets to imagine the characters at different ages which pushes how uncomfortable the audience feels when the younger and older representations are put in dangerous situations. I personally really enjoyed the play. For a few hours after I watched The Long Christmas Ride Home, I felt the stunning after effects of catharsis after watching the characters go through so much. The actors did such a great job of pulling the audience into the story and I felt engaged throughout the entirety of the

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