gard0234: December 2012 Archives

Suzi Gard's Final Entry

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Way to go, Team Marlowe. I feel pretty happy with our presentation today. We kept ourselves adequately time-organized and I felt our delivery was lively and engaging. We served up a hot stew of fascinating info on Christopher Marlowe, the Most Interesting Man in the World. I feel like the audience's interest may have been piqued by this peek at his mysterious life. I hope that after finals are over, they may take a look at this interesting figure in dramatic history. There is so much conjecture out there about his life! Because there was so much information to cover and so many ingredients in our stew, I worry our presentation may have appeared scattered. After the fact, I'm a tad concerned that our order of presenting may not have been the most traceable for the audience to follow.

As far as my own segment of the presentation goes, I feel quite content with myself for speaking clearly and without stumbling over my words, which is one thing that tends to cause me anxiety. I hit my main bullet marks and provided the basic information that the audience needed to understand my point in including so much information on Edmund Tilney and his position as the Master of Revels in relation to Christopher Marlowe. I wished that I had had more time to explain the details surrounding Tilney as the Master of Revels. I didin't expect time to fly the way that it did in our rehearsal and final presentation. I had prepared so much more information to better explain Marlowe's situation with Tilney, and I'm afraid I didn't include all of the details vocally since I ended up mostly disregarding my notecards during the presentation due to pressure of time constraints.

In retrospect, I feel like we may have just swamped our audience with too much information. There was so much available information on this time in history, on our chosen dramatist, and on his work. Also, so much of the information varied depending on which source one chose to read. JSTOR was packed with contrasting opinions, lenses, and accounts of the past that we felt we needed to acknowledge how vastly different peoples' responses to Marlowe were. This proved to be waaay too much to cover in twenty minutes.
I think our group may have benefitted by perhaps forming a more concise thesis before searching through sources to find supporting material. We reached a point in our research where everyone had great articles that we could all use to provide information, but after reading and collecting all our data, we needed to regroup and figure out how we were going to fit it all together. Because of this, we struggled over a thesis for awhile. So, lesson learned: when you have a subject that popular and is widely documented through numerous opinionated sources, it becomes even more important to narrow the scope to choose an extremely specific thesis.

Inversely, I felt the pre-1750s Russian Theatre group dealt with their overwhelming lack of available information quite gracefully. I liked seeing how transparent they were about their process of searching and their frustration in coming up short. They presented their "hole" well. However, from what they explained about their search, I don't feel that they fully exhausted their resources. I don't recall a mention of a trip to a physical library or perhaps the Russian Museum of Art here in Minneapolis. These may have provided a clue to point them in a more fruitful direction.

I totally dug the second group's perspective on Chicano Theatre as a resistance to colonialism from Cortes to Clinton. I thought it was quite poignant to tie the past to the present by including the clip of traditional indigenous ceremonial dances being performed as a public event and as an event on youtube. This act of holding onto their tradition is in and of itself a resistance to the influence of colonialism.

Okay, Roman Spectacle. I was delighted by how they captured the spirit of the spectacle by making the presentation itself a spectacle, and also in rousing the audience, asking them to participate as audiences would at gladiatorial events. It was fast-paced, energized, and a blur of confusing gore and instructions to delight in them. While their intention was fascinating, I feel that a deeper, more disturbing message about Roman Spectacle as a mechanism of mass control could have been unlocked and driven home if they had chosen to commit to their act sincerely, rather than "playing at" it for laughs. Also, I think that we could have benefited from having a working definition of what qualifies as "theatre" instead of just comparing Roman Spectacle to Greek Comedy/Tragedy to determine its validity.

To sum it all up, I'm happy with our group and the work that we pulled out at the end, yet because of our missteps I have learned a valuable lesson on the research process. I have a final research paper in my GWSS class, and honing my specific thesis on my topic will help me know exactly what I am looking for in my heavily documented search. There is another element of my GWSS research that is hardly documented by a peer reviewed source, and to learn from Russian Theatre, I know I can investigate the hole in the documentation.

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This page is an archive of recent entries written by gard0234 in December 2012.

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