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 Hadja Kany Diallo Professor Singer Theater History 13100 November 25, 2017Strange Interlude An actor playing eight different roles can you imagine that! On the night of November 15, 2017, Strange Interlude Production took place in the borough of Brooklyn and in a Off Broadway production at Irondale Theater. One of the greatest astonishments about watching this play was David Greenspan one-man performance of  Strange Interlude . A play production written by Eugene O’Neill’s Greek-tragedy-influenced dramas, Strange Interlude was a nine-act play in which characters speak their “silent” thoughts full of psychosexual confusion and self-doubt. The play was a success. Although its melodrama, and its six hour length production which included two ten minute breaks and a thirty minute break served with dinner, his ability to perform with such clarity, nuance and endurance was remarkable.Thinking is the process of utilizing the information that we feed our minds. What this means is that if we don’t take our thoughts and steer them in a particular direction, they will go in any direction they want. If we don’t tame our thoughts and exercise our minds to think in a particular direction it will go in any direction it wants and it will usually go opposite to what is expected. In the bible according to the book of Proverbs, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” ( Proverbs 18:21). This quote encapsulates the power of words and helps us to understand that what we allow to escape our mouths has the power to bless and curse. When we understand the power of words and the fact that they are          capsules of life or death we learn to choose our words wisely. With that understanding, we don’t rush to speak; we take the time to analyze every situation before speaking because we know that whatever comes out of our mouths are loaded with the power that determines the outcome of the situation. This is because our minds are always active whether we are aware of it or not. At every point in time, we are always thinking about something whether we know it or not. The way we think determines our outlook of life, expectations, and how we speak. Essentially, how we speak determines our experiences in life because our words and actions are produced under the influence of our thoughts which are a reflection of what we feed our minds.The thoughts that people think are never the same as the words they speak – and in this play, we can hear the thoughts of all characters. Gordon Shaw, played phenomenally by Greenspan, was a flyer who was shot down and killed during WWI. Nina, the protagonist of the play, also played by Greenspan, would have married him before he left, but her father forbade the marriage. Still carrying a love for handsome Gordon, Nina marries another guy on the rebound, only to find that insanity runs in his family and she can’t have children with him and she can’t leave him because the shock would certainly send him over the edge. What to do? In result, Charlie, an extremely close friend, had Nina infatuated. However, Nina does not love him and he is too timid- too shy – to tell her the way that he feels about her. Sam is her husband, however, her love disappears after the ceremony when she finds out that there is mental illness in his family and that there can be no children. To have the child she wants, but cannot have with Sam, she has a secret affair with Ned, who wants her to leave Sam. Gordon Jr is the result of the affair, but he does not know Ned is his real father. Nina continues to play with the emotions of all three men and devote herself only to Gordon, who as I reiterate is dead.         When we fill our minds with the wrong things, such as negativity, insecurities, and self-doubt, just to name a few, we think the wrong things and ultimately talk and do things to live up to our degrading thoughts. As a result, we begin to experience setbacks that limit us from attaining our greatest potential. Nina the protagomist always limited herself from truly gaining happiness. Greenspan way of protraying Nina character was very amusing to watch. Her thoughts were clouded with such negativity, that she often made sure the other seven were being controlled by her actions and her choice of words.The entire room was escalated so that each row had an incline relative to the row in front of this. This avoids the problem of staring at the back of people’s heads during a performance. The room itself had a numerous amount of rows and enough space for about 50 people. The Theatre space was small which gave way to a lot of flexibility. The Stage had been hovered to cover the performing space for the band due to the play director’s choice. The scene changes in this play weren’t massive enough to overall change the mood between each scene, but they were smooth in transitioning and consisted of about 6 scenes sets for all nine acts. The enormous box in Brooklyn Strange Interlude, was once a church. Inside this enormous church, they were three changing scenery room. The first box consist of the Leed study which had books and table sets all around. The second box consist of a white room, where Sam and Nina are living together with their “child.” And the third which was the last two acts of the play was set in a terrance and/or yacht.Moving on from set, the ideal play is having no sound problem throughout the production. Their job as the Sound Designer is to be responsible for obtaining all the sound effects. However, in Strange Interlude there was a bit of a hiccup. Don’t get me wrong, the       production was great overall , but sound is a stubborn obstacle especially since the play space was vast. Since the ceiling fans whir softly over the audience in those initial spaces; it makes it difficult to hear, especially when David Greenspan lowers his voice to a whisper or moves upstage or downstage. Articulation is the key to a great mono-play.Since Greenspan had the ability to separate thoughts from the action of the play, it was very hard to hear him because he was speaking very quickly. As I asked questions in regards to the play, I was informed the play was suppose to last for eight hours. Can you believe that?! So there was that obstacle. The majority of the production feels and sounds like he and the producers were terrified of the show running eight hours instead of six. So this was a challenge to me. The increased speed and loose articulation challenged my ability to differentiate the characters’ dialogue from the spoken thoughts inside their heads. I had hoped I would adjust to the language and style, and ease me into the world of the play; but unfortunately this never happened because of how quick and loose the articulation was.To make the most out of the power of thoughts, it is important that we feed our minds with the right information, such as goals, positive thoughts, encouraging thoughts, and things that will motivate us. When we feed our minds with positivity, we automatically begin to think and walk in positivity. Towards the end of the play, Nina positive thinking lead to positive speaking which in respect to the bible is ” life”. Eventually, the positive words become reality because repetition is persuasive. The more you speak about something, the more you begin to accept what you speak, and the more you accept what you speak, the more you live out the words that you speak. Identically, the positive thoughts turn into positive words that manifest physically and paves the way for the thoughts to come alive.          In the end of the play, Nina lives through the loss of her husband Gordon, as well as her unrequited love for Sam. Her lover Ned leaves her, and her son Gordon Jr who leaves her, too, for a wife of his own. In the final act she turns to “dear old Charlie,” who has waited in the shadows to now claim her in the evening of their long day.  This, as a result, leads us to doubt ourselves, capabilities, and worth. Eventually, we begin to think negatively and live out our negative thoughts as we begin to do the bare minimum to get by in life. This leaves us as a place which the bible describes as “death” because we start to not believe in ourselves. Ultimately, we find ourselves at a zealous place where we give up on our hopes and dreams because Nina allowed the negative thoughts to overtake her. From my understanding, even after she get to this place all hope is not lost because if she can discipline herself to think positively again and speak life into our “dead” situations she will start to live happily.All things considered, we have to fix our thoughts on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and admirable. It is an active process! We can actively choose what to think by choosing what to feed our minds with. What we proclaim with our mouths registers in our minds, and indirectly motivates us to bring them to life. Therefore, according to the book of Proverbs, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” ( Proverbs 18:21) is indeed a blessing or a curse.  The last scene is the point when she reaches her coming of age and realizes that she allowed her choices as a teenager define her adult life and that she was immature and ultimately learned from this unfortunate experience.  In conclusion, the more we repeat, the more we absorb, and the more we absorb the more we start to believe and live out what we speak.                  The play was great in its entirety. Every scene had a message and at some point, I was lost in its flow and seemed very vivid to me. I loved the ending when Greenspan character of Nina finally comes of age. This play confronts the problems within love and consequence,abortion, infidelity, as well as the power of the tongue. After nearly six hours of the show, it was over. With a raised hand, all of his characters disappeared. And Black Lights were formed. As the audience burst in numerous applauses; there goes David bows. Great Job Irondale! BibliographyIrondale Theater Center – 85 S Oxford St, Brooklyn, NY (Nov. 15. 2017)Strange Interlude.” Strange Interlude | Transport Group. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/06/theater/david-greenspan-eugene-oneill-marathon-performa nce.html”Proverbs 18 NIV.”  Proverbs 18 NIV . N.p., n.d. Web. Dec 21. 2017.   


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