The production of Refugia emphasizes how confinement has shaped the lives of mankind with the aid of sound and set design throughout history. The characters take journeys as refugees, which test their will to be free. Each refugee has their own challenge: a language barrier, differing religions, persecution, and even age. The characters find liberation and are free to thrive in the present, instead of living in the past. However, they must first understand their past and escape their confinement before they are able to look towards the freedom the future offers.
Sound design is a key element of Refugia. In Chapter 1, a small sings live as the group of elderly men pass away and are freed from the confinement of a stale nursing home. The nursing home and its employees confine the elderly men by restricting their movements and regulating their activities. The music signals the liberation of these men. It also starts the play’s journey down the road of confinement and liberation. Chapter 2 makes use of environmental sound through a bird, who disrupts the officers in Arizona. The officers trap this bird in a box and set him aside like he is nothing. While in the box, the bird’s chirping and attempt to escape are evident. This representation of one creature trying to escape entrapment, while another, the refugee boy, remains in silent captivity shows how nature is harder to confine than mankind. By the end of the play, everyone has gradually escaped their refugee status and moved onto the future, including the bird, which emphasizes how confinement does not have to last forever.
In Chapter 3, musical readings and train sounds are present. The train signals the refugee couple...
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...od that everyone’s life is not easy or carefree. There are struggles they must overcome to break free of the confining forces that hold them back. Refugia shows the audience that people are confined and liberated in many different ways. It also emphasizes how one should not give up trying to break free of confinement or divulging into the past because you never know where it will take you. This is an important lesson for college students to learn because they have entered an unknown stage of life. It shows how hardships will be faced along the way, but persistence is needed to thrive. Refugia was a great play to perform in Austin because Austin is a melting pot for people and cultures. The play pointed out that everyone takes a different journey to get the freedom they want, but, in the end, we come from the same ancestors, who fought for the world that exists today.
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