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Sohpiatown

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The play that was performed on March 3rd 2010 had many great moments. On March 3rd 2010 students of the Woodlands S.S. enrolled in drama and history courses viewed a performance in the Woodlands Cafetorium put on by the AfriCan Theatre Ensemble entitled Sohpiatown. The purpose of this excursion was to study different dramatic elements and practice writing a play review, as well as to get a glimpse into the history of South African apartheid. The play was an overall success, deserving only minor criticism. The play did well in the areas of acting, set/props, and special effects (including sound and lighting).

First of all, the acting in the play had much to be praised. Right off the bat, it was apparent that there was a great deal of talent on-stage. When Jakes (portrayed by Antonio Cayonne) introduced the premise of the story in the first scene of the play, the accent was extremely well done and realistic enough for the audience to delve right into what he was saying. All of the actors did an extraordinary job in mastering the accents. Moreover, the over-the-top stereotypical characters were well portrayed and brought enough comic relief into the play but did not overwhelm the relatively solemn storyline. This is most visibly demonstrated in Marc Senior’s character, Mingus, whose fatuous personality generates many laughs from the audience. However, Marc can pull it together when the moment is right and display an idealistic and sentimental facet of Mingus’ personality. One thing that the play lacked was depth and further development of Ruth as a character. The girl simply dropped into the story abruptly, without any introduction or transition in the plot. When Ruth and Jakes share an emotional moment alone in Jake’s room, the ...

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...ve been used to draw focus on this group by darkening the surrounding area. In summary, the special effects of the play were fairly lacking because there were limitations. The addition of lighting and better voice projection could have improved the performance.

In conclusion, the play had a powerful effect and used its available resources (e.g. props/setting) to the fullest. The actors were very talented and well-suited for the storyline. This performance is suitable for young people who are interested in history, particularly apartheid in South Africa, or anybody who enjoys a heartfelt play with many quirky jokes and musical moments. Director Mumbi Tindylebwa has done a good job in creating an enactment of a group of friends and their experience with a racist South African government. Anyone would agree that this play was an inspirational and moving performance.
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