Last Sunday, I had the opportunity to watch the timeless Shakespearean classic and probably one of the most recognizable theatrical pieces, Romeo and Juliet, as performed by the University of Missouri’s theatre troupe.
I love theatre, but I wasn’t as enthusiastic about the performance simply because Romeo & Juliet is so well known it leaves out any element for surprise. And that fault doesn’t lie with the actors or directors, there’s only so many ways to revamp a classic without deviating too far from the original story line.
Besides my prior disposition on the piece itself, I thought the play overall was performed quite well, this definitely wasn’t some average high school play. The professional feel comes from the ambiance of the venue itself, along with the level of acting displayed, and coupled with the impressive props and their part in the play. Even from the balcony I was able to hear the muffled cries of Juliet, and as a person who acted on a competitive drama team, that is not the easiest task to accomplish.
Another thing I feel made an impact on setting this performance apart from the rest was the use of a diverse cast. Romeo along with the king and queen were all people of color, which was a refreshing change from the usual whitewashed cast that everyone is used to. I applaud the director for making that casting decision. He or she could have easily had them fill the “quota” and placed them as an extra or a character of lesser importance, but they instead used their creative control to give them parts of value. That’s something worth appreciating.
In regards to props, this was another major component that made this performance keep an audience engaged for the duration of 3 hours. One of my suitemates who is minoring in theatre actually had a hand in constructing the backdrop to portray Italy so I was able to hear her account of making this play come to life. The grand staircase and balcony effortlessly transitioned from the first scene to curtain call. Also the costumes I thought were lovely although I wondered if the prints were fitting for this time frame. It wasn’t the right type of regal in my opinion, but I understand that style of dress is up for interpretation.
A great performance overall, talented group with amazing prospects for the future. Hopefully this won’t be the last work I see from them in my time at Mizzou.
This doesn’t address any specific journalism event, but an overall ethics evoking discussion about the portrayal of news from the Middle East.
Media in and out of itself is supposed to be an unbiased objective source of information, but for reasons probably having to do with the political machines that run this country a lot of the times it’s easy for media to misconstrue information or present it in a way that almost seems pseudo factual.
This information is nothing new, but when events happen in the Middle East there’s such a gross bias placed onto middle eastern citizens and others who inhabit the region.
Particularly when it comes to issues of conflict and war. During wartimes the amount of casualties of our own neighbors and fellow Americans are important figures. What’s less important is the collateral damage happening abroad to innocent bystanders who maintain no stake in the conflict and these bystanders include children, mothers, fathers and other regular people who have lost their lives.
Continuing off of casualties, you will rarely see the death of Americans or Europeans in the media or pictures of dead Americans or Europeans out of respect for the families and loved ones, and on the rare occasions they are shown, heavy criticism will soon follow. However, these same media outlets will not hesitate to show live feed or images of the dead bodies of Palestinian/Syrian/Israeli lying cold and lifeless face down in the dirt, caught in the crossfire they had no part in. There’s a problem when that’s just news, but when it comes to different nationalities then you have to consider respect for loss of life? I don’t get it. People have become so desensitized to issues that happen outside their own borders to the point where they don’t recognize those people as people just like themselves trying to survive in the world.
The same way nudity is portrayed, and the way you would see it censored in western civilization, other places don’t get the same courtesies. Even if more exposure is relative to certain cultures, shouldn’t the media extend the same respect for modesty that is so given to western civilization and society? Where is the ethics and morality in this topic?
Ethics is in some ways subjective, but in the least you should extend the same respects and courtesies to humans alike and not try to go around ethics by using culture as some type of media scapegoat.