After over four weeks of rehearsing, Florida Southern College’s Theatre Department put on a timeless play. “Electra” was performed in the Buckner Theatre on April 3 through April 13.
“Electra” is a play that originated in Greek mythology and was written by Sophocles. The main character, Electra, struggles with her grief and mourning for the murder of her father, Agamemnon. The play showcases her journey from hopelessness and pain to revenge and relief.
The play was directed by Paul Bawek, and he chose to use the Nicholas Rudal adaptation of “Electra.” Jewel Blakeslee played the title role.
“My favorite part of the show would have to be the middle of the first act,” Blakeslee said. “I get to really let go in one of my monologues. It feels really good to emote so much when I am yelling about my mother, and it gets pretty intense.”
Blakeslee also mentioned that “there are a few reasons [I love being Electra]; the first being that I have this amazing opportunity. I am very grateful to be where I am and to have the privilege to challenge myself with this role: it is really unlike anything I have done. And of course, the make-up and costumes are an exciting plus [to being in the role].”
Although the acting was exceptional, it seems that many of the audience members thought the classic story was boring, as about half left during intermission when I attended.
Plus, the excessive drum banging in each scene was more than enough to drive people away by giving them headaches.
Bawek’s choice to do the show seems like a mistake. The theatre was more than half empty to begin with and the anti-climatic show drove even more out.
The choice to keep the story set in one outdoor courtyard only added to the show’s slowness and the audience’s overall boredom. Most of the chorus women even looked bored throughout the show.
Even though the show itself was sub-par, it should be stressed that the acting was still phenomenal. Blakeslee played the role of Electra to a tee and proved once again the she can act in any role and make it believable and fantastic. Mister Fitzgerald as Orestes had a strong presence on stage and he stayed true to the character.
In addition, one of the main chorus women, Brianna Hill, stood out as the best actress in the chorus. She embodied her character and clearly had the best facial and body expressions.
Overall, the choice of doing “Electra” was not the best one for the Theatre Department. Although it showcased great acting, it drove out the audience. A good show can only be good if people are there to see it.