The White Rabbit’s Clock: On the Function of the Clock in THE BALD SOPRANO

As one might expect from an absurdist play, Eugene Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano is one of those works you can’t help but be shocked into speechlessness by. With it’s awkward jokes, nonsensical dialogue, and innovative, yet eccentric, set design, it’s a play I suspect will stick with me for years to come. As an audience member, I couldn’t help but be reminded of such works as Alice in Wonderland, especially when watching the play live. In fact, I daresay it would have made more sense if I white rabbit in a waste-coat had been cued to hop along the stage at one point or another. At the very least, I wouldn’t have been any more surprised than I was by other aspects of the play if such a creative decision was made.

Of all the insane things that struck me, I think the most important, thematically, would have to be the use of the clock. Time and again, it helped to set the tone of the play. For one thing, We begin with the clock, chiming seventeen or so times, after which Mrs. Smith states “There, it’s nine o’clock,” (Lonesco, page 9 line 1). Of course, even when you consider military time, this statement by Mrs. Smith would be considered erroneous, especially in more conventional settings. In this play, however, it helps to accentuate the comedic effect of the characters’ dialog, such that what would otherwise be needlessly unintelligible becomes a thing worthy of laughter.

Throughout the play, we hear this clock again and again, chiming at random intervals that never match the hour on its face. Of course, while this absurdity continues to add to the comedy and overall awkwardness of the piece, it can also be said to act as a means of transition. More specifically, one could argue that Ionesco uses the clock’s seemingly arbitrary chiming to divide his play into more digestible sections, much like how traditional plays separate their plots into acts and scenes. Consider, for example, its usage when dealing with the meeting of Mr. and Mrs. Martin. Towards the end of their first dialog together, when they contemplate how “bizarre, curious, [and] strange” their similarities to one another are, we again hear the chiming of this rather unusual clock (page 18, line 11). At first, it’s heard, as the script puts it,  after “a rather long moment of silence,” after which it “strikes 29 times” (lines 27 – 28). Of course, its at this point that the two characters draw the conclusion that they must be each other’s spouses. In this way, one can say that the clock separated this moment into two scenes in the same act, whereby this revelation was the transition point between the two. Not long after this, however, we get another instance of the clock making itself known, after the Martins “sit together in the same armchair, their arms around each other, and fall asleep,” (page 19, lines 6 – 7). After this, the Smith family’s maid, Mary, steps in and gives some exposition. Given the contrast between these two moments, one could argue the moment which Mary and the moment with the two Martins function almost like different scenes, with the clock transitioning the two. Similar transitions occur throughout the play, such that, even if they aren’t as regular as those between traditional scenes and acts, they still serve a similar function, with the clock aiding the audience by providing them a the same feeling of plot progression.

Of course, there’s also the matter of the clock’s chiming becoming increasingly random, “nervous” even, as the play comes to the height of it’s madness (page 39, line 22). More towards the end, right after the Fire Chief exits the stage, the other characters begin spouting nonsense, becoming increasingly angry with one another by some line of reasoning only Ionesco might have understood definitively. In the UMF production of this play, the climax of this madness is marked not only by the nervous chimes of the clock, as Ionesco originally called for, but by the clock’s base actually beginning to swing like a pendulum. In this way, amongst the other functions this clock serves across the play, it would seem that it sometimes acts as a sort of barometer for the absurdity being shown on stage, itself becoming increasingly absurd as the characters reach a climax of what can only be described as utter insanity.

Overall, the play itself was truly interesting to watch. And, even if you left not knowing what to make of it, you likely didn’t leave without a certain sense of profundity, or at least something to chuckle about later. Whatever the sensation was, however, one cannot deny that, central to this play as a whole, was the clock, working to simultaneously guide and beguile the audience as they tried to discern the method behind the madness of The Bald Soprano. Without this rather ingenious plot device, it’s possible that the play would have had a harder time gaining the renown it did. Truly, it proved to be just as central to the story as any of the characters. Here’s hoping it has many more long years in the spot-light.

Bald Soprano Reflection

The play without question did its job at being nothing short of absurd. From the offsetting blue background to the oversexualized interaction between the fire chief and the maid, the play did a phenomenal job in illustrating that same absurdity portrayed in the text. I have to admit I had no faith that this play would be of any sort of entertainment or match-up to the text, but within the opening moments of the play, I realized I enjoyed the play more then the text itself. The text confused the hell out of me, and I guess seeing the play made the comedic side more visible, and a bit less random. With that being said the play is still absurd, but I understand now that that is the end goal to the play anyway, which is what makes it what it is.

I want to address some of the more obvious aspects of the play first that I had noticed. Firstly, the emotions within different conversations swopped out for one another compared to that within the text. The martins were no longer the “lively” relief to the text. Instead the Smith’s took that role in the production, and the Martin’s interactions were super boring to listen to in person, but I think that was what was intended, and it definitely made the portrayal stronger having that contrast. The art of defamiliarization was heavy throughout the play. This brings me to my next point, which lies with the changing of the accents. I love accents, and I was beyond stoked to hear a portrayal of a British accent, which can always be very well done or horrible to listen to. I thought the decision to use a traditional American dialogue, and tone was a smarter choice, because not only is faking an accent tough, but also it wouldn’t have added to the defamiliarization process, and given the play the fire that it had.

The clock was one of the most crucial aspects to the play for me. It felt like it never stopped ringing, and that added just made everything else going on seem more comedic, and ridiculous. The off-setting blue wall color, the clock ringing constantly, and all the other defamiliarization aspects of the play all lead to the end which I thought was awesome in person. The lighting added to just how crazy the play really is, and I think the cast, and director couldn’t have done a better job. The lightening fluctuated, and became more intense, and all the characters moved about, screaming, and yelling, and that’s the moment I realized how awesome the play really is. I have to be honest I didn’t care for the text at all, but after seeing the play, it put a new perspective, and appreciation for the absurdity behind the entire idea of the play itself, and I think on a deeper level, the play made me realize some things about our own lives that are also absurd. The whole concept of the absurd conversations made me think during the production about how across the globe, culture has desensitized us, and many many people are focusing their energy on all the wrong things in life. I looked deeper past the face value portion of the play, and tried to decipher it’s intentions, which in turn made it more enjoyable for me.


What? We’re All the Same

The UMF production of Eugene Ionesco’s “The Bald Soprano” was an excellent portrayal of the absurd, while not losing its audience. The comedic aspect of the play was effective, since some of the exchanges between the characters mirrored life. The opening scene between Mrs. Smith and her newspaper-reading husband was almost a familiar trope, where the husband acknowledges the wife he isn’t listening to go on and on about something to fill the silence. In this particular instance, Mr. Smith comments on the fact that the ages of the newborn are never listed but the ages are always listed in the obituaries. Mrs. Smith agrees with him which is perplexing because though she may be expected to agree as a wife, the age of a newborn baby is obvious. The conversation only gets more absurd when Mr. Smith announces the death of Bobby Watson. It would be assumed that he read it in the newspaper in his hands but then it seems he died a long time ago – but the length of the time always changes. Then there is a clarification between the couple to determine who exactly died. They use relationships to describe who is who which is generally how people would figure out who they’re talking about. In this case, all of the people they’re talking about are named Bobby Watson which gets funnier as you realize that literally everyone in this family has the same name. Again, this is almost how real life would be – just one or two things are off. The rest of the play progresses much the same.

There are increasingly more absurd moments, but a good portion of the interactions are nearly conventional. The end of the play is when it gets really weird. The characters start chanting common phrases but they lose all reality. The set reflects this break with flickering lights and the breaking of the clock. Had the play started out so odd, the audience would have been lost. The buildup of absurdity was steady enough to make it practically expected that the characters could lose their minds. Had the play ended after the lights went dark, the end would be a neat and tidy shipment to the looney bin. That is why I think the end is the best part – the repetition of the beginning of the play with Mr. and Mrs. Martin (if that’s who they really are) doing the same thing as the Smiths makes the audience question what everything they’d seen means. How many times do people sit in their living rooms knitting or reading the paper and have the same conversations? This production compared to the script we read in class was funnier, because watching the absurd is easier than reading it. The characters were Americanized which doesn’t make too much of a difference because if the Martins can replace the Smiths, their nationality doesn’t matter very much. This could be translated into any language and be relatable since the themes are universal.

The Bald Soprano

I went to see The Bald Soprano on Thursday night. It was certainly the most interesting play I have ever gone to see.  Ionesco makes a statement about language and how absurd and meaningless it is if those using it are unable to communicate it properly.  Ionesco also uses memory, or the lack of it, to portray the significance of language while also showing that reality is distorted. It begins normal enough, with the Smiths sitting in chair opposite of each other.  Once the Smiths begin speaking, one quickly realizes that this is not a normal English scene.  Throughout the conversations within the play, there is a pattern of the normal being made absurd through the use of language and memory.  The greatest example of this is when Mrs. Martin tells the story of the man she saw tying his shoe and the Smiths and Mr. Martin find this to be an incredible thing to see.  It again is shown when the story of the man reading the paper is told and the same reaction is given.  Another example is when Mrs. Smith reacts to Mr. Smith mentioning Bobby Watson.  Mr. Smith announces Bobby Watson’s death while reading the paper.  Mrs. Smith reacts in an expected way, appearing shocked at the news.  Mr. Smith then turns this normal and expected reaction into an absurd one when he announces that they attended the funeral for Bobby Watson two years ago.  Mrs. Smith then mentions Bobby Watson’s children, and then later says they have none.  She also reminds her husband that all of the Watson’s are named Bobby.

Time and reality also holds a level of significance within The Bald Soprano, contributing to the overall sense of absurdity.  Time is distorted, the clock never tells what time it actually is.  This begs the question, how do the Smiths do anything other than what is shown if they are unable to tell what time it is? I suppose this is part of why Mrs. Smith describes the great dinner they all had before saying that they had no dinner because they were waiting for the Martins to arrive.   This lack of time keeping pushed an overall sense of existential meaningless.  It implies that what is being seen is all that there is.  This is supported by the ending scene.  The Smiths and the Martins chant random sayings even after the stage goes dark.  When the lights return the Martins sit in the same place that the Smiths sat when the play opened, they are even saying the same exact things.  This lack of language, memory and time contributes to the distorted reality.  It also pushes the idea that this is a meaningless cycle that these characters must continue living in.

The Bald Soprano captures themes of language, memory, time and reality while showing how all four contribute to the absurdity and distortion of the other.  Overall, the absurdity throughout the entire play questioned and defied the idea of an objective reality.

Character Portrayals in The Bald Soprano

The UMF production of The Bald Soprano was brilliant. Everything about the play, from the oversized clock to the portrayal of the characters, was more than I could have hoped for. I was honestly unsure about how UMF would be able to pull off such an absurd show, but they passed with flying colors. All the choices that Melissa Thompson made, from the play being comedic instead of dramatic to how it ended by repeating the beginning with the Martins instead of the Smiths was wonderful, and I enjoyed every minute of the show. 

One of my favorite aspects of the play was the stark difference between the Martins and the Smiths. Making it clear that these two couples were different in personality was something that I was missing from reading the play. On paper, it seemed that the Martins and the Smiths could be interchangeable; the Smiths could be the Martins, and the Martins could be the Smiths. Nothing about their characters stood out, and perhaps that was Ionesco’s point. However, I loved Thompson’s interpretation. I loved that the audience had a clear distinction of the two couples, being that the Smiths, especially Mrs. Smith, were loud and obnoxious and the Martins were monotone. The differences in the couples added more comedy to the show, and also added an interesting element to the play that I had not seen previously by reading it. 

The difference between the Martins and the Smiths was seen throughout the show, but was especially prominent in the beginning. The show started out with Mr. and Mrs. Smith sitting in the living room, waiting for the Martins to arrive, having “normal” conversation, or at least as normal as The Bald Soprano can get. The portrayal of Mrs. Smith was actually pretty similar to what I had imagined while reading the play. Mrs. Smith was, as said previously, loud and obnoxious and loved the sound of her own voice. Mr. Smith was a bit louder than I had thought he would be, however. I imagined him more matter-of-fact in the script, but I really enjoyed how he was portrayed in the show. His loudness was equivalent to his wife’s loudness and it added to the difference between the two couples, and the similarities within the couples.

In contrast, the Martins started out very monotone in the show, which made their first scene together funnier and more ridiculous. I thought that the scene was impressively funny, as I was not expecting to laugh so much at their interaction. The body movements, the monotone voices, and the repetition of the same mirrored movements all added up to a wonderfully funny scene. Then, adding the end in which the two fall on the couch out of happiness of finally realizing that they are married and had found one another, only to have the audience be told that they are in fact not married, just made it all the more hilarious.

Both sets of couples were intriguing in their own way, being that they were from both sides of the spectrum. No one in real life is as bland and monotone as the Martins were portrayed in the show, and not many are as loud and obnoxious as the Smiths, at least that’s the hope.

Awkwardness in The Bald Soprano

I attended the Thursday night showing of The Bald Soprano, the first thing I noticed that wasn’t nearly as prominent in the book was the sheer awkwardness of everything in the play. In the book it just seemed like a bunch of British people yelling gibberish at each other, but it was so much more awkward when acted out. The audience actually started laughing out of pure discomfort several times throughout the play. The first few chuckles occurred when the clock sounded over and over and over and after about five times it became unsettling.

Each of the props were carefully selected to simultaneously fit in with the whole “perfect suburban family” theme, but also be as ridiculous as the dialogue. Even the yarn that Mrs. Smith is knitting is absurdly pink. The outfits were dramatic, the portraits were oversized, and the clock was giant, which all just added to the whole effect. The clock in itself is a character, it drew plenty of attention to itself with the sound effects and crazy motions, if it had been any other play there would have been no need for it to be so huge, but in The Bald Soprano it worked perfectly.

Every time the maid, played by Summer McCollough, spoke the audience laughed.  Sometimes it was out of discomfort, but other times it was because what she would say would further derail an already falling apart image of what this evening, or dinner, was supposed to be. After the whole scene of the Martins discovering that they know each other and are married and have a daughter, with so much in common that they live in the same apartment and sleep in the same bed, the maid, Mary (if that is her real name), just waltzes out and gleefully tells the audience that they are not in fact who they believe they have just discovered they are. She delivered many of her lines with such inflections that they sounded even more ridiculous.

It was a bit uncomfortable when the women started arguing with the men over whether when the doorbell rings someone is always there and someone is never there, each being so sure that they are right, but the last time the doorbell rang and it was the fire chief, played by Jonas Maines. As soon as he walked in the whole audience knew thing were about to get more awkward. The men and the women were fawning over him offering him a seat asking him to tell stories. His stories didn’t make much sense, but neither did much else in the play so it worked quite well. It was easy to see all of the characters had a little bit of a crush on the fire chief.

After a bit of ridiculous story telling, the maid walked in, asking to tell a story. At first the Martins and the Smiths were yelling that she was out of place, but the fire chief wanted to hear. They realized they both knew each other and boy they did not hold back at all. They both started exaggerating their lines and adding a breathiness to them, and then began advancing towards each other with blatant sexual tension. The whole audience started giggle and squirming watching them go further and further. The other characters were appalled, although they didn’t lose any respect for the fire chief. The whole room physically felt awkward watching the two paw at each other, but it was so funny, and the audience’s reactions just made it funnier. Finally, the maid had to be carried out and the characters each composed themselves and calmly, but dramatically, said goodbye to the fire chief.

Thoughts on the Bald Soprano

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this production of the Bald Soprano as it is a show that allows for a variety of interpretations. When I went to the theater, I was completely unsure of what direction this show would go in. I absolutely adore the script and really enjoy just how absurd of a show it is and the ways in which in points out the absurdity of the mundane. However, it’s a show that can be produced in so many different ways. The entire thing could have been done in the deadpan fashion that the Martins portrayed upon their introduction, or it could have been played up for laughs and the comedic aspects of the show could have been really accentuated. There isn’t really a wrong a way to direct this show because it’s an absurdist play. No matter how it is portrayed and what decisions the actors or directors make, the show will always be absurd.

I was excited to see what way that UMF would take this show and overall found myself greatly enjoying the interpretation and production. I found the play comedic as I read it, but didn’t necessarily walk away from the reading viewing it as a comedic show overall. However, the show was directed in quite a humorous way. I think I found the show to have its funniest moment when the Martins and Smiths are gossiping about the man bending over to tie his shoe. Now, when I was reading the play, this moment didn’t really grasp my attention. It didn’t stand out to me and I didn’t really take the time to look more in depth at that moment. In the show, this moment stood out much more to me and the absurdity of gossip became glaringly clear. These were grown people giggling and gushing over a moment that had nothing to do with them and had no impact upon them. This moment felt so clear to me in the play and I thought it was well directed and acted. It truly highlighted the ways in which gossip is part of everyday life and seen as natural, and is so incredibly absurd as well.

I think the choice to switch over from an overexaggerated English setting to the more familiar American setting was a choice that worked well. It freed up the actors from having to use accents and put the show into a setting that was more familiar for audience members. Moments where terms like “bloody” were used, did admittedly make me question the setting briefly. Overall though, I think the setting change worked incredibly well. I think that the more familiar setting allowed for the show to become even more unfamiliar and confusing for the audience. Usually when an audience leaves a theater there is some sort of moral to be left with or a rather clear type of feeling. That isn’t the case at all with the Bald Soprano. This show doesn’t leave audience members feeling one specific and defined way. Some people left that show loving it and feeling thoroughly amused. Others left the theater and felt frustrated by the lack of clearness throughout the show. That’s part of the point of this show and that’s something that I personally really enjoy.

I was glad for the oppurtunity to see the show on stage. There were certainly aspects that I had trouble visualizing when I was reading the script and it was nice to see the show come to life. I feel like getting the chance to read the script and see the show at the same time was highly beneficial. It gave me a higher level of understanding about the show and also made it so that I was more invested within the play. I think having both read and seen the play allowed for me to make more connections than I otherwise would have. Instead of just brushing it all off as absurdity, I was able to recognize that this show acts as a commentary on the absurdity of everyday life.



Defamiliarization in “The Bald Soprano”

I attended Saturday night’s performance of “The Bald Soprano.”Seeing the play performed really emphasized the absurd nature of the poem making it more entertaining and understandable in some aspects. I can definitely see how one could apply defamiliarization as a technique in absurdist theater because of the fact that it destroys the common notions and images of conventional theater.  

While watching it I noted that that this production was different due to the fact that instead of making the couples stereo-typically British, they rather make them overtly American. There were several aspects that came together to make this performance really work. The first thing that I noticed was the way both conversation between occur. When reading the play it the conversation between the Smiths seemed to read as dry and calm, while the Martins conversation seemed to be rather excited and explosive. When it was performed, they took the absurdist nature to heart performing the Smiths rather habitual scene with an excitable nature while the Martin’s seemingly odd situation with a dry and almost tedious nature. Swapping the assumed emotions of the scene was something that definitely worked towards the absurdist nature of the play and to defamiliarize the audience with they typical emotions that might associate with said scene.

Another interesting aspect to discuss is the use of the clock, something that became apparently clear to me while watching the play was the almost hypnotic effect the chimes of the clock has on the actions and behaviors of the characters. For example, after each set of the chimes the behavior of the character’s seemed to become more and more absurd. Another moment of defamiliarization in the play comes from use of the clock. It defamiliarizes us with traditional uses of a clock. In the very beginning, the number of chimes do not seem to match the time that is given by Mrs. Smith. It also seems poke fun at the mundane uptight nature of the that was familiar to the time period in which the play was set. Defamiliarizing us, as the audience, to the traditional behavior of gender roles and class. For example, several instances were Mrs. Smith talks to Mr. Smith, seem out of nature for the time period.

The class defamiliarization comes into play when we see the behavior of the maid in the her final scene. She is seen and heard unlike the traditional nature being more of a “you are to been seen and not heard” mentality when it came to the interactions of servants and upper class. The final moment of defamiliarization comes, ultimately, when the clock fell apart, all hell breaks loose on stage. This chaos being the climax of the play defamiliarizes the traditional moments of resolution that typical come in plays, thus leaving the audience in shock and confusion as to what is going on. When this is followed by the lights going dark for an extended period of time, leading us to believe that it was the end and then suddenly the lights coming back on setting the audience back to the beginning of the play, the only difference being the switching of the actors is also a fairly absurd moment. Ionesco’s absurdity allows defamiliarization in different forms from set, to character behavior and the flow of a play as well.

On the Table: Comedy and Sexuality in The Bald Soprano

I was beyond glad to see that Melissa Thompson came at The Bald Soprano from a comedic standpoint rather than a dramatic one, because different interpretations can yield different results. On the one hand, the theater of the absurd can be viewed through an analytic lens, making incisive social commentary by way of defamiliarization and existential shock. Take Artaud’s To Have Done With the Judgment of God, a raving, vitriolic attack on anyone and everyone, from the clergy to the political elite to the beggars in the alley. While the performance is unsettling up to and beyond a comic note, it is nonetheless a social critique meant to capture the attention of listeners. It could be taken at face value as an absurdly funny piece of work, but its message would be lost in the process.

On the other hand, the theater of the absurd is inherently funny, and should maybe not be taken too seriously. Scholars and thespians alike have a tendency to seek out themes and elements in a work which don’t really exist. Sometimes, things are just funny. For instance, the portrayal of the Fire Chief was comedy gold. His old Hollywood mannerisms and his rapid, staggered way of speaking – like a mix between David Puddy and William Shatner – made him an absolutely hysterical character. Of course, the Fire Chief is not necessarily an unfunny character on paper, but his portrayal onstage was a brilliant choice which added a real element of fun to the experience. I thought letting the natural comedy of the play come through let the absurdity flow, if you will. Rather than suffocating it with an analytical pillow, the director embraced the comedic side of the play, and the resulting absurdity was far more entertaining than a dramatic interpretation of the play would have been.

By that same token, the portrayal of Mr. and Mrs. Martin was another compelling element of the production. The choices the actors made for the characters brought a new sense of depth to them. On paper, Mr. and Mrs. Martin are bland, albeit comically nonsensical, characters. Nothing about them intrigued me beyond their most basic trait of babbling, and even then, the word “intrigued” is being used liberally. But with the way the actors portrayed Mr. and Mrs. Martin, like some sort of depraved androids whose personalities are only exposed after a heavily implied liaison on the couch, made them really pop out as characters.

The choice to create these ultra-dull personalities for the Martins was a stroke of genius. I don’t know what previous productions of this play have done with the characters, but I thought their absurdity increased tenfold by speaking in a wholly uninterested monotone. With every utterance of “good God what a coincidence”, the bit got funnier. And the choice to have their personalities lit aflame by a bout of voracious lovemaking was unthinkably funny. Nothing says “this marriage is over” like being unable to conjure a smile or throw a loving glance without first having your basest needs met by the person you love. Mr. and Mrs. Martin played the role to perfection.

The Bald Soprano: UMF Production

This weekend, when I attended UMF’s production of Eugene Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano, I paid careful attention to the set and the props that were used. I was very curious after reading the play, how the actual production of it would look, and I made some interesting observations about the artistic choices that were made. Due to the absurdist nature of the play, I was curious as to how this might impact the practical appearance of the set, the costumes and the props.

What I noticed about the set to begin with, was that it was almost normal, but there was a very slight feeling of absurdity to it. It was almost realistic, but wasn’t. The walls of the living room were an exaggerated shade of blue, the portraits on the wall were comically large. The clock on the wall, one of the main focal points, was also exaggerated to be larger than usual. Everything about the set, props and costumes felt almost normal but slightly of kilter.

I thought the aesthetic was perfect for this play. On the surface, The Bald Soprano has the allusion of being a normal play, and the set helps create that illusion. As the story progresses, and the play reveals itself as being more of an anti-play, the aesthetic of the set begins to feel less realistic. The clock on the wall looks like a normal clock, but it does not operate like one, eventually going out of control and swinging back and forth on the wall. Similarly, on the surface the play looks like a normal play, but it does not operate like one.

In addition to the actual set, there were other elements of the visual appearance of the play that contributed to the feeling of absurdity. I was surprised by the effect that the lighting had on the general mood of what was going on. As things got more and more absurd, the lighting grew dimmer and changed colors a bit, creating a feeling of unease or abnormality. Occasionally a spotlight was used for dramatic effect, but what was being dramatized by the use of the spotlight was impossible to differentiate from the absurd drama of every other scene that it just added to the disjointed humor. The set and lighting subtly created the feeling of one losing touch with reality, without fully letting go of it.

The costumes were realistic to what people in the 50s might actually wear, and I think having the characters look relatively normal made a nice contrast to the way they were behaving. By making the characters seem like rational and proper adults, it only made what was actually going on all the more absurd.

The set was not very elaborate, and neither were the costumes, props or lighting, but the combination of these things was just the right balance of normal and abnormal. It left me second guessing what was normal and what was askew and I think this was a fitting sensation to experience during this particular play.