Society Reflected?

mirrorWe have seen a wide range of styles of plays this semester. Most of the plays are contemporary, but even if they are not, many people have spent many, many hours producing them.

So – if art is a reflection of our society – what are these plays saying about our society? Why do you think the artists and producers chose to produce them now? Do you see a connection among the themes? Or are the disparate themes significant in their own right?
Keep in mind, even if art is a mirror of society, that mirror doesn’t always give a clear reflection.

Please post your replies below.

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94 Responses to Society Reflected?

  1. Walter Egner says:

    So far, the majority of the plays have not necessarily reflected our society or “today’s society”. Yes bits and pieces of each play can relate, but then they can also relate to all societies throughout time. With the exception of Assassin, the plays have connected more to past societies. Assassin on the other hand was about a topic that is an issue in today’s society. The play hits upon the controversial and highly debated topic of legal and illegal hits in the NFL. The artists and producers chose to produce Assassin probably due to the increase of concussions in the NFL and other injuries as well.
    The set of themes of each play sometimes were similar or the same as the set of themes from others, however, I would say that there is not really a distinct connection amongst them. For example, a theme from The Liar, such as “the truth always comes out,” is not really connected in any way to themes of Silent Night like “peace” and “the coming together in even the toughest times”. On the other hand, there is a theme of vengeance in both Under the Whaleback and Assassin. Though, like I said, no true connection between all the shows.

  2. faisal alhilal says:

    I believe that art is the best way to describe our society. Also, how people are living in the society. Therefore, art is a reflection of our society, for example, Under The Whaleback is describing how people were living in the past and how life was hard for people to make money. When we saw the Under The Whaleback I found out how life was hard for people at that time. People at that time knew fishing was dangerous and many people got killed. However, they did not have another choice but fishing to make money.
    I think the artists and producers chose to produce the plays at this time to show us how life was hard but people were able to deal with it. Therefore, we have to learn from the plays how life has changed to be better in different ways.

  3. Nikki James says:

    We have seen a variety of plays this semester composed of different stories and the way the theater and actors perform it. Anything created by society is a reflection of society. We create it sometimes to replicate our lives in a fictitious way, or to show something that has occurred in the past. These plays can tell a real life story, like Assassin or Seminar. Assassin depicts the real life of 2 NFL players and they hardships they had to deal with. Seminar is a comedy that is used to show a writing class and the importance of teachers and respect. Sometimes they can represent a life like Houdini. Houdini was a representation of the greatest entertainment of his time. Just recently they came out with the Houdini play to show society how great he really was. A lot of plays and movies are representations of something that has occurred in the past like Assassin and Houdini. The crucible too shows the troubles during the Salem Witch trials. Silent night told a tale of war and the Christmas truce. These plays give us a visual and real representation of history. Sometimes they are like The liar and are completely fiction but represents the way people spoke and dressed back then. Art is a reflection of society, but it can be twisted and changed. I don’t believe there is a true theme between all of these productions.

  4. Alexander Ventresca says:

    As stated, we have seen a wide range of plays this semester. The question is how accurate does each play reflect society. In class, we mentioned how “The Crucible” was a metaphor for communism in the 1950s; many writers were being blacklisted because of assumptions of propaganda or treason — “McCarthyism.” Arthur Miller, author of “The Crucible,” evidently wanted to illustrate McCarthyism through a story in Salem, MA, the subject being witch-hunts. The result was a very accurate reflection.
    Personally, I’d like to talk about the play we just saw last night: “Seminar.” This was an incredibly accurate depiction of modern-day writers in America. The story showcases incredibly diverse characters who incidentally all strive for the same goal: to be a great writer. The pretentious yuppie; the bored, wealthy inherent; the slut; and the insecure, broke, “pussy,” according to their writing teacher. I personally thought this was the strongest production we have witnessed thus far, a testament to reality and an absolute reflection of society.
    Many of the playwright’s messages was that people are willing to spend $5,000 for writing classes — especially individuals who cannot even pay their rent, let alone be man enough to reveal his writing in the class. Another extremely accurate depiction of society are the characters and how the stereotypes of each of them actually exist.

  5. ashley palmer says:

    Art is reflection of our society with respect to time and history. With various themes, topic and issues these productions imitate and alter perceptions of society. Artists and producers capture moments in time and portray these moments with humor, drama, action, horror, thriller or fantasy. Plays become specific and particular views of society by creating characters and settings. For example when we attended the play Silent Night, you could tell where and when in time the producer wanted the audience to experience. The moment in time was described with clothing, settings, dialogue and theme. Now although themes to art can cross time, they are often depicted in ways that are direct it to a specific moment. Plays like this mirror hardships, relationships, societal issues and reactions. I think certain productions are picked today because they are relevant to today’s issues and topics. Among the plays we have seen as a class I feel as though a connected theme would the development and destruction of relationships. In each play there was a character that was either trying to establish a relationship or fighting to save one. For example, in Assassin the two characters were battling with each other due to the nature of their meeting, Silent Night portrayed the relationship between men and their countries. Art is a mirror of society because they provide altered views of society in various artistic mediums; it becomes the visual voice of the people.

  6. Zhane Holman says:

    From the different plays we have seen, I’ve observed the subtle mentions of sex (Donte’s description of the “pomegranate” in The Liar, Norman impregnating Roc’s fiancé in Under the Whaleback, Izzy’s overly sexual manner in Seminar, etc), the idea of success and being well known (The Assassin and The Life and Death of Harry Houdini), and simply the struggle of just trying to survive when your surroundings are changing rapidly around you (Silent Night, The Crucible). There are other themes and concepts that take place but these are the three that stand out to me. In relations to our society of today they hit dead on. Sex has shed its label of being taboo and has become one of the best selling ideas of our generation. While being successful has always been a goal, it really have become prevalent now with the lack of jobs and the rising costs of things people need to simply survive. Lastly the struggle of trying to adapt to your ever changing surroundings is definitely important in our world especially with the newfound technology, debates on laws, and overall way of living. So yes, I do think these plays are a reflection of our society and their timing is perfect because it’s exactly what we’re dealing with now.

  7. Kate McCann says:

    I guess it’s hard to connect all of the plays together but I definitely see a theme of career choices and reputations that string along in most of the plays. It has to do with who you are. Whether in Assassin, where the ex-football players’ career led to his reputation change for the rest of his life, or how John Proctor’s reputation changed based on the society he was living in, all of the plays show the importance of that human condition.

    Other plays look more at how careers make your reputation, like in Under the Whaleback, where each character had his own persona at the sea, and at home. Or Seminar, where it is so important to be known just to get a foot in the door with your career, and be known through that outlet.

    It’s obvious that our society today is driven by these things. Money, power and our influence over other people. The plays could be about love, or a bunch of artists making sculptors and listening to ambient music, but they’re not. They are pieces of art about a driven society, whether in a beneficial manner or not. It shows what is important to us as a whole, though maybe not the individual.

    Obviously some are about times other than now, but the fact that the director chose to display them to the public now, is making a statement just in that itself. History repeats, and the human condition doesn’t really change all that much.

  8. Taylor Denning says:

    I agree that art is a reflection of society, but I do not necessarily think that means our society. We have to remember that some of these plays are taking place in past events or history. However, just because they took place in history does not mean that our society cannot take something away from the show. For example, The Liar took place many years ago and had no relevance to today other than its a comedy show; I think differently though. The Liar had a meaningful message of lying gets you nowhere in life other than more lying and people today do like to lie.

    I do not necessarily think the shows we have seen are saying something about our society, rather, they are messages society can take or leave. Every producer has a reason for producing now. Whether it be a situation happening in the country that is relevant, or an old time story with a good moral to remind the society of, every producer has a reason for producing a show. I think out of most the plays we have seen, the producers have chosen to do these plays because they have good morals. Assassin was relevant to what was happening in society as well as Seminar. But, The Liar and Under the Whaleback were more of history/moral plays. I also think that every theme is its own theme and they may have very small connections, but there are none that are obvious to me.

  9. Zahnay Blakney says:

    Art is definitely a reflection of our society, but i think it is one of many other things that show a reflection of our society. It also depends on who’s perspective of our society it is being seen from. For instance Assassin focused on fame, being relevant in media and the negative effects it can have on someone. Under the Whaleback focused on how everything isn’t always what it seems. These are just two of many more themes that show a reflection on our society. Some reflections of our society aren’t always clear however, for instance Under the Whaleback purpose wasn’t very clear to me till we discussed it in class. Art is important in our society because it shows our creative nature and it also reflects on everyday situations in a unique way. I believe producers choose to embark on these productions that influence our society because they want to get a point across to there audience. Art is a great way of expressing yourself in a creative manner. The producers produce these shows because they want there audience to get something from it and to see things from a new perspective. There are some connections between the themes of plays, but i believe each play has its own unique purpose, the purpose might be similar, but no play embarks on it the same exact way. For instance Assassin and The Life Of Harry Houdini both focus on fame and its negative affects on a person but they embark on proving this point in two totally different ways.

  10. Caroline Mancuso says:

    Plays are a reflection to our past as we have seen in most of the plays we saw this semester. Silent Night, The Crucible, and Harry Houdini are three plays that reflected to our past history/society and are being presented to us through either a play or opera. Most of the plays we have seen this semester do not relate so much to our society now but more towards societies in the past. Two plays that that relate to our current society would be Assassin and Seminar. Even though Assassin happened years back, the accident the football players got in still happens in our society today and will continue in years to come in the sport of football. I think the producers chose this play to perform because it teaches the audience what is behind every injury a player has. Not only the struggles in health but friendship and job wise. Everyone in today’s society will say when I get older I want to be a professional football player just like Payton Manning but no one really knows how your life will change or play out if one bad accident occurs in your career. In our society we only see the good in football such as becoming famous, making millions of dollars, and only having to play football for a living. No one sees the bad in football which I think the producers decided to show such as lifelong injuries and loosing a friend and job due to a freak accident. Also in the play Silent Night i think the producers decided to put on this play especially as an opera to inform the audience of the war in a different way then they normally would learn about it. Normally we learn about history in books, school, people who maybe were involved in the war or who lived back then. In this play though we were shown a different style of learning about what took place back in this time period. I think the producers had in mind to change it up so the audience was not learning about the war as they usually would but in a more interesting form, an opera. I think in both these plays the themes were similar such as “life struggles” or “truce”. In both plays they were trying to stop fighting and become civil with another bur also faced adversity along the way.

  11. Patrick O'Reilly says:

    What the overlying themes these shows have had are suggesting that were fucked. A show like The Crucible which is a semi-historic drama, written during McCarthyism in the 1950’s and being put on again, just shows society’s inability to learn. Under the whale back clearly represents what’s going on in America right now, remember the dot com bust, or the real estate bubble, more get rich quick schemes. The Liar’s acceptance at the end of the show would have only been clearer if they elected him to office, instead of letting him marry into more money. They should have run him off with pitch forks. The dinner party in Silent Night is an old and often repeated representation of how poor folks felt about rich folks sending the poor off to war, while the rich sit around in luxury. The North Plan, if you can’t figure out that one’s significance, well an old navy term describes it best. Bohica. (Bend over here it comes again). Assassin, aside from saying football is violent is commenting on why Americans love the violence so much. What does that say about our society when they compare us to Romans enjoying a nice sunny day at the death match? Houdini and Seminar both comment on how materialistic our society has become, when a poor immigrant Jew becomes the biggest entertainer in the world, and he’s still wondering if he’s happy, followed by the cast of Seminar not even attempting to make it on their own, using everyone else for personal advancement. The cast didn’t even attempt to make it on their own, like Houdini did, and yet, Houdini would still struggle with his own, well deserved success. Times have changed and so have the people, but I think all these plays portray a rather bleak future considering our inability to learn.

  12. Alicia Wennberg says:

    Art as in form of theatre can reflect our society. I think that The Life and Death of Harry Houdini and Seminar are clear reflections of today’s society. The plays show us what we as a society today value very much – success and fame and our struggle to get it. The plays also show us the complications in life and our struggles to reach the top and what involves getting there. They show us that the journey to get there is not a straight line to success, but that it is complicated. The plays show us that the key behind success is hard work and ups and downs. The Life and Death of Harry Houdini is a play about his struggle to get to the top and factors that affect him to get there/not get there as love, death and talent. Seminar shows us the same idea, but in a more modern environment – New York City 2013 – which really reflects survival of the fittest: There are thousands of writers in New York CIty, but there are only a few of them who get the fame. It shows us how desperate we are to be the one out of a thousands and how much we are willing to pay, in this case money, in order to survive in the jungle. It is not just these two plays that reflects our society at that aspect, but personally I thought these plays gave the clearest message. There is a connection among the plays, even though they all have their own right to a certain extent. I can see that they reflect the society’s need for basic human needs as love, family, friendship and success. I think they all involve these things because they are of human interest, and we want to go see plays that we can relate to in one way or another.

  13. Sean O'Connell says:

    All of these can be a reflection on our society. It may not directly reflect all of us but it can reflect our ideas or actions. For instance, Assassin, reflected the idea that society is highlighting the problem of concussions in sports. The play surrounded this concern about injuries that effect player’s lives forever and addresses that it needs to be resolved. Another example could be The Crucible which brings the idea that society is scared when they are accused of something that is looked down upon. Society also immediately pushes the blame on someone else as well. All of these plays reflect some part of our society from what is right and wrong to the problems that we face every day. The plays also were produced specifically for this time period. Many people would question why The Crucible would be shown in 2013 which first of all is a play was based on an event that happened in the 1600’s and was written in the 1950’s.. However the idea that people in today’s society similar to the characters in the play do not like to be blamed for wrongdoings and will shift the blame to someone else. All the plays that we have seen so far reflect today’s society with both the time that it was produced and the themes that occur in them as well

  14. Joney Mai says:

    I believe that art is based on how one perceives society. From all the plays that we have seen, i feel that these plays describe our society as conflicted and our individual perception is easily influenced by society. Each play is presented a problem (conflict) and the main character overcomes many obstacles and comes up with a resolution.
    I think that the artists and producers choose to produce them now because some artist want to reinvent history. For instance, the Opera Play was a live war play between the German, British, and American. i feel like this play was reenacting how the war was between the 3 countries. This allowed the audience viewing the play see and learn from the Opera.
    I feel like the themes are significant to their own right. Each play relates to a different theme. The producers and artist each have their own personal view on how they want the play to be introduced and perceived. Each play has their own unique theme that is broadcasted throughout the play. For instance, Seminar was about the life of writers and a professor whereas the Assassin was about an ex-football player and his opponents son whom seeked revenge. Both plays showed different themes and settings. How the artist and producers portray the play with the lighting, sound, and design changes the atmosphere severely.

  15. Bridget Sutcliffe says:

    We have seen many different plays and most of them were very creative. These plays say a lot about our society. It shows how talented people are and how ‘out of the box’ people think when coming up with different plays. On all the plays we have seen so far, you can definitely tell how many hours are put into it and how hard the actors and actresses work to memorize all the lines and different moves that they have to do. Producers chose to produce the plays now because they want to show that there are a wide variety of different plays and also show what life was like long ago. Some of the plays we have seen are very different from the ones I have seen in the past. They went from seeing a two-person show, to where we went back stage or were actually on the stage looking at the seats where we normally sit. I feel as if the some producers take their producing to a whole new level; which is a good thing.
    I do see a somewhat connection with the themes of the plays we saw. I see that most of the themes give us a life meaning. For instance, like to never lie to someone because it can all turn bad, to try to stop fighting and get along with others. In a couple of the plays, it was hard to pick out a theme because some did not really have one. People could probably find many different themes, but I think that most of the plays we saw had a connection with the themes.

  16. Nahome Menker says:

    I believe there art is the best was to reflect what the society is thinking about or just a reflection of way of life. But most of the plays we seen reflect the past life style of the word. So far Assassin looks the most recent story telling which is still the current problem of our society with our sports. Most people might watch this play and just say well it’s a good play and just quite about it. But as for me it creates a question and conversation to talk about sport safety and talk with other people. I do not necessarily think the show we have seen are saying something about our society, rather, they are messages society cane take or leave. Every producer has a reason for producing now, whether it be a situation happening in the country that is reverent. I think most of the plays we see producers have chosen to do these plays because they have good morals.

  17. Maia barnes says:

    I think that the plays we have seen are all connected to our society. Whether they are referring to past or present event, the theme in each play is relevant to themes and views on society in almost any time period. Even if the event the play is about is not currently happening, the play is being produced because the producer and director either want its theme to be talked about within society, or they are highlighting something that is already being talked about. Some plays are produced at a certain time to show how much society has changed. A play can show this by either just allowing the audience to compare the time to the play to present time and compare the two, or by the technical ways in which the play is produced which show how advanced society has become. It seems that many plays we have seen, with exception of the crucible, have taken a modern twist on the piece whether it be the plot itself or the technology in the way the play is produced. For example, Under the Whaleback is not necessarily the most modern plot, but the set was very advanced; the stage was a ship and not only that but it moved side to side with added sounds. There are many different reasons in which plays are either made or reproduced, and I think it is always to highlight the ways in which our society is developing and changing.

  18. Ajila Koshy says:

    I do believe the plays we saw are in some sense the reflection of the society we live in. However, I believe plays exaggerate certain act to tell their audience the significance of certain act. These plays tell us how little things in our life which we do not give importance to are actually a very important part of our life. These plays depict a form of art which helps us to sit back and view how our society is instead of taking part in it. I believe the artists and producers chose certain plays to produce them now because even though the act is related to a past event, it still is very relevant in todays time. I think one theme that connects the different play we saw this semester is the struggle that each character depicts to gain something or to be successful. Each play showed how truth and hard work can always lead to success, which clearly is relevant in todays time where we cannot survive without putting effort to the thing we want.

  19. Paulette Palmer says:

    Art definitely does reflect the way that society is in the real world. Take the last play that we all saw for example. In the play Seminar, all five of the writers were in the program together but they were in the program for their own self advantage and for their own self personal wants, needs, and goals. All of the characters were writers trying to make it big but they were getting and generating ideas off of each other to get where they wanted to be in life, as how society acts today. For this play, it is not like a play of this nature has never been written before, but to make a play now is to show how the world acts now and how it was in past years as well. This play can connect to Under The Whaleback because all of the characters on the boat were all there together and were friends but it was still every man for themselves. You have to do what is best for you because no one else is going to sit there and do everything for you or give you all the answers to life. All of the themes in both plays are a very true reflection of society today and the way people act and how they think.

  20. Rachel Sload says:

    I don’t believe that the plays we saw this semester were a representation of the society that we live in today. I feel as though most of the plays we saw related more to societies before ours. For instance, the opera, I know for a fact that my age group does not usually appreciate such art. It obviously took place a while back over a war; the issues that the main characters had in the opera were by no means issues that we have today. Same with Houdini; there wasn’t too much in that play that was relate-able either. Magic is not a large part of our society or even in the entertainment industry. I suppose that The Liar showed some connections to our society. It showed how lies can pile and pile up and that is something we’re always going to have to deal with. But other than that, I don’t believe that the plays we saw connected too well with our current society.

  21. Siquette Williams says:

    Art has a very large impact on and at times can be a reflection on society. Some of the plays we saw do create this mirror reflection. Often it may be distorted image but nevertheless a reflection. Just thinking back to the plays we saw some of the themes and plots schemes in the plays were those that could happen to people in an average world. These plays are saying so much about our society but at the same time so little. For example, the Liar the play we saw here on campus is saying something about peoples’ honesty and integrity also while putting a negative spin on something that sometimes in life can be a good thing. In the Assassin, the issues of pride and professional sport safety, as well as the idea of empathy are addressed. In the play The Life and death of Harry Houdini, the theme of people letting an obsession with success of something else take over their life and control their happiness. All of the plays say one thing or another about a problem or issue that people deal with in the world.
    Artist and producers chose these plays based on what is going on in the world and what is important now. As I mentioned earlier The Assassin the idea of professional sport safety is a really big topic of discussion in the sports field, which I would guess had something to do with the producer and director choosing this story. Some themes often connect in some ways but not always.

  22. Asante Lewis says:

    Like stated in our text, one factor of art production is the monetary value associated with it. For years shows like silent night, and the crucible have been produced in theaters because time and time again it is a safe bet for making money. Once a blue print is drawn it leads the way for many look a likes, and botched version of it to be released. Art work being so similar today leads me to believe that it is a subtle representation of our society as safe and cowards. Its safer to stick to the normal mediums of art but to break the boundaries like some of the greatest artist before have done is to take that fear of the unknown ( either people not liking it, or not making money) and use it to acquire success. Seminar, the play we saw this week exemplifies my point because the character Martin and his gang of aspiring writers had a man critique their works and they were torn to bits after. Instead most of them using as a facilitator, it made them fearful and no one wanted to write another work that the instructor wouldn’t like. That was the precise problem, they wanted to stop being themselves, stop writing in their normal prose so that they could appease some man(the society), rather than themselves. And like society conforms to the normal wants and desires of the people.

  23. Gregory Masiello says:

    I believe all the plays we have seen, in an artistic way, have reflected our society. Even the plays that represented a different time in society, still showed aspects of that society through the characters actions, language, and culture. The most obvious connection we can see between the plays is the conflict that arises. These conflicts are not only essential for the production of the plays, but reveal that in our everyday society we deal with conflicts. We do not live in a peaceful society, although we strive too, we always encounter conflicts either internal or external. Also, I believe the purpose of these plays is to show a different perspective of other conflicts that we don’t usually see every day, and open our eyes to them. All the themes in each play are different; however, these themes all relate to each other because they provide us with some moral value. Maybe with this new insight, we can have a change in our society.

  24. Payal Patel says:

    Art is truly a reflection of society. We are able to realize the ongoing as well as the past events that are occurring or have occurred in the world. It educates the public because it is a depiction with emotions and feelings expressed. With the plays seen thus far, the basic themes are fame, sex, and everyday struggles. Sex is such a common topic nowadays that we do not even realize it. Everyone wants to shine in the spotlight, but it doesn’t come easy. There are many obstacles to overcome and not everyone will be happy for you. Coping with everyday struggles is a pain in itself. Life isn’t easy, but everything is meant to be taken day by day. The producers do a great job in portraying these themes in various plays with completely different storylines. Plays such as Silent Night even represent a theme that is relevant to today’s society even though the actual setting was way past our times. All these themes are interconnected because these are the issues we are dealing with today.

  25. Isabel Lopez says:

    It is a rather difficult task to connect all of the plays together, but I definitely see a reoccurring theme of career choices and reputation amongst the plays I have seen thus far. For example, in Assassin, the ex-football player’s career led to his reputation change for the rest of his life or in The Crucible, John Proctor’s reputation changed based on the society of his time. Nonetheless, all of the plays show importance in reputation. A few of the plays also showed how careers may make your reputation such as Under the Whaleback, where each character had a different personality at sea and in Seminar, where it is extremely vital to be known or popular to get your career started . These plays reflect society since society today is driven by reputation and career choices. I have noticed that there are not a lot of plays about love, but more plays about money and power. Plays are pieces of art that are driven by our society; and since society today cares more about money and respect rather than love, there are barely any plays about love. Producers choose to display these plays to the public, in my opinion, to make a statement about our money and power hungry society.

  26. Labriah Morgan says:

    From the many plays that we have seen I would say that the main thing that has reflected our society were the set designs. With the exclusion of The Assassin, most of the sets designs were modernized and that’s what I think of when I thin of society today. As far as themes of they plays, themes are timeless and anything can have a theme. This makes it hard to find a correlation between the themes of the plays and society today because themes are so versatile and can be compared to any society or time period.

  27. Katie Lachenmayer says:

    The different productions we have seen throughout the semester have been different reflections of our society. Assassin and Seminar are more recent reflections dealing with ideas, themes, and concepts that we are dealing with today, they are more modern topics. I think artists wanted to produce these more modern plays now because we have dealt with these themes in the past 20 years. Like the idea of Assassin with ever increasing violence in sports. While the other plays Silent Night, the Crucible, and Under the Whaleback, deals with reflections from the past. I think the artists wanted to produce these plays because the ideas and stories behind them need to be remembered and can still be related to today. In each of these productions society can easily relate to their themes. Our world is a very complex one and the difference between each of the plays expresses that idea. Art can be interpreted in many different ways and because of this people can take away the message that they can best relate too and find their own reflection in the art.

  28. Rebecca Shoup says:

    Many of the plays we have seen this semester are a reflection of our society both in the past and the present. The plays Assassin and Seminar reflect more of our present society and the plays Silent Night, Liar, Under the Whaleback, The Crucible, and The Life (and Death) of Harry Houdini reflect more of our societies past. Assassin showed a current issue in the sports related world and our societies crave for fame. Seminar portrayed the lives of different writers and the struggles they go through to make something of themselves. The plays that reflected more of our past gave the audience an insight of what the world used to be like. For example, Under the Whaleback showed the hard and dangerous lives of fisherman who many times surrendered their safety in the need of money. Silent Night portrayed the war between the Germans, French, and Scottish. Both of these plays along with the others allowed the audience to see into the past and learn of things which may have not been known before. I believe that these plays are produced to allow the audience to gain insight to what has gone on in our society in the past and the present. By producing plays that relate to how our society is or once was, the audience can easily relate to the themes of the play because in most instances they themselves have experienced it or felt some emotion towards it. The plays themes create a relationship with society by forming a common connection and allowing for many different interpretations.

  29. Caitlyn Molinaro says:

    I feel that art does reflect society while only slightly, if at all, discriminating by time periods. It might be reflecting today’s society in an abstract way, one that may sometimes be unclear, causing one to believe it is only reflecting on the past. Each of the plays we attended this semester has been able to animate a theme that is relevant to today’s society. Even though the play may have had the setting of over a hundred years ago, the message still has meaning to society.
    The Life and Death of Harry Houdini reflects society’s obsession with money. During the play, Harry Houdini was more worried about his money than his family. Although money is important, I like to believe that if one is lucky enough to have family that they love, family should be a higher priority than money. Assassin takes place not many years ago, and is centered around the NFL, a league well-known to all American citizens today. Society can relate to the careers of famous athletes and their reputations. Rivalries and disputes happen frequently between them, which is why I believe this is an obvious reflection of society. Under the Whaleback reflects society because is displays the hardships in people’s lives to support their families. Although the play takes place in the past, many people in the United States are still struggling to make ends meet. In The Crucible, society is reflected by how often people will give in when the going gets tough, and how others won’t stand down when they disagree with something. Seminar reflects society because, today, it is difficult to become a writer and some people will do anything to get their name out there, while others have self-pride and refuse to do something unethical in order to benefit themselves. Seminar and The Crucible are very different productions, although I still see a connection between the two and society.

  30. Erica Trofa says:

    I think the plays we have seen not only reflect society today but many societies all across time. Each one of the plays had an underlying theme that everyone have or will have to face at one point in their lives. We don’t necessarily experience these situations as they happen in the plays we’ve seen but in a variety of different ways. In Assassin we saw a child grown up feeling guilty for his father’s health issues. I personally have fell victim to that emotion more than one time in my life. This play like all of the other plays reflects the life lessons that people must learn. Silent Night was a story about both love and war–we all know how that goes. The Liar dealt with..well, lying! It taught is some very valuable lessons about weaving an intricate web of lies. The Crucible deals with the corrupt ways of government and it addresses that no one, no matter how pious, is safe from the cruelties of the world. The Life and Death of Harry Houdini addresses finding happiness and contentedness in life. Each play although very different settings, plots, and time periods, all have a valuable lesson to be taught that can be applied to many different walks of life. I also think that the play reflects what each personal director was feeling about the world at that time. If they had someone in their life that was constantly lying to them then they may feel it necessary to put on a satirical play such as the liar. If they were feeling guilty maybe Assassin or Harry Houdini. For a play like the Crucible it was created to reflect the authors and artists that were being blacklisted for supposed communistic ties. That play was very much indicative of its time but truly the “why now” question can only be answered by the person putting the play on themselves.

  31. Lan Tran says:

    If art is a reflection of our society, these plays are suggesting that our society is composed of many different and unique stories. All of the plays we have seen, including but not limited to Houdini, The Assassin, Seminar, Under the Whaleback, and Silent Night, were stories taking place during different times in history. When comparing Silent Night to Seminar, we can see how drastically different the settings and plots are. Silent Night was based on a war and focused on honoring a country, even if it meant a soldier not being with the woman he loved. On the other hand, the focus of Seminar included promiscuity and a more modern way of thinking. The plays we have seen so far reflect how our society is changing at such a fast pace.
    I believe the artists and producers chose to produce the plays now to expose the audience to things we may have never experienced for ourselves. The artists and producers want people to live in less oblivion and to be well-rounded in order to expand our perceptions. They want us to consider different thought processes that we may not have considered otherwise.
    I believe most of the plays’ themes are disparate and are significant in their own right. Because all of the themes are different, the encouragement of expanding our perceptions is reinforced.

  32. Anastasiya Silenok says:

    All the plays that we have watched so far, I haven’t seen all of them, in a way can be reflected (mirrored) on today’s society. If you really take the time to think about it, you can find many ways to relate it to today’s society. But the one idea that I’ve seen repeating itself was the Truth & Lies. In almost every play that was the theme or a minor detail of the plays massage. In Assassin, the conflict is resolved when the whole truth is revealed. In the Liar, one of the main characters was a compulsive liar, whereas the other one could not speak anything but the truth. In The Crucible, many were liars, and those who told the truth were punished. In Seminar the teacher told everyone how it was (feedback on their stories) but he wasn’t truthful all the way, he kept something’s a secret. And also, the character Kate, made up a lie to get something her way. That is how society is. People lie, they lie all the time. And those who tell the truth, aren’t always so lucky. Our society looks for the truth, but we find lies. Like I said before, there are other ideas that can be reflected on our society form many of these plays, that’s why “art is a reflection of our society”.

  33. Cassidy Spring says:

    Plays are created to connect the audience members with what is going on, and be able to relate to the production. Therefore, I believe that to do so, plays have to be reflective of our society, in both past and present. Plays have target audiences, so that they can advertise for those audience members that would relate to the show more than anyone else. Assassin and Seminar, are plays that relate to more present day issues. Assassin relates to the dangers with the NFL, and the non stop fight for fame. Reflecting on how fame is more important to the Assassin than apologizing for paralyzing a man. The selfishness shows through this play. I think this play was produced at the time it was, because it was around the NFL season, and the on going issue of what is a legal hit now and what is not. Seminar also reflects our society with the struggle to get jobs in America these days, and I think they timing with unemployment rates being high, and the economic downfall still occurring relates to many people today, especially coming out of college. The other plays we saw, Under the Whaleback, The Crucible, Silent Night, and The Life and Death of Harry Houdini, all relate to issues, and reflect our past. These productions may have their target audiences be the elders, because they can relate to these events better then young adults. I believe the productions of these plays are to allow audience members to get a feeling of our past society, and the struggles, and events that occurred. I believe that all these plays are aimed to reflect our society at some point, either in our history or present day. The producers aim to make the audiences feel connected by relating to some of the issues that are being portrayed. I think the themes are all different in their own ways, and are perceived and viewed in many different ways from person to person due to our diverse society, and our own individual minds.

  34. Caroline Slusarczyk says:

    I think that the plays reflect the creative side of today’s society. The themes of each play are different from each other, and each audience member can relate to the themes in different ways. Even though not every play was set in modern times, people today can still relate to the events and characters. People go to the theater to be whisked away into a totally different story than their own lives, and they go to be entertained. They go to see different stories each time, with different themes. The themes are not all necessarily connected, because each producer wants to make a show that stands alone and leaves the audience with a different message. This difference shows how creative and innovative society can be.

  35. Michelle Dinh says:

    I agree that art is a reflection of society, but we also have to keep in mind that some of the plays we’ve seen so far weren’t set for modern time period. Examples would be Silent Night, The Liar, etc. The plays reflected their own time period back in the past, and that may reflect what society was like back then. The conflicts seen in the plays, such as the war in Silent Night, show how people lived and might have struggled compared to modern time where we have technology and more knowledge to assist our problems. Art is a reflection of society, but it also depends on what time period the art is taking place in. Many producers and artists may produce the plays now because what seemed like a conflict in those plays have been resolved in modern time, and if they produced it now there is a better probability that it won’t offend anyone. Hypothetically if they produced it during the time the conflicts were being taken place, then a majority of people would see it as an offending, ridiculing play. I believe all the plays had similar themes, but they are significant in their own way. Each theme is meant to be interpreted in a different way according to the plot. There is similar essence in each, but it is also up to the individual watching it to depict the special element in the themes.

  36. Bridget Parkes says:

    I feel that art is a reflection of our society and the contemporary plays that we have seen this year do a good job at showing society as a whole. Although the less modern plays, like The Liar, Silent Night, and The Crucible, do not take place in the present day time period, there are still themes that can be abstracted and analyzed in a relateable fashion. The Liar showed the characters lying to make it big in their life, but it was the truth that sent them free. Although we no longer have arranged marriages or fall in love at first sight, the concept of lying is timeless and it still showed a lesson about how lying to move up in society will not benefit you. In Silent Night, we see the conflict between battling countries. While it is no longer World War I, are country currently is in a war and this play showed us that not every soldier wants to kill other people, it is the country at war. This seemed relateable to me because of the current events I read about everyday and it gave me another perspective about my society. In the Crucible, it is a classic tale about regret and power. Although, society today doesn’t kill people for witchcraft, society does use the media to put people in a bad light, so that others will believe the most interesting story. To me, the most mirror reflection of society was The Seminar. This was my favorite play because I could see myself in a similar situation and I think everyone knows the feeling of striving to impress someone to make it big, but failure, or fear of failure, is constantly in the way. I feel that the producers decided to produce the plays now because the themes in each plot are timeless. Although not every play is going to tell you the underlying meaning right off the bat, having to interpret it the way you see it is more important.

  37. Theo Umble says:

    I do not believe that art itself is a reflection of society. Rather, it stands on its own, independently of man, and thus transcends such considerations. However, it is evident that the manner by which art takes form is often a reflection of society. For example, the artwork of Ancient Greece represents life-like representations of ideal form, especially that of the body. This reflected the view at the time, that art was a means of representing the goal towards which mankind aspires, and thus was responsible for presenting nature’s perfection.
    When viewed in this light, I see some consistent themes throughout the plays we have seen. Both “Houdini” and “Under the Whaleback”, for example, made use of non-traditional modes of presentation: the former utilized a uniquely sharp, quick choreography that generated much intensity; the latter made use of shocking images, such as the bottomless “insane” one and the hands stapled to the table. Given the unfortunate lack of interest in art, especially theater, in today’s society, I would not doubt that such impressionable means of presentation are born from the desire to revitalize a curiosity and subsequent care from the masses, who somehow find greater pleasure in staying home to “watch the game!” Doing so may or may not accord with the artists’ true desires; for, it is rare that commercial appeal and genuine artistic endeavor meet one another with success.
    In the play “The Liar”, many moments occurred wherein the actors broke away from traditional performance, providing comical narrations of the technical aspects of the play. For example, some characters were introduced not only by name but also by their appropriate analytical title, such as “antagonist.” I saw a very similar approach Central Park’s (New York) outdoor theater, where the script (of a Shakespeare play) was peppered with modern lingo that always provoked laughter from the audience. I think that this is done with the intent of making the experience of theater more exciting for attendees, as described above. Today, most people do not wish to be “serious” while attending performances; they would rather relax and experience pure entertainment. I feel that this fact is represented in the themes here discussed.

  38. Georgia Papaloukas says:

    I think no matter when a play is written or performed, they all revolve around issues, feelings, and things people go through at any point in the past, present and future. “Under the Whale back” to me, represents issues with money, something that is always going to be a problem in this world, maybe the number one problem. Guilt is a theme that was portrayed in The Assassin, a deep feeling that almost every human experiences in life. The Life and Death of Harry Houdini represents the fear of unknown regarding death. No one, not even a magician can stop death from happening or come back from it.

    Although all of these plays are different in many natures, when the general themes are pointed out, you cant deny that they have something in common. They share in common the different aspects of human troubles. These troubles are all represented differently and beautifully in different styles of theater, which makes them unique. The beauty of theater is that these aspects can be represented in an incredible amount of different ways.

  39. Sarah Amon says:

    I believe that some of the plays we have seen for this class isn’t really a direct relation with society today but have close concept to what we as humans will always or eventually come across. for example, the liar, the crucible and the life and death of Harry Houdini are plays that don’t relate to our current society but some of the concept such as love, deceit, and adventure are all qualities that we will at one point or another will precieve or come in counter with. i feel as though the play seminar relates most closely with society today. everyone want to make it big in some way or another but wont necessarily know how to get their and need that extra push to unlock their potential. Or with Assassin people make mistakes and want to right their wrongs. Even current like we are in a war and silent night capture a possible character out in Iraq. The producers aim to make the audiences feel connected by relating to some of the issues that are being portrayed. these plays are based on what is going on in the world today and what is important now to every day people. such as the lawsuit going around for football players with brain injuries. plays show how talented people are and how out of the box people think when comes to creating and producing new productions. They are also learning lessons for us as the consumer to take in an consider.

  40. Megan Rybak says:

    I definitely agree that art is a reflection of society, but like our book states, although theatre may mirror life, we must acknowledge that there are some mirrors that distort images of society. Think of a fun house mirror: your face becomes warped, your legs become skinnier, and you shrink to about 5 times your size. You become unrecognizable. Analogously, society can become unrecognizable through art. It’s significant to note however, that just because theatre may not merely present a flawless, mere reflection of society, doesn’t mean that the art isn’t interpreting, critiquing or challenging ideas of society. For example, some of the shows we saw this semester were set in older time periods (ie. Silent Night). Obviously these types of plays will not present a modern day reflection of society, but they certainly can cause their audiences to reflect and derive a modern meaning for the production. In Silent Night, one could argue that while the production was rather informative regarding the war going on between the Germans, Scottish, and French, the production really reflects modern day society through its emphasis on desire for peace. Indeed, art can reflect society in that some artists/directors will use their work, their paintings, or their production to raise awareness about certain contemporary issues like war or even injustice. For example, in Assassin, the director may have desired to raise the issue about excessive and increasing violence in sports. Additionally, I feel that art creates itself off of what its surroundings are. You can’t very well create art from nothing. Ultimately though, I think that life influences art and art influences life: they are in balance. In the case of Assassin, the play was influenced by life, in particular the real life of professional football player. In the Liar, you could say that life is influenced by art in that after seeing the production, an audience member may take away the importance of telling the truth.
    I think that each show we’ve seen has had a variety of different themes, but I would say that a majority of them were connected by this idea of reputation. In Crucible, John Proctor’s reputation is at stake due to slanderous comments against him. In Assassin, the football player’s reputation gets demolished as he has unintentionally paralyzes a fellow player. In Life and Death of Harry Houdini, Harry’s reputation is always at stake because if he wishes to remain popular in the entertainment industry, he must continually update his bag of tricks. In Seminar, the writing editor’s reputation suffers as he was accused of plagiarism. Even in Oedipus Rex, Oedipus admits he’s rather die than have such an awful reputation (of sleeping with his mommy-wife). I see this idea repeating constantly in all of the plays we’ve seen, and I think it is a generic, timeless idea because every audience member (both modern and old), can relate to this idea of their “reputation” and how it is vulnerable to being damaged.

  41. Shane George says:

    There are many different forms of art but what makes art so interesting is how it can be used to time travel. Throughout the course our class was given the chance to go watch many plays. Each play was different and unique because it told a story from a different time in history. One of the plays we watched was the crucible which told the story of the Salem witch trails. During the time period of the crucible humans feared witches and their goal was to get rid of everything that was against God. We also watched another played called Under the Whale-back, which took place in another point in time. In the play I remember a sailor telling his son, “my father died in the sea, his father died in the sea, and I will die in the sea.” During that time period it was very popular for men to go into the sea and travel in ships. The last play I saw was Seminar which took place in recent time. In this play everyone’s biggest fear wasn’t dieing in the sea or witches, their fear was being told their can’t write. Each play is a form of art and all plays reflect a different point in time. This form of art allows viewers to travel back in time and see how things have changed. So art is in fact a reflection of our society.

  42. Gokul Kumar says:

    So far throughout this semester we’ve seen a multitude of plays of different genres and styles. The playwrights who produced these works greatly differ, in my opinion, on how they produced their plays. It is true that art is a reflection of our society and I feel as though these playwrights used their own form of art to reflect certain situations that they found are relevant in their society.
    A play like seminar, a gritty laugh out loud comedy, reflects the importance of valuing elders and respecting experience. Where on the other hand Assassin follows the trials and tribulations of 2 NFL players through their lives conquering the aftermath of a tragic injury. Then there is Crucible, which represents a real time in history of the dark ages of the Salem witch trials and the lives of a community that experienced it first hand. While on the subject or real life stories we also partook in the viewing of “The life and Death of Houdini.” This play dramatically analyzed the life of the greatest entertainer of his time. Under the Whaleback followed the ship journey of a group of fisherman and their experiences on the job and how they overcame obstacles that they came across on their voyage.
    Weather the play was a real life story or made up fiction there’s no doubt that all the plays we watched taught valuable lessons. I don’t think there’s a strong connection between all these plays because they were so different in what they were about, so I’m not going to make a connection between them. Nonetheless they were all magnificent works of art and I’m glad I was able to see them.

  43. Chris Schoen says:

    I think putting these very different plays together to see if there is one common theme is hard to do. If there is one theme I’ve taken away from all these plays is how much our society values the past. I think they producers of these plays wanted to tell these stories now because they are all famous periods in history that have lessons we can learn from them. In Houdini we learned the story of an immigrant and his fight to make it in the United State, similarly we learned the story of a group of fishermen that were doing what they can to provide for their families. In all the plays there is a theme of someone trying to find an opportunity and a way to provide for themselves or their families.

  44. Tibin Prince says:

    I agree that art is a reflection of our society. Every play has a little part reflecting to the society not the whole play itself. Different plays that we saw this semester took place in different times and had different themes. The plays we saw were sometimes real life stories rather than fiction, like the Assassin or the Seminar. The Assassin tells the story of two NFL players and all the troubles they went through and had to deal with in their life, and the Seminar was a comedy about a writing class in which different people portrayed different personalities, some were shy and others not so much. It taught the different qualities of people, some choices made by the actor were unexpected to the protagonist, it also teaches us the importance of learning, respect and being humble. The actors, the clothing, and the setting of the play are the things that help specify the view of the society. When the producer wants the audience to be at the same state of mind as the play and these help them audience put them in that setting. The theme that I saw most was the change in relationships in the play between the characters. Sometimes these plays also give a historical connection like The Crucible. Art definitely mirrors society and sometimes they are portrayed in the plays, these help the audience have a better understanding of how our society works in ways that are unimaginable

  45. Wynter LaTorre-Ovaska says:

    Art is definitely a mirror of society, even if it isn’t present day society. Art that represents a different time period is perhaps one of our only ways to get a glimpse into history, presented in a way more intriguing than a textbook. Art and theatre can of course represent more modern times as well, such as what we saw in Seminar. But it’s with those you realize that it’s not necessarily a clear reflection, because I don’t believe that our modern day pieces of theatre, as well as other art forms, really give a full representation of our present society. Like the textbook said, theatre is lifelike, but it’s not life; it is often an exaggeration, and what the producers decide to shed light on is interesting, because it’s not always a clear message. I often have trouble with the theme of a show, because it feels as if you’re trying to add a moral to the story, instead of just enjoying it for what it is. The only connection I have noticed with the shows we have seen is that, with the exception of Seminar and the Liar, they are all reflections of the past. Assassin, though set in modern day, was centered around an event that took place in the 70s and it’s repercussions, Silent Night was about World War 1 and camaraderie of the soldiers, Under the Whaleback took place in the 1960s, 1970s, and 2002, showcasing how the world changed as time passed, and the Crucible was a statement about the Red Scare based off the historical events of the Salem Witch Trials; they are all using the past to make their point.

  46. Megan McCreadie says:

    Throughout the semester, each play we seen has portrayed a different theme. No two plays have been alike when comparing the messages that were being conveyed to the audience. I believe that each play reflected society in its own way. However, theatre is not flawless. Sometimes the representation of socitey can be portrayed in an unrealistic way, for the sake of theatre. For example, in The Life and Death of Harry Houdini, the actor that came to speak to our class told us that there was parts of the play that may have been changed, overexaggerated, or left out all together, for the sake of the play. The play would not have been as interesting or as appealing to the audience if the play in its entiretly was completely historically accurate. The Life and Death of Harry Houdini represnted a part of society, but in a distorted way. The audience needs to learn how to differentiate between reality and fiction when it comes to watching theatre, because accurate facts are sometimes sacraficed for the sake of the play. No matter what play was performed, they all reflected themes that relate to every day society, whether it be betrayal, anger, love, ect. Theatre does mirror society, althought sometimes it is imperitive for the sake of art to distort the mirror a little bit.

  47. Max Stahl says:

    Art can indeed act as a sort of mirror of society as it currently stands; As it has throughout time. Back in the days of classical Greek theater, many of the plays even depicted actual death on stage, a reflection of the blood lust that permeated society back then. While today we are so far removed from that, productions serve to entertain in a different way. In the particular productions that we’ve seen, we’ve seen a dark side of humanity not in death, but in interactions between people. All of the productions contained vulgar language, with some using it in a serious fashion (The Assassin), a jubilant one (The Liar) or a comedic one (Seminar). Each of the productions had in common the fact that they were trying to show us sides of humanity that tended to be a little bit darker, gritty, and realistic. The themes of each, however, are not connected. Each director wished to create a production that was able to stand on its own. I find it hard to relate Harry Houdini’s quest for glory to the whorish antics present in Seminar, for example. However, I believe that each is a reflection of humanity’s desire to tell stories, stories that can resonate with people in various ways, but never get too marred in fantasy, always keeping a finger on the pulse of what the audience wants and what they think they want.

  48. Nicole Keating says:

    I guess I believe that art is a reflection of our society, and some of the plays that we saw fit into that category to some extent. When I think of the plays we saw the themes of money and wanting power come to mind. The first play we saw, Assassin, the football player only seemed to want the deal so he could get the money and promote his book. Or we just saw The Life and Death of Harry Houdini and the entire time he was obsessed with how much money he was making and how he was the highest paid “entertainer” of his time. Also, in Under the Whaleback the men worked this awfully dangerous job because they needed the money; they were even willing to put their lives on the line for it. Those three plays are slightly more contemporary, but the older set plays we saw shared those themes too. Like in the Crucible, the girls eventually found out that they could control the town with their lies, they liked having the power to kill anyone they wanted by accusing them of being witches. Even in the Liar, it was a comedy, and set a long time ago, but in all of his lies he tried to make his life sound much more extravagant than it really was, and he went for the rich French socialite. As for the last statement saying that the mirror doesn’t give a clear reflection, I disagree. I think the mirror gives a perfect reflection of our society, and it is perfectly clear, but no one wants to admit it. It seems that for a long time that society is focused on money and power, and it hasn’t seemed to change much, and I don’t think it ever will.

  49. Collin Utterback says:

    The plays that we have seen have not necessarily reflected the society we live in in present day. Small sections may relate to the life we live today, but there were lrger parts that closer connect to past societies. The Assassin seems to be the only play we have viewed that directly connects to issues in todays society. The play was based around the idea of illegal, and extremely dangerous hit in todays National Football League. I believe that the producers chose to produce this play due to the major increase in discussion of illegal hits because they thought now they would get their largest audience.
    The themes of the plays we have seen have some small connections but they do not directly relate to each other in my opinion. Each handles a seperate issue that sometimes can relate to other themes but not so much that the relation is obvious. For example, a theme from The Liar, such as “the truth always comes out,” is not connected in any way to themes of Silent Night like “peace” and “the coming together in even the toughest times”. On the other hand, there is a theme of vengeance in both Under the Whaleback and Assassin. Though, like I said, no true connection between all the shows.

  50. Krista DiTomo says:

    In my opinion art is one of the only ways to reflect our society safely in this crazy world. I think in the plays we have seen this semester there hasn’t been anything that really reflected anything current but that is because so much goes into making a play. Coincidentally the play Assassin was at a time when the Baltimore Ravens were in the Super Bowl but that was just good timing. I think they play taught us about society though, it shows that an apology can go a long way. In the plays The Liar and Under the Whaleback, there is the lesson that the truth will always come out no matter how good you are at lying. In plays like The Life (and death) of Harry Houdini and The Crucible I think show how twisted society can be at times. For example ‘Houdini’ shows the pressures of show business and the affects that loosing a parent can really have on your life. The Crucible shows how messed up things can be sometimes and how unfair life can be. In Silent Night I thought this was a very touching reflection on society, this idea that no matter what war we are in or no matter how much hate goes around, we are all just human beings, we are one world and thats all we have so why spend your time hating people you don’t even know. The play I thought reflected society the best though was Seminar, I believe that as messed up as it is money equals power.This play shows that if you have connections and a lot of money you can get anywhere no matter how untalented you are or no matter how much more talented the other guy, who doesn’t have money, is than you. I don’t believe that there was really a connection through all the plays we have seen because they are extremely different and unique in their own ways. I think maybe they have similar lessons or meanings in some of them but no clear connection.

  51. Shamus Roache says:

    The reason I think that the plays we went to see this semester were so diverse in their themes/settings was because of the idenity that art is always trying to escape. Artist are always looking to push boundaries and break rules. You can always count on art to reshape your thoughts or beliefs and that is a reflection of the artist’s views o a particular issue or cultural behavior. It is certainly a two way street that art and real life travel down. What happens in out lives inspires art and the art we see can inspire us to other things. just as people are changing, unique, and have polarizing views on certain subjects that is apparent in not only today’s art but art of the past. Art/theater is an accurate reflection of who we are…..unique, not categorical and unable to be placed in a particular box

  52. Nicole Ashley Ney says:

    I do believe art is a mirror of society, and each play we’ve seen this semester represent society is some aspect. While plays such as Silent Night, The Crucible, and Under the Whaleback are set in an earlier time period, history has a way of repeating itself. Each lesson these plays evoked can be practiced in today’s society and still, most likely, in future generations to come. No matter when a play is printed, produced, or preformed, they continue to gyrate around emotions and problems which can be recognized in any period of history. In the play Assassin we recognize the agony of guilt, in Silent Night we experience the conflicts of war, in Under the Whaleback we see the complexity of relationships between friends, family, and lovers, in The Life (and Death) of Harry Houdini we realize the ongoing fear of death, and in Seminar we identify with societies desire for fame. Each of these emotions are still found in society today and that’s why artists continue to produce and preform these plays.

  53. Joseph Sebastian says:

    Art is a pure form of human expression and humans express what they feel. Society impacts how everyone feels and plays are a manifestation of expression and society’s views on topics. Though none of the plays themselves can be exactly replicated into today’s society seamlessly, the whole point of plays is that one aspect of life is exaggerated to draw attention to it. For example, the Assassin helped us view how guilt can impact someone to do something that varies greatly from his or her own traditional practices. The plays that we have seen have all contributed to different themes; none have emphasized the same overarching theme in each respective play. These plays are produced to show how a dramatic version of life contrasts to the mundane life that we are mostly used to. Actors and producers are able to get their message across now because plays allow them to preach about a certain topic with an alternative method of reaching people. Though society does not act as the perfect mirror, it still reflects back the parts of the mirror we look at with the most intensity. The mirror provides what we want to see, not the actual reflection of who we are as a society.

  54. Lisa Stark says:

    I don’t think that art is necessarily a reflection of our society, but a reflection of those in society who who are creative enough to express themselves through art. Art is often used to make a point to the masses rather than to agree with them. If someone writes a protest song, performs a play, or creates an artistic work, they are often trying to challenge that which is ordinary to change the perspective of those who may see it. When I’m prompted to think about the art, and what it means to be and the artist, I tend to like the art much more. Art may display problems in society, like war in Silent Night or promiscuity in Seminar, but what the artist often means to do instead is promote thought and discovery. I always find that the best art isn’t a direct reflection, but prompts me to think about what the artist wanted me to feel or see.

  55. Danielle Altomonte says:

    Art is definitely a reflection of our society and producers along with artists create art to provoke the mind. By saying this I do not think the messages are always displayed without any distortion. However, these plays I believe say our society is obsessed with reputation as well as sex. For example, in The Crucible John Procter could not resist the urge to have sex with Abigail. As well as him not being able to resist having sex with her he was worried about his reputation towards the town. This is still going on today. Sex is a big deal in society with females steadily hiding their dirty secrets to hold their “innocent” reputation while men boost their sex partners to get “the man” reputation. Another example would be in Under the Whale back. Norman knocked up Roc’s fiancé and they all kept it a secret so the child would believe he had a decent man as a father, which is again an urge for a good reputation. Our society today is obsessed with sex and justifying it to hold a reputation, producing these plays today will generate money and attract crowds. We will all find our own meaning of the productions. The real question in my mind should be, why not produce these plays now?

  56. Elizabeth Chapman says:

    I believe these plays each say something about our society during the times these plays were to take place. Many of the plays we have seen were situations that took place years ago, and give the audience a feel of what that era of time was like. I think the artists and producers chose to produce these plays now because each of the plays have a connection to something going on in our world today. This allows the audience to take the art work being shown in front of them which is portraying real life situations which have happened in history, that could still be related to the world today. For example, in Silent Night we can relate to because it deals with soldiers at war missing their loved ones, and struggling, which can relate to our society today due to the war going on and many of our friends and family fighting for our country and so far away. There is a connection between the Crucible, Silent Night, the Life and Death of Harry Houdini and Under the Whaleback because each of these touch on death and how death affects the people around. Also in these plays there was a sense of unity between the characters to stay together, bonded by the same values.

  57. Chester Errico says:

    I do agree that art is a reflection of our society, and I believe that the plays we saw reveals how the people in our society react in certain situations. The characteristics of the members inour society differ over time, but in a way the emotions stays the same. The way that the cast communicates with one another is obviously different in the silent night from plays such as The Assassin. The cast in Assassin communicates very closely how most members in our society would communicate in the situation. The seminar showed the writers in our generation in the most natural way. It did not just interpret how we want society to see us, but what actually happens behind the eyes viewing our society. The sex, the lying, and the truth of the actions made to get where one desires. I am not saying people have sex with one another to get what they want, but in reality it goes hand and hand. The brunnette girl in the seminar for example did not like the teacher one bit, but then she realized when she started lying to him about who actually wrote the script, then began sleeping with him at the end of the play to recieve what she desired. All the plays we have seen reveal how our society operates through a form of art, but in different ways.

  58. Emma Ross says:

    I would not say that the majority of the plays we have seen reflects on our society today. Most of the plays were taken place before our time and gives the audience an idea of how that time period took place, except for the play Assassin. We can look at the content of Assassin and relate to it or see it taking place in today’s society. I do agree that art is a reflection of our society. But in my opinion, everybody represents how they feel in different ways. When someone uses art as a reflection of our society, not everybody will understand what the artist is trying to say. I know for me when I watch these plays I don’t always understand what they are trying to portray to their audiences just because I don’t think the way the director or producer thinks. It is much easier for the people who study art or understand/enjoy art to realize what different art is trying to show.

  59. Erin Griffith says:

    I believe that art is a reflection of society, however of the plays that we saw, I don’t believe that they reflect society today, with the exception of Assasin and Seminar. Most of the plays reflect a society that we were not present in, they teach us about history and what society was like in those times. During Silent Night we learn about soldiers coming together during a war, in Liar we learn about how the truth will always be revealed, and in the crucible we learn how lying to get what you want does not always work out. These things can be applied to society today but take place in years before. In Assassin it deals with the controversial issue of legal and illegal hits in the NFL, and how one man just playing the game can end one’s future. This happens a lot now in football, even though some of these hits are not legal they still happen. In Seminar we see the issue of young adults all struggling to be writers in this job industry, and having the issue of fear and lying come into play. It happens a lot that people don’t put themselves out there because they are afraid of the rejection, and people lying and sleeping their way up to get their advantages.
    I think the artists and producers chose to do these plays now because these are all common themes that exist in society now, and we learn about history because we don’t want to make the same mistakes again. To me there are no true connecting themes between all the plays. I believe that they each have their own individual theme and have very little connections to eachother.

  60. Bianca D'Amato says:

    I feel as though art is a reflection of past events, people, and controversies within our society. Without these three components it may be hard for artists to come up with stories, plays, or artwork that intrigue people to view art. Almost all of the plays we have attended this semester share ideas or plots that are about either past events, such as World War I in Silent Night, people from the past, such as in The Life and Death of Harry Houdini, and controversies, such as in Assassin. Because these topics are known to many people in society, artists and producers chose to develop plays based off of topics that interest others in order for them to share a message related to the topic or to revitalize events, people, and controversies from the past. I think that some of the plays were related by the theme, being a part of the past, but the one play that did not share this theme was Seminar because it was a very modern play that made me feel like I was watching TV instead or viewing a play.

  61. Meghan Shortt says:

    Of the plays that we have seen this semester, I feel as though only Assassin and Seminar reflect our society today. Those plays, and characters, were the easiest to relate to. However, I believe that the themes of all of the plays are timeless, and that the message of each play is something that we should all remember and listen to. For example, the theme of The Liar, that getting tangled in a web of lies can have an unexpected or undesirable outcome, is a valuable lesson to learn and follow. In Silent Night, the theme of putting aside differences and coming together is also a lesson we should follow.Both of these plays took place in a society that existed way before our time, but the themes are relevant to our lives.
    I do not feel as though any of the plays had a common theme or related to one another in anyway. I think that each play has a theme that is valuable and each director and producer has his or her own vision and interpretation of what the play means.

  62. Jiali Ling says:

    Of course the art is a reflection of our society. We see many play during this semester, and these play are telling people what happen in the past. Moreover, these play like a remind that what thing should do or what thing should not to do. Also these plays show the different social value in the past. For example, when we went to see the “silent night”, it is a remind that the war is hurting people and people and how family important to solider, we also can learn the serious of war and we have to treat better to family. I think the artists and producers chose to produce these play now is because they hope we could learn something from these play and most play in this semester is happen I the famous time. Obviously, I see some connection among the themes.

  63. Joseph A Palazzola says:

    I feel that art is a reflection of our society, it sometimes brings to life controversial subjects that have recently come up, or it could just be used as a tool for one to convey their feelings to the world. I feel that every play that we have seen in some way represents our society in different ways, you just have to pick out the themes. Whether it was silent night with coming together through tough time, Under the Whaleback with hard monetary times, or the Liar dealing with how you can’t lie your way through life, all these plays conveyed a message which still applies today. Even if the setting of a play doesn’t directly connect through our everyday lives, the themes do. They help to teach lessons no matter what time period it is, and this is why some of them have lasted very long.

  64. Dominic Forziati says:

    In my opinion art is a reflection of our society. However, the plays that we have scene do a very poor job of reflecting our culture. The plays had almost not thematic connection between themselves. The fact that these plays were produced “today” has no significance, with the exception of Assassin. Assassin airing in the midst of the concussion scandal in the NFL may actually be more of a coincidence than a statement on player safety regulations. This is not to say that the plays are without theme. The themes in each play are contained within that specific play, and there is no unifying theme of all of the plays we have seen. Most of the plays we have scene were written in, or about the past and therefor have no statement to make about our society.

  65. Alexa N Dippolito says:

    Even though the plays we saw this semester were vastly different, I do agree that they were all a reflection of our society in some way. The themes in each play definitely vary as well but I believe that each theme is still very important to our society. Even though silent night was not a contemporary play, it can still reflect our society because of what is it about. The play is about war– the hardships and struggles of families, and also the Christmas truce. I don’t think it matters what time in history a war is taking place because the theme in this play would apply through out time. Around Christmas time during any war, families will pray for something like that to happen–regardless of the time period. Also, in the play Seminar we see a mirror of our society because we have four totally different people trying to achieve the same goal, but with different strengths and weakness’s. Izzie does things that some people would consider “slutty” to get what she wants. Kate has inherited her families money, and has feminist views. Martin is afraid of showing his work because it feels so precious to him. These people are not foreign, and the life lessons that they go through show a lot of what happens to people today, and we can relate.

  66. Amelia Rose Tognoli says:

    All of the plays we have seen can be viewed as puzzle pieces that compose different “realities” of life. While I have not seen a play yet this semester that is an exact “mirror of society”, I have seen single aspects of it depicted in each play. For example, Izzy in Seminar can be described as an over sexually active adult who consumes her life with different partners every week. In present day, promiscuity is very prominent. Sex plays a big part in average lives. Whether it’s in the media(music videos), advertisements, or literature(50 shades of gray)..Sex sells. Assassin’s life theme was more blunt. (Football hits) Whereas Under The Whaleback talked about past problems in English society. Art can reflect present day issues, however I don’t believe in every play we’ve seen it does. A lot of the time plays reflect the past. I believe we live in a world that values past experiences and failures. Apart of it may be we love to see how far we have come. However it some cases I do believe that mirror is distorted for the sake of entertainment.

  67. Brandon C George says:

    I believe that the plays we’ve seen so far have been a major reflection of our society. I think because they are on a small scale people lose sight of how much these plays reflect human reaction due to fear, joy, despair, anguish etc. For example, in the Crucible, we see human reaction in fear that which we don’t understand. We witness (although not on stage) the senseless murder of innocent people for crimes they did not commit. For those who have done their research on The Crucible, they would know that it was written based on the McCarthy trials and the senseless witch hunt for communists. This play can even be tied in to people’s reaction to 9/11 and the belief that Muslims are behind every terrorist attack. For a more positive outlook on humanity, I believe Seminar reflects the human will to pursue our dreams despite the doubt we are faced with. It shows how positive people can uplift us and make us better when we allow them. Artists have to derive themes for their work somewhere, so why not with the individuals they interact with on a daily basis. I believe it is very difficult to write up a play, that is completely the void of human ideology and belief. To make a play that isn’t a reflection of society would involve designing a piece that is not derived from human inspiration. While all of these themes tend to reflect human nature and that which we are unable to control, every play tends to carry a different theme. While some themes may be similar, therein lies a “in an instance of” sort of disclaimer at the end of these themes.

  68. Adi Cohen says:

    I think that art is a reflection of our society, but at the same time it is different for everyone. I feel that everyone has a different interpretation of what society is like because we all experience different things everyday. Everyone have important things happen to them that may make them feel is is important currently. Each play says something different than the other because they do not have the same message and theme. I think the producers and artists chose to produce these now because they feel the play is relevant in some way, or is important enough to be brought up today. I think that the disparate themes significant in their own right.

  69. Leroy Mapp says:

    I concur with the statement that art relfects our society in some way and this statement is proven valid somewhat by the plays that we have scene. For example, the themes of the plays possessed significance to the overall messages in society. Examples of this would be the contemporary plays such as the “Under the Whaleback” and “The Seminar.” The Seminar possessed the theme that regarded to stepping out of your confront zone to progress in life. This event is immensely relatable to society because numerous individuals need to do so in order to achieve goals in life. The theme of Under the Whaleback is relatable to society as well because it dealt with individuals past actions coming back to affect their futures. Moreover, I believe that plays like these stated display the flaws of people in society. For instance, I feel as if they just represent that individuals are flaws and possess their own stories. These plays are ultimately made to emphasize that fact and show to the world the struggles of individuals. Perfect examples of this are plays like Seminar and Assassin which deal with the flaws and problems with people and the different personalities that people. Lastly, I think that the producers chose to produce these scripts at this time to express the issues that are looked over or not present at the time

  70. Thomas Curiba says:

    The idea that art can mirror the morals, problems and intricacies of society in my opinion is very true. Many times during my experiences at these plays, I felt like I could relate to the characters very well. Also, I would always take away some type of moral or thematic aspect that made me think about how I live my life. This art form has the ability to make the audience contemplate or re-evaluate their outlook on certain topics in today’s society. However, many of the plays we saw were set in the past. This made it harder to relate because we may have had no idea about issues of society at that time. For example, I will take Silent Night performed at the Opera Company of Philadelphia. We may have known about the war or learned about it but, we could never feel the way people of the time felt; the heartache of losing loved ones, seeing your family member being shipped off to war. Another play that was hard to relate to was Under The Whaleback at the Wilma Theater. The life of a sailor is not an everyday idea that people in society today think about. We as students at Temple University did not seem to be part of the play’s target audience. Throughout the semester of plays, this was a similar problem that we dealt with. I do not believe that the themes of all of the plays were connecting in some manner.

  71. Travis Irizarry says:

    I truly believe that no matter what the content of a play is that there is some correlation between the show and society. Not many of the plays relate subjectively to each other, each tells an important story about human nature in its own right. In Assassin we see a reflection of human nature. Americans value entertainment so much that some serious issues can result both physically and mentally; Assassin also reflected a basic human need of acceptance (in this case, the character of Louis) and a need to find acceptance (Lucas seeking public forgiveness for the injury he caused). Silent Night reflected that even in the most extreme battles (literally a battle in this case) each side is human. The Liar deals with the consequences of lies and reflects each person’s desire for happiness. Under the Whaleback confronts several issues, the general human curiosity would be one of them (the two scenarios where characters learned about a father that they didn’t know was real). The Crucible highlights some of the darker issues that the country has faced (the Red Scare). Finally, Seminar shows a human’s view of helping one another (Martin not wanting help from Leonard but finally accepting it, all the other students accepting the harsh, yet true advice from Leonard).

  72. Ashley Marie Rapp says:

    After seeing all of the plays I have come to the conclusion that I do not think each play touches on or reflects on today’s society. Some of them do touch on themes or norms in today’s society but I also think that some of them touch on things from the past. For instance, The Assassin deals with a current problem in our society. It touches on the hits in modern football and whether they should be allowed or not allowed and how unjust some of them are. Also the play Seminar that we just saw is also a modern play. It deals with the idea that everyone has to work with or deal with someone that they don’t like but you can still learn valuable information from that person. But on the other hand plays like the liar and silent night are not modern. They deal with completely different themes as well. I don’t think that there was one or even a few of the plays that have similar themes or something that they all have completely in common. All plays have some sort of theme that is meant to teach the audience something and that is the only thing that i find the same among all of them. They all teach the audience something.

  73. Robert Morris says:

    If art is indeed a reflection of our society, then the plays that we have seen say a lot about our society. The people that write these plays take their inspiration from their own lives, as well as from other stories, which in turn are based on their writer’s experiences. In this way, art necessarily takes on aspects of reality, and art’s portrayal of people especially serves as a mirror for society. The plays we’ve seen focus on people’s relationships and interactions as the main source of conflict and plot development, etc. These peoples’ relationships and interactions come from their writers’ experiences with people, or else from stories about people. The fact that people write based on other peoples’ writing, as an aside, contributes to the afore-mentioned unclear reflection the “mirror” provides. Making the “mirror” even more unclear is the fact that plays need to distill their events to fit them into the play: plays have to be more intense than the events they try to portray in order to be effective plays, and in this way they always have to be somewhat unclear mirrors as a result of the medium.
    I think that the plays we saw present classic themes of human society that remain applicable, relatable or interesting to their viewers. I think that the themes in the plays we have seen are not especially relevant to today, but are instead consistently relevant because they are ever-present in society. The Crucible was written about McCarthyism, but witch hunts existed before and after that. The Liar, Seminar, and the rest feature characters that we can recognize in our own lives and we can imagine interacting with the characters and how we would react, etc. The common theme in the plays we’ve seen is people interacting with each other, dealing with misunderstandings and disagreements, all things that most people can relate to from their own lives.

  74. Richard Lai says:

    The arts have always reflected the contemporary time in which they were created. As a result, it is reasonable to assume that they would are a snapshot of what society is like at that point and time. I believe that artists and producers produce them to give you their perspective of society. For example, the production of Assassin was heavily influenced by the rash of issues that the NFL is dealing with regarding player safety. Then there are plays that aren’t a reflection of modern times, but rather a way to delve into past societies, such as Silent Night on World War I, or The Life and Death of Harry Houdini that focused on the major success of an immigrant in a country that rarely saw them as anything more than an outsider. Another play that was produced back in the mid 20th century was The Crucible that paralleled the hunt for communists to the Sale m Witch trials back in the late 1600s. It was apparent that none of the shows had a consistent theme because each play was disparate from each other. I would relate this experience to ordering a sampler of wines or appetizers at a restaurant to allow us to see the many faces of art. We saw everything from comedies to dramas, and everything in between.

  75. David Sadlowski says:

    If art is a reflection of our society, then based on these plays, our society is different in many ways. In a play like Assassin, it is based on modern day, with current problems that may emerge with modern day people. We like to incorporate problems in our society, like the ones that were in Assassin, to create entertainment for ourselves. The Crucible, Seminar, Life and Death of Harry Houdini, and all the the other play’s we have seen, all have a plot, like any play/story should. We like to see these problems happen, and how they are resolved because it entertains us. We face many problems in our society on a daily basis. This art is a reflection of our society because we interact with this form of art to better ourselves. We see how we can resolve many problems that can occur in our future, and we learn different themes throughout most.

  76. Ryan Luffey says:

    Art and theater is a reflection of the contemporary and modern events, customs, and culture, or even traditional or historically significant events. Many of the plays we have seen have had themes that do appear in modern context . The assassin for one instance is an event that occurs every year, the super bowl. Every play so far that we have seen has a theme or reflects an idea or culture that we can in some way relate to something we all have gone through or the emotions we have felt before. The Crucible reflects a significant past event that was the Salem witch trials, and the depths to which people will turn their backs and deceive and lie to the death of a person to keep themselves in good graces, and get what they want or as use as a scapegoat. The Liar also has a theme that reflects everyone at sometime in their life; getting caught up in their own temptatioins and wants for selfish interests. In conclusion art and theater specifically doesn’t have to mirror any occurrence specifically as it happened but bring about the big picture that can still evoke the same emotions as one would feel in the original setting. Art is made as an outlet to ones personal state of mind and ties in the realities of present day and puts them in a framework that we can sit down, watch and conceptualize.

  77. Rachel O'Neill says:

    Art, in many ways, most defanitely reflects our society in numerous ways. After seeing all of these plays, it is safe to say that these plays refelect our society and the way our society works. Most of these plays seem to reflect our society in many derogatory ways, but this is the way our society works. Seeing a play that has a sense of “realism” makes seeing the plays more realistic and makes an individual link a certain play to their everyday life. I believe that the producers choose to produce them now because our society has changed so much over the years. For instance, although the “Life and Death of Harry Hoodini” was from awhile ago, there were many incidents in the play that link to our day and time today. Many of the themes are similar and different at the same time. Obviously, each play has a certain point getting across, however individuals may take something different out of the play instead of the actual purpose. I think that when individuals our age see these plays, most of take a certain theme out of the play which creates similarities throughout the plays. Also, when it comes to certain characters throughout these plays, they are very similar which creates the mood of a play.

  78. Asel Zamir-Kyzy says:

    I don’t believe Art is exactly a reflection of our society. As mentioned, the mirror of our society might not give off a clear reflection. In a way, I do see how art reflects the way our society is because the idea of the plays are coming from somewhere. Of course they can be made up and thought of, however, to some extent, the idea come from real – life experiences. Art is a reflection of our society and art can be shown and expressed in many different ways. Just as well as our society differ from each other depending on our surroundings and the environment we live in. Some of the plays we watched represent and honor our past rather than the present, for example “Silent Night.” The crucible on the other hand is supporting the classic of literature. A famous play that is still passed on in majority of the highschools that we attend. Although we can change up the styles of demonstrating the play, however the concept is still the same. The Crucible is a much different play compared to The Seminar. The Seminar is closer in portraying modern society today. Whereas the Crucible holds up our society from the past. Our society consists of many different things and art can represent every bit of it in detail. Therefore in a way, it is true when said that art is a reflection of our society, but to an extent. The theme of the plays connect in a way that good always overpowers evil. with the exception of the Crucible. The Crucible is somewhat more of a realistic image of our society because it shows that the world can be cruel and unfair.

  79. Merissa Brophy says:

    I somewhat agree that the plays that we have seen are a direct relation with society today. I believe that life itself is theatre; everyone’s got their protagonists, antagonists, plots, sub-plots, conflicts, climaxes, anti-climaxes, denouements, etc. and its ongoing. Some of the productions we seen tell a real story such as Assassin and the Life (and Death) of Harry Houdini. However, those particular plays do not reflect today’s society. I believe producers produce productions like these now because if you wanted to produce a play that is based on today’s society, why pay to see that when you can just stand at a public place and see all the drama that occurs. I believe that producers are doing it right producing these productions now because they are stories you don’t get to hear or see too often. Under the Whaleback really did feel like it brought me back in time with them. The Crucible is also a fun play to see but I do not believe it reflects today’s society completely. We are not killing innocent people because we believe them to be practicing witchcraft. But on the other hand, there are rumors that young girls make up about people to create attention or to get what (or who) they want.

  80. Don Otto says:

    Art, throughout history, has reflected society in one way or another. Whether it be a lens focusing the ideals and beliefs of the people or created merely for the entertainment of royalty, art and the history surrounding it serves a focus for what occurred during a time period. This reflection can be skewed however. The beliefs of many are not the beliefs of all, and this factors into the distorted mirror through which art reflects society. This mirror through which we see our society reflected though is not perfect. Besides the potential distortions, there are also pieces missing. No one play or painting or piece of music could possibly reflect all of society.

    The timing and themes of plays say quite a bit about where society is and where it is headed. Relevance is part of creating successful art: finding something people can relate to. For example, Assassin was very conveniently timed with the increase in player safety awareness. As a football fan, I found myself able to easily relate to the points being raised. Though I have struggled to find good ways to relate my life to all of the plays I have seen this semester, I can say that I have learned something at each one I have seen.

    I feel like being able to laugh at yourself and your faults is important. Art, particularly theater, highlights some of the successes and failures of society. Being able to take something serious and turn it into something laughable to ease what otherwise might be painful to experience is just one more way in which theater reflects society.

  81. Joseph J. Sebastian says:

    Art is the expression of our emotions that has been exaggerated or dramatized in a way to draw more attention. These plays that we have watched show that our society is evolving but that we need to keep a constant focus on the different aspects that brought this society to where it is right now. Artist and producers chose to produce these plays now because they send a message that is best conveyed through the medium of the theater. Though there are no connections that bridge all the plays, each play has its own stand alone theme that is highly emphasized so that the audience can understand the effect it would have on their own lives. For example, in the Assassin, Frank displays the effect that living with guilt can have and this allows the audience to experience guilt in a whole new way. Though it is the same emotion, seeing it dramatized opens the viewers to a brand new experience. Art allows us to have a reflection, but since we always focus on one thing when we look in the mirror, art only dramatizes and provides a reflection on one aspect of society at a time.

  82. Bria Coaxum says:

    I have only seen four plays so my judgement is based on those. Out of the four plays, half were told in the past, and, out of the two modern ones, only The Seminar reflected society to me. In modern day society, the world is portrayed to be an even playing ground and that everyone has an equal chance no matter in what position you were born. However, this is obviously not true; most people in high places have had connections either through attendance at a top-notch private school, which many people can not afford, or through money. The Seminar somewhat demonstrates this, in that the characters are each from different walks of life. One comes from old money, another has connections through famous family members, and the other two are, more than not, average. The difference between the latter two is that one wields her body to achieve what she wants, whereas the other wields nothing but the pen. Though the pen is said to be mightier than the sword, this last character stands no chance next to the other three.
    Another reflection of modern society in the play The Seminar is the “devaluing of sex”, as one classmate said in class today. Sex in no longer a taboo topic in society, but is actually somewhat unconsciously encouraged through television shows, music videos, advertisements, clothing, and commercials. Many people, nowadays, have had numerous partners and continue to bring up the number. This is portrayed in the play due to the fact that three out of the five characters end up engaging in sex and sharing partners.
    I believe that the playwright/director chose to put out this play now to maybe bring more light on these matters of society.

  83. Chris Covone says:

    It can certainly be said that art is a reflection of our society today. But I do think it is important to realize that this reflection isn’t always direct or clear. For example, a play could showcase a society where there is no murder, hunger, poverty, etc. In this case, the play is reflecting what society is by showing what society is not. With that, I do think that the plays we’ve seen this semester had some interesting messages. Although it seems like all of the plays we have seen are vastly different, I think they are all commenting on the whole idea of being a human being, and what it means to be a human being. For example, Assassin explored the idea of forgiveness, and it may have been urging us to look at how and when we choose to forgive people in our own society. Another very humanistic theme was in Silent Night, when the different countries’ militias came together as human beings and celebrated Christmas together. And again we saw emphasis on humanity in The Liar when we saw how our actions and words, true or not, influence others around us. This idea of reflecting the humanity in society is incredibly broad, but I do think that this was the purpose of many of these plays. We live in a society that is so technologically focused and places so much emphasis on material possessions and money. With this in mind, I believe these plays were attempting to remind us that underneath our bank accounts and iPhones, we are all the same; we are all human beings. And I think they were trying to show us how much stronger our society can be if we remind ourselves more often of our similarities. On the other hand, they may have been showing us how weak and disjointed our society can become if we continue to place emphasis on our differences. There is strength in self-awareness, and I think that is ultimately what theater is trying to reflect on society. It is urging us to look within ourselves, and explore these themes.

  84. Lavar Jackson says:

    Throughout the duration of the semester we have had the opportunity to watch several play which were created to portray what is currently taking place in our society and what is likely to happen if we don’t solve the dilemma currently manifesting. The plays that we have watched thus far has reminded us our society as a whole is corrupt and if change isn’t made it could get worse before it gets better. In the play Assassin it illustrated how the violence in professional sports is praised rather than scrutinize and frowned upon; the north plan also demonstrated the lack of morality that this this society has. I believe these style of plays are being produced so producers and directors can relay a message and hopefully solve potential problems or help the people who are oblivious to whats going on. I do believe that disparate themes are significant because they help people realize how bad the society could potentially get if a change isn’t implemented.

  85. Aaliyah Anderson says:

    Art can be a refection of our past, present, and future. I do not think that the plays we have seen reflect so much of our present society. In Seminar and Assassin, I guess I see it. It was one of the most modern plays and with the youngest cast I believe. The other plays are either set to be in the past or have an older cast. Assasin has little to do with culture though. It is more of a current issue in our society as far as the football injuries go. Seminar brings up feminism, and there is a lot of that in our world today. Females still have to work for an equal opportunity. It is still not fair and that is why females have to voice their opinions against men. The set in both plays though are pretty modern in society though. The hotel room was pretty accurate. The apartments in New York were also very well done.

  86. Dien Ho says:

    Most of the plays are not contemporary, Assassin was about an incident that happened 20 years before but the issue at the time of the plays is produce was relevance as the media unfold incident similar. The Lair characters are from the Renaissance or sometime in the 1700 or 1800 no where close to the present time, so was the Crucible, Silent Night, Under the Whaleback, and the life and death of Harry Houdini. Seminar to me would the play the is most contemporary. Assassin told us that our society are creating Assassin because we find enjoyment in these physical battle and pouring money into it creating an industry. The “Assassin” was only doing what everybody wanted to see. Under the Whaleback told us how we are all trying to gain identity, like them hunt in the sea is what meant to be a man, and in doing so we lost our self along the way. The life and death of Harry Houdini is the American dream, a place where anyone can do anything as long as he/she strive for it but sometime you are so focus it that you lost sight of others important things around you.

    I believe the producer chose to produces them now because it is relevance to the world today even if it is not set in this time and age. The themes of love, identity, and survival are still relevance today in modern time as it is in the past. Our technology and way of life has changed but there are stuff we all still have in common.

  87. Tyler Edwards says:

    Art is a reflection of our society, and i believe the plays we seen reflect out society. All the plays are a representation of life. The plays we seen always depict some type of realistic struggle that has gone on in modern day as well as in the past. The producers depict these struggles in different types of ways. For example in Assassin the producer represented a man’s struggle of keeping a burden on his shoulders for many years through a realistic story of a football player and the son of a lawyer. Another example is the seminar in which the producer shows the struggle of a writer trying to be successful. Most of the plays we have seen deal with some type of hardship that a character has to overcome. In a sense i believe that that is how the themes intertwine with one another. I feel as if the producers produced these types of play to make note that no one at any point of time has avoided tribulation. The producers are able to do these through an exciting venue that can keep people entertained while educating the, and making them knowledgeable to daily problems that go on in the world.

  88. Antonia Curry says:

    I personally feel that most of the plays we saw this semester do not reflect today’s society. All of the plays we saw, with the exception of Assassin and Seminar, were produced to reflect societies from the past. Assassin refelect today’s society through the “real obsession” with the NFL. Seminar was a more contemporary play and reflected today’s modern society through struggling writers in Manhatten. The other plays, however were all set in the past. The Life and Death of Harry Houdini, for example, absolutely reflected the past society which Harry Houdidni lived through. The other plays we saw demonstrated past societies through costumes, language, character personalties and just the plot and set in general. The other plays we saw besides Assassin and Seminar do not reflect today’s society, but rather the societies of the past.

  89. Kursteen Lundy says:

    I think these plays are essentially showing life’s ups and down, though comedy and drama. Love, perseverance, sex, confusion, sadness are all apart of life and was shown throughout the performances. To be completely honest, I have no idea was to why the producers chose to produce these plays now. I think that the various themes of all the topics I listed previously connect simply because they are based on life’s actions and emotions, so the essential cumulative theme is life and the things that we go through and what makes us human.

  90. Tonii Mackie says:

    A reflection mirrors its subject, but the image reflected can be distorted at times. With that being said, sure, art definitely mirrors society, but these plays are not meant to be a direct replica of humanity today. The continuously raised questions regarding athletes’ long term health due to their played sports are a relevant matter in today’s society are brought to light in the production of Assassin. Many can argue the timeliness of the production, but it could have been coincidence. Other plays were set back in different times, like Silent Night or Crucible; why would artists and producers present those plays to us as an audience in 2013? I believe that regardless the time period, the themes and situations these plays present evoke emotion and are relatable to us as an audience in one way or another. The themes in themselves differ. For example, the theme of Seminar was that connections and status, no matter how they are obtained are necessary to succeed in the art/writing world. In plays like The Crucible the theme relied on honesty and the results of being truthful. However, I feel that for the most part these plays could be connected. They all played on either the importance of status or the struggle of/for status. In Silent Night, we as an audience did not have people we love go off to that war, but we understand the struggles of the people involved during the time. In the Seminar, we see the struggling writer question his work and the writing world on account of the “nobody” he is perceived to be. Regardless the differing factors, the purpose of all these plays is to invoke conversation amongst society. History repeats itself, and these plays embrace different life lessons that are recognized and reoccurring over the years to come.

  91. Tyler Snook says:

    I believe every play in fact is a reflection of society at one point or another. Stories such as Seminar and Assassin can speak for multiple eras and do not necessarily have to reflect present day but at the same time can. Assassin is based off of a true story from decades ago but it is very relevant now because of the illegal hit conflict that is going on in the NFL today. Other performances such as the Crucible are maybe not as contemporary but have earned so much credibility throughout time that they still are able to be used in today’s society and can provide us with a strong sense of history. I do believe all themes are chosen random depending on a director’s taste and values but there are times when a play might provide more meaning then at another point in time (Assassin). They do not have to all be related to each other or to what is going on in society today but they do all relate to our culture today as a whole because we love creating “new” but at the same time respect and enjoy recreating the “classics”; that is part of our society. As I stated before, it depends on the director’s vision and the beauty behind what is being created or recreated as well as the message the director is trying to get across, you have to respect the art itself in some sort of way and continue to keep and open mind.

  92. Ashoka Robin says:

    All the plays weve seen as well as all plays in general have one thing in common, the journey to overcome an antagonist or a problem at hand. What we have to realize is this journey is due to the problem haven arisen in the first place. With this being said, i believe that the plays we’ve seen are all trying to portray today’s issues with society; such as lying/deception, love and violence. These are things themes that we can all relate to in some way. When we see these plays sometimes we are able to see things that we may have never noticed before. Sometimes its easier to see things more clearly when your watching it from the outside, rather than living it or being in it.

  93. Samantha Dunnum says:

    I think all the plays we have seen do reflect our society. Some don’t always reflect the current times but the theme of them and their main problems are relevant, or can be made relevant. I think the problems that the characters face in the plays are problems we have all faced or will at some point in our lives. Even other art in our society reflects the artists feelings, emotions and major events in that person life. Feelings will always reflect our society because we all have feelings, and always will. Of course the reflection is not perfect, nor will it ever be. But I think what the plays we have seen so far say about society is that we all struggle and fight. We all have to go through hardships and experience things that we don’t necessarily want to but have to. Even the comedy’s we have seen have characters that struggle with something at some point. I think that’s what can connect all the plays and even all art. It reflects how the artist is feeling at that time, whatever it is. Yes, all the plays we see could be said to all be very different but they’re all people trying to make it through life, one way or another. I think that’s why we may not even like some of the plays we see but we can all understand what it’s like to struggle with life and to not understand life at all. I think producers pick to put plays on when they do because of how they feel. I don’t think it’s just a random thing but it speaks to them at the moment. Maybe it stands out because of major things that are going on in society or one of the main themes in the play seems to be very apparent in their current life. It seems like maybe it would be theraputic in a way to go through a play that has struggles similar in some way to ones life, because maybe they can’t make it work in real life but working through in the play production could help them through their issues.

  94. Xiaoyue Zhao says:

    art is such a large part of our everyday lives that we may hardly even stop to think about it. Look at the desk or table where you are, right this minute. Someone designed that. It is art. Your shoes are art. Your coffee cup is art. All functional design, well done, is art. So, you could say “Art is something that is both functional and (hopefully) aesthetically pleasing to our eyes.”Art is such a large part of our everyday lives that we may hardly even stop to think about it. Look at the desk or table where you are, right this minute. Someone designed that. It is art. Your shoes are art. Your coffee cup is art. All functional design, well done, is art. So, you could say “Art is something that is both functional and (hopefully) aesthetically pleasing to our eyes.”Likely Harris Houdini,since this show is part of EgoPo’s season-long “American Vaudeville Festival”its acting style is exaggerated burlesque.This makes of an intriguing possibility of turning the subject matter into kind of tragic vaudeville,but it falls flat,because in order for tragedy to work,we need to feel sympathy for the character.