Bog of Cats: First read through

As I mentioned in a previous post, senior theater majors and minors at Goucher must participate in what is known as the “senior project.” The senior project is a two semester course. Over the first semester, the students read and use dramaturgy to get to know the world of the play, and figure out what they want the audience to go away with. The second semester, the show actually goes into production. This year, the senior project is a production of Marina Carr’s play By the Bog of Cats.

Yesterday, we had our first read through for our production of By the Bog of Cats. One thing that a majority of the seniors noticed was that we were being re-introduced to the play. After reading it all semester and discussing all of the themes we kind of became desensitized to the dark, scary world of the bog. These people have issues. They have problems with each other, and yet they all live together. In a way, some aspects of the play remind me of how problems with roommates simmer, until eventually they explode. And the problems do explode.

By the Bog of Cats┬áis loosely based on Euripides play Medea. Both plays are dark and involve death, the killing of one’s children out of love, and a woman struggling to find her place in a world that seems to have no room for her anymore. It does not matter that the outside world is vast. She is being evicted from her home. In the first read through, many things became clear to those of us who were returning to the play after two months. One of our cast members who had not read the play before had great reactions every time a burning line or insult was read. Our director, Professor Allison Campbell, really appreciated that as it showed how cruel the lines really are. After reading the play so many times, we had kind of become immune to the affect the line would really have.

I will post more later.

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