Hunter Intro to Theatre

Can Opener: A Brief Horror Musical

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    Geraldine Denis

    Performance Reflection

    THEA 101



    <i>“The Can Opener: A Brief Horror Musical” </i>




    “The Can Opener: A Brief Horror Musical”  is about a young woman who goes away to college out of her own will forced by her parents who also has a fear that something bad will occur to her once she goes to school like zombies who will eat her brains out. She ajs this nightmare every night before she goes away. At school she is given a literal show of adrenaline and is brainwashed to open up her mind. At the end she is such an obedient follower of the college that she gets a nail and hammer, as she starts to hammer her head open. The director uses stage lighting, dramatic language, and developed character to build the comedic feeling of the play as he  portrays to the audience how colleges are overpriced -anxiety causing institutions that force students to give up their own opinions and abandon their own identities


    It was about a young girl  being forced to go away to college. She suffered from anxiety and would have awful nightmares, and even daydreams about zombies that would eat her brains out. She was in love with a young boy and they loved to dance in the forest. She often discussed running away and dancing in the forests with him. He would visit her and they would reminisce and talk about her not going away to school. The play is a comedy and there are many play on words, irony and sarcasm throughout the production. The other was overly preppy and had a disregard for any emotion besides happiness. she was always happy, and could not offer any empathy or sympathy to her daughter or strangers. when the father was reading the newspaper in the kitchen, he was reading aloud about this family that was found with their bodies distorted and their heads open with their brains taken out He describes how the authorities found them. The mother was making breakfast has a fixed plastic smile on her face,throughout the whole play actually, serves breakfast to her husband and daughter and asks who would clean the carpet full of blood and comments how difficult it will be to get rid of the blood. The daughter, this whole time looks very apprehensive and has an aside, as she speaks about how afraid she was and that the zombies are  certainly real and not in her dreams. She confesses her concern that the zombies will come for her next.  She uses dramatic language throughout her monologue. While she is talking to the audience her mother and father are talking softly, concerning the tragic account. When she has an aside the lighting is dimmed on the other characters and the bright light is fixed on her.  She has frequent monologues throughout the play and every time the bright light is fixed on her so that the audience is focused on her..


    The stage is a proscenium stage and in certain scenes for example where the  young lady is in her room singing about her times in the forest dancing with her boy friend the lights are dimmed as the stage crew rearranges the other part of the stage for the next scene. The bright light is again zoomed in on the main character so that the audience is not overly distracted by the stage crew who are also wearing all black as well.. The frequent monologues with the main character allow the audience to sympathize as well as empathize with the main character because we are able to hear the thoughts and the feelings of the protagonist.  It gives the audience an understanding on why she is she is laden with  anxiety and is apprehensive as well as dazed out after she hears about the rains that are taken out of the family in the paper.

    In a later scene, the family returns to the kitchen and the father reads an updated story about the family who was found with their bodies contorted and brains. The main character leans with a fear and excitement as shown by her facial expressions. Her mother is preparing a meal with the same yellow dress and fixed smile as the last time that they were shown to be having breakfast. after investigation it is confirmed that the deaths of the family were self imposed and that they had done this act to themselves. The light dims and the main character goes back to her room. This is a foreshadowing of the ending where the main character takes a nail and hammer to crack her head open.


    By the time she gets to college, the audience has a good idea of who she is based on the previous monologues. The character development is indirect as we learn who she is through her interactions with others, her thoughts and speech in monologues. It is obvious that she very fearful and feels overwhelmed by her nightmares that appear to becoming true.

    I really enjoyed the comedy of teh playa s a whole.It was a musical and they sang in satire. The comedy of the play and the sarcasm in the way that the presented their message actually really helped drive their point of colleges today. Throughout the play I felt actually really excited and laughed many times. The setting of the theater was fitting and very dark as appropriate for  a horror musical. The songs at the monologues also, I felt helped me understand what the director was trying to convey. There weren’t many props used so I did have a hard time finding images, but as a whole I really enjoyed this play and was really glad to support The Kraine Theater because they are all pretty much struggling actors who enjoy the art of acting.



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