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The Antelope

The Antelope

‘Marat/Sade’ sends shivers throughout audiences



The ominous soundtrack of echoed shouts and rumbles set audience members on before the eerie “Marat/Sade” performance put on by the UNK Theater Program last week. As far as symbolic meaning, the play written by Peter Weiss portrayed as many layers as implied by the lengthy, original title, which is “The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade.”

Directed by Jack Garrison, the story is based on historical events in the 1800’s. The premise is centered around the inmates of an insane asylum acting out the radical efforts of Jean-Paul Marat during the French Revolution as seen by Marquis de Sade, a revolutionary politician and writer. Sade is also the historical founder of sadism. This play within a play gradually built up to the demise of Marat which was inflicted by the embittered Charlotte Corday.

The dedication of the actors was demonstrated through the consistent development of ticks and personalities among the asylum patients. Deeper themes were emitted using the contrast between the upper class and the lower class, but the meaning could be interpreted on multiple levels based on political unrest, revolution, and the aftermath of chaos.

Despite the grim atmosphere, the bouncy music complimented the panic and disorder. The old-fashioned band served as a relief from the pandemonium to some extent. Altogether, the musical and theatrical aspects were handled well in balancing talent and characterization.

Thanks to the extravagant attitudes and behaviors depicted by the cast, people left the theater with turmoil and anxiety brewing within them. The UNK Theater Program successfully made strong statements in “Marat/Sade” that resonated with stricken audience members.

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