"Analysis of Margarita"
CTH-101 Megan Kupres “The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself,” stated Benjamin Franklin. What is happiness, and can it actually be attained? Some people spend their entire lives searching for this thing, without ever actually knowing what it is they are searching for. Two fundamental necessities of mankind are inclusion and affection. Bye Bye Margarita—using various theatrical elements of staging, lighting, and acting—illustrates the struggle of one woman who longs for both, but when she cannot find either, seeks more sinful alternatives for pleasure. My analysis may be a little far-reached, but there was something about this tragedy, about Margarita’s character in particular, that captured my attention. The performance portrayed her as somewhat of a homewrecker or slut, but when the Professor mentioned to the other two men that she was bulimic, I immediately knew. Margarita was beautiful and sexy. Her movements were mesmerizing; her gaze was positively captivating. Ostensibly, she had it all, but really she was weak and vulnerable and longing for affection. In all actuality, she led a troubled existence. Bulimia is a mental disorder, most commonly the result of feelings of abandonment or insignificance. Margarita, for whatever reason—audience members were never fully informed of her situation—felt unloved and was plagued by the fact that she could not find enough affection to satisfy her desire for inclusion in someone else’s life. Thus, she succumbed to sin, which is easier, and averted to other methods of fulfillment: a high school drop-out at the local bar, a priest who was in anguish over the sins he had committed, and a college professor who already had a history of committing adultery with a student. She found momentary pleasure or satisfaction in other people who were also weak and susceptible to her manipulation. However, clearly wasn’t happy. The playwright raises a very important aspect of human existence with CTH-101 Megan Kupres this performance: Human beings have weaknesses and are susceptible to sin, which can cause one to behave in inexplicable ways. This is a somewhat profound subject. Without some knowledge of purgatory or a religious background, the average viewer probably would not understand the play’s underlying message. The staging for the play was incredibly useful for maintaining a sense of coherence. This play used simultaneous staging—elements from both the church and bar scenes were constantly on stage and visible to the audience. While lighting was used to give audience members a place to focus, this type of staging helped to foreshadow events. This allowed viewers to have an easier time placing the scenes together with minimal amount of pauses to adjust the scenery. The stage resembled more of a tiny community going about its day rather than separate locations and individual scenes. In addition, it is very useful to have the alter and other elements of the church ever-present in the background because it reinforces the play’s underlying religious focus. Regardless of where she goes or who Margarita is with, the church staging reminds audience members that all her actions are being reviewed by God. There were three ubiquitous performers that stood by Margarita. Not only did these actors serve as her deciders in purgatory during her final moments on stage, but they also may have served as a representation of the omnipresent judgment and pressure that she felt while living. Also in an attempt to make the play’s actions more applicable to the audience, the prologue was a combination rap and beat box performance by all the actors. A gospel performance would have been much less interesting and would not have captured the audience’s attention quite as well. Immediately, the audience knew there was something special about Margarita. All the men she affected introduced themselves and shared their experiences. This allowed one to comprehend the amount of lust, pain, and regret she was able to conjure up in CTH-101 Megan Kupres these men. These emotions were further intensified with the fact that it was presented in song rather than individual monologues, which would have been somewhat redundant. The entire play had the potential to be incredibly redundant overall—just one more guy that Margarita was able to charm, causing her to fall further into sin—but the director chose to present it with a climatic structure. The prologue informed the audience that something happened—or rather someone positively mystifying had entered their lives. However, it wasn’t until the play progressed that the actions of all their pasts began to unfold and all the transgressions Margarita had committed reached full force, when finally. In the end, the weight of everything she had done became too much, and she broke down. Dynasty Huckleby did an outstanding job Margarita. Out of all the other actors, her performance is the one that struck me the most. She was able to embody every aspect of her character—she was Margarita. Watching her movements and hearing her words across the stage, I could feel the sensations that she sent down the spines of the men, and I could sense her pain as she looked into the eyes of all the people she had affected. She exuded passion, which made up for the mediocre performances of the other performers around her. Margarita led a promiscuous life, but for purposes that went beyond anything that the average person could understand. On the surface she has it all—beauty, grace, charm—but it’s all merely a mask to hide the fact that something darker is lurking in her soul. Through various aspects of staging, lighting, and acting, Bye Bye Margarita showcases how the lack of fundamental human desires can lead one down a path of sin and merely momentary pleasure.