Thursday, September 21st, 2017...6:31 pmJanel

The Playboy of the Telenovela World

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When the group of women first encounter Christy at the beginning of Act II, they enter with a predisposed fascination rooted in the community gossip about Christy murdering his father. This particular scene has great comedic potential for the stage because of the many bodies gravitating toward and centering all their attention on Christy.

What struck me about this scene was that it evokes a Cinderella-esque parallel to the stepsisters’ ostentatious obsession with the princea parallel in which the secondary female characters fight for the attention of the key male protagonist, despite his apparent lack of interest. This has become a sort of standard setup that signals a tendency to ridicule the secondary female characters and creates the humor in the scene.

In my own staging of this play, I’d adapt it to incorporate the over-dramatic telenovela element by casting telenovela star Jaime Camil as Christy due to his pompous, exaggerated acting style. His first line responds to Sara’s question about his identity:  “I am, God help me,” which I would love to see done in his extravagant tone, and carried on throughout (116).  The women’s lines can be especially heightened for comedic purposes through  exaggeration in the actors’ tone. In particular, I would love for Sara’s character to take on the telenovela trope of the sly female villain-temptress, as with her attempts to win Christy over: “Pegeen’s ducks is no use, but these are the real rich sort. Hold out your hand and you’ll see it’s no lie I’m telling you,” (116).



3 Comments

  • I love that you have an actor in mind to play Christy — you obviously visualize Christy’s deportment with great clarity. I think you are right, it would be humorous to emphasize the contrast between Christy’s criminality and the townswomen’s reception of him.

  • I can clearly see the connection between this scene and “Cinderella.” I think that bringing in the over-dramatic telenovela element would make the audience focus on the grand actions of the characters, thus the stage directions, which are a very big part of Synge’s humor.

  •   Professor Seiler
    October 2nd, 2017 at 11:15 pm

    Janel–Eek! I somehow missed this post. What a fantastic idea. And you’re onto something big about hyperbolic femininity/feminine tropes at work in the play, esp. as compared to Pegeen. Great job!

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