With the many plays present and available, the tile of this particular contemporary play caught me since it was very unusual, and I wanted to know whether it was alluding to a deeper metaphorical meaning or just a play with a different contextual meaning—like a satire of some sort as to what George Orwell did in Animal Farm. Moreover, the title seems intriguing—this is brought on by the visual impact of the Dead Rats since it is both gory and gruesome. 2) Review the playwright’s literary elements: a. Provide a plot summary.
The summary of the play is unusual since it itself does not seem to follow a normal plot pattern or any plot at all. The play instead is in the format of a “stream of consciousness” wherein there is a jumping of characters, themes, and motif. Just as the plot was making sense or beginning to make a point, it shifts to different characters and stories. But I believe that that is mainly the point or summary of the plot—the voices or the many characters in the mind of a person which shifts immediately and suddenly without warning. There seem to be so many characters, but they have no common factor, and yet they are connected somehow.
b. Identify the genre. How do you know? It is hard to identify the genre of the play, but it can be considered as a psychological contemporary play. This is for the reason that the play seems to happen inside the mind and yet not entirely in it. There are allusions of the psychological treatment from the very start of the play—from the voices which the man is hearing to the presence of Dr. Green or School Master Green who is treating a patient by the name of Mary or Marie with multiple personalities or multiple interpretations of reality and fantasy.
The entire play itself is confusing since it keeps shifting and turning with the characters and the mention of either the mentally disturbed or the dead. c. What is the theme? The theme is most exemplified at the end of the play wherein the dead character by the name of Ann tells the audience that “she continues”: Everything continues, and I will continue. I can see right through your silence, right through into your mind, deep inside behind your face, way back, where you really think, and I know just how hard it is, how hard the pain hits you, but look at me, hear me.
I continue. After the lights go down, I continue. (Knag, 2009, n. p. ) The whole play is about the inner realms of thinking and of the mind; that is to say, just because someone is dead or not there anymore does not mean they cease to exist—because everyone continues. d. Is there spectacle present in the play? If so, how did it affect your reading of the play? There are a lot of spectacles present in the play, like the outbursts of the emotions of the characters or the killing of the Little Waif character also known as Marie or Mary.
These so-called spectacles made me more interested with the play and made me want to find out what is happening and what was going on. 3) If you could change any part of the plot in your selected play, what would you amend? I think the author, Paul Knag, already did a fine job with the play. Even if the play is very confusing, startling, and gruesome, it was very well-written and intriguing to the point that the reader is made breathless with the drama and action going on. However, there are some points which I would want to change. For instance, it seems that are too many scene changes and props needed.
The practicality of producing such contemporary play should be considered since the play itself is quite simple. Hence, there is no need for theatrical displays of props and settings since in my opinion, the psychological beauty and seriousness of the play can still come out if there are simpler props and settings included. For example, instead of traveling from one place to another to determine the shift from train station to the actual destination, there can be a play with light, darkness, and space as to pertain to the shift. Reference