Intro to Theatre TH102Reaction Paper #111/04/03 Bat Boy: The MusicalThe play Bat Boy: The Musical is the product of an historic alliancebetween the Weekly World News and three authors from Los Angeles. Thiswonderful production combines the journalism of the Weekly World News withthe power of song. It’s a creative theatrical production based on thealleged sightings of a mysterious “bat child”, half-boy and half-bat,reported by tabloid newspapers.
The protagonist of the production is the Bat Boy. We see him go throughmany changes throughout the course of the play. In the beginning he appearsas a scared and strange creature. He then transforms into what he sees tobe a regular boy, but reality comes back to him quickly as he realizes hewill never be a typical human boy.
I felt that the antagonist of the playwas Dr. Thomas Parker. It’s difficult for me to make a choice on thisbecause everyone at one time or another was opposing the Bat Boy. The play was communicated through many different elements. Dialogue waspresented with spoken language in sometimes extreme ways.
The use oflanguage volume helped to get many points of excitement and anger across tothe audience. Action in this play helped us to see the fear of the Bat Boyfrom the very beginning. His rapid movement across the stage and theshaking of his cage are examples of how the Bat Boy showed us the fear hefelt. The use of props such as smelly smoke pellets were also used to helpthe audience get a sense of what it would be like to be near the Bat Boy. Music and dance were also used as a main tool to communicate the feelingsand motives in the play.
This production is a farcical comedy that moves nicely from slapstick todrama. It is full of witty dialogue and songs, tabloid worthy plot twists,and feigned seriousness . I feel that the play was straightforward. I couldsee where some audience members might not feel the same. It has many ideasthat I believe have deeper meaning.
The production was humorous,startling, absurd and sometimes frightening. The plot of the play was very interesting. I had no idea what type ofstory line a playwright could create with such a topic as a Bat Boy. I wasextremely impressed with the creative premise of this production.
As anaudience member I could tell from the very beginning that this would be adramatic play with an intense plot. The emergent meaning was well done. Asthe play begins and the teenage siblings locate the Bat Boy in the cave,you see that he is not human by his action of biting the young girl. Thekids bring the boy back to town, hoping the creature will be destroyed. Fortunately for the musical’s plot the sheriff delivers him to the localveterinarian, whose family takes an instant liking to him.
They decide to”tame” him. The humor of the story continues quickly as the boy becomesmore human than bat like. The town reacts with negativity, than with apositive attitude, than negative again. He soon discovers the secret of hisorigin. The Bat Boy character is played with an awesome display ofphysicality and voice as he climbs around the stage and delivers musicalnumbers with a terrific voice. I felt that every character worked.
They alltied the plays plot together. Each one helped the audience to get a feelingof suspense and each one brought humor to the play. The use ofcollaborative art to bring this production to the stage at Washburn wasoutstanding. The enactment of the scenes by every character in the play wasincredible.
The visual elements of the performance truly brought this play together. The choreography was outstanding and eye catching. The scenic design is awonderful blend of cave vs. civilization. The costumes were simple enoughfor the audience to focus on the character as a whole and simple enough forquick, easy changes by wearing a different hat for example. The lightingdesign gives the audience a wonderful feel in each scene.
I loved thesequence when the audience is blinded with lights. The music in Bat Boy wasextremely entertaining. The kind of catchy music you can’t get out of yourhead even after your long gone from the theatre. The music explored rap,hoe down, and gospel and the ballads were wonderfully sappy.
I believe thatall of these elements of spectacle and music helped enhance the meaning ofthis play. This play contained so many elements of theatricalism. It employed vividimagery throughout. The scene where Bat Boy is eating the cow head is agood example. Heightened language took place throughout the production. This play also called attention to the mechanics of the theatre.
Theperformers themselves came on and off the stage in order to move the props. This production of Bat Boy was wonderful. I beleive that the playwrightwas trying to get the point across to the audience that we all contain adark side and that we need to accept this fact. Maybe he believes that weall have a Bat Boy inside of us.