The performance of the “Sweeney Todd” by the Troy University Department of Theatre and Dance was nothing short of phenomenal, and this interpretation of the original production brought a new and simplistic feel to the source material.
This simplistic feel was termed ‘minimalistic’ and was implemented in the set.
In the set of “Sweeney Todd,” there were only chairs, different objects, a coffin, and the actors themselves.
This particular style of set allows for the viewers to fully focus on the material.
When asked about the nature of the setting, 21-year-old theatre major Glover Bryan “Quade” Sewell IV from Lilburn, Ga., who is an actor in the performance, said that the play’s simple setting and direction engages the viewer by actively inspiring their imagination.
“The material can stand on its own,” Sewell said.
“We took the minimalist approach because of the rich material, leaving the play without the need for an elaborate set. We left many things to the audience’s imagination.”
The audience’s imagination had a front row seat to the performance due to the set-up of the seating.
The layout of the seats was not in the stands, as is the norm with a theater production.
The audience actually sat in crafted stands up on the stage itself.
This created an immersive, up-close-and-personal experience for the audience, allowing the viewers to feel like part of the play.
The actors even went so far as to interact with the audience at times, a feat that would be otherwise difficult if the audience was separated.
Another feat that was possible with the engagement of the audience was the use of a live musical performance.
The music provided for the performance of “Sweeney Todd” was engaging and powerful.
As opposed to using a CD or otherwise prerecorded material, the play was not as constrained.
It was almost as though the music could “breathe,” meaning the music could speed up or slow down with how the actor is acting or singing.
From a viewer’s perspective, the music was loud and added to the overall experience.
Despite this performance being an adaptation from the original “Sweeney Todd,” the music was something that felt like it was straight from an original score.
Overall, “Sweeny Todd” was a spectacular performance.
James Mathews, a 20-year-old sophomore math major from Phoenix City, walked away impressed from the performance.
“I really liked their take on the set-up,” Mathews said.
“I felt it was very well done and enjoyable. This is only the second play I’ve been to at Troy University, and they’ve only made me want to go to more.”
“Sweeny Todd” can be put in the books as another successful performance by the Troy University Theatre Department.