Blog Post 5 – Matteo, Fallon, Eric & Genevieve

Hi y’all. Group 2 back at it again. It’s been a loaded week for everybody, but now we’re headed into the best season of them all: Thanksgiving season! But before we kick off into the holiday week, with lots of delicious foods and the return of Mariah Carey, we want to leave you with an interesting and informative blog post. This week we are reflecting upon what it is that we have so far and what we could improve upon for the final project. First and foremost, there are two different introductions at the current moment- one orderly, and one disorderly. It may make more sense just to keep one. The effect is twofold a) we save time b) there is less clutter and confusion for the audience to keep up with. As for which one should be kept, this should be the disorderly one. The disorderly introduction provides some chaos to introduce the piece, which as of now, has a placid middle, and starts to pick up in excitement at the finish. Perhaps a disorderly intro at the beginning, without trying to also start out orderly simultaneously will hook the audience and make the boringness of the long-winded parts even more obvious.

Disorderly is a great word to describe politics in general. No matter how hard politicians may try to make their meetings go as smoothly as possible, there will always be little things here and there that are uncontrollable. Our final project also, while it does have compilations from past council meetings, does not necessarily have to mimic everything from a regular council meeting. The entire purpose is to show that politics is theater, so being disorderly only is able to add to the “plot” and the theatrics of local council meetings in the first place. However, we still think throughout this disorder that may exist in the final project, there still should be some important points that are touched upon, like interactions between council members in times of distress when they might not know what to say or do. Some of our audience may not necessarily have lots of experience or expertise with local politics. So apart from the theatrics, we should ensure that the audience can also learn from the informative aspect of the performance. Hopefully, we could also spark some interest from the performance as well. That would be part of how our performance could be a success. Also, on a small side note, we think ensuring that there is accessibility in the performance for the audience.

The timing and circumstances of our performance reflect a barrier that exists when attending local council meetings also. Students at Princeton can simply walk to the Lewis Arts Center in order to partake in the project but this is often not the case with political procedures. In order to get to these meeting people have to drive or take public transit which is a cost some people cannot afford. However, the timing of our final does reflect an obstacle in these procedures. Our “city council meeting” takes place during reading week, a time in which many students are studying from sun up to sun down. While no club meetings and athletics are allowed during this time our role as students is much like that of someone who is working a job. We must work 9+ hours a day in order to receive a “paycheck” or in our case to be prepared for our final exams. While this is extreme and nothing serious such as homeless and poverty will affect students if they do not study (as skipping work may affect someone who works and lives paycheck to paycheck) it still demonstrates a lack of accessibility. In the end, this demonstrates the time constant many people face when it comes to participating in local government. Just as students feel as though they cannot take an hour or two off from studying to attend our performance, there is a large portion of the US population that cannot afford to take off work in order to attend a council meeting and participate in other democratic processes.

Since many students will be stressed during reading week, our performance must gain their attention. For this reason, it is important that our final performance be both informative about local government and entertaining. This is why a disorderly beginning can be beneficial because it will help draw spectators into the drama of local politics. We want to make sure that our audience is hooked and wants to see the entirety of our show. A chaotic beginning sets an engaging stage that will keep our audience more attentive for other parts of the show. However, there is also a complication in including content from the Trenton meeting. While the disorder was real, we want to still display the city in a positive light. If we do decide to include some of the Trenton meeting, we should contextualize the many forms of disorder that exist in local government. Chaos exists in many local governments across the nation, but usually not as blatantly as Trenton. Also, showing some disorder adds to the educational component of our performance. We want to show our audience the diverse range of things that take place in meetings. Overall, it is vital that we keep our audience engaged while maintaining consciousness for the various complexities the areas we are scripting from are facing.

Thank you for tuning in to another chat with Group 2. It’s been great hearing some ideas about our final performance before heading into the break. With that being said, have a great Thanksgiving!

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