A Last Reflection by Rachel

Interview:

http://www.hercampus.com/school/western-ontario/penn-kemp-poet-playwright-novelist

The interview I am working on is progressing well. I have decided to construct two separate interviews. The first will be geared more towards getting to know Penn as a person, and the other will be focused on the actual details of the play. I have also decided to incorporate a creative aspect in the interview. I am planning to showcase props and such, and perhaps have Penn participate in a trivia game during the interview as an entertainment segment. I have not finalized my decision for that part of the project yet, but I don’t think that a spontaneous portion would hurt anyone.

Our class trips to the Museum of Ontario and Archaeology and the London museum gave me insight on thoughts that resonated with the play: The Triumph of Teresa Harris. Firstly, I think that we remain to find art relevant in today’s culture because of it’s ability to adapt to society. The same piece of art that served a meaning in the eighteen hundred could now exist in the year 2016 with a different meaning. For instance, even though Teresa’s story is a story of the past, we are still analyzing her life, but that’s only because we find substance in the information. Her abilities to escape the ordinary constraints of woman in her time is an achievement that is timeless. Because she is one of the only that has accomplished such, her experience is valuable, and thus remains relevant to us perpetually within our quickly evolving society. This made me think about the archeological sites that we had seen when we visited the museum. Similar to the timelessness in Teresa’s achievements, artifacts will always capture a time that could never be re-created for the obvious reason that we are not able to travel backwards in time. The only evidence to prove that something has ever existed in a particular time is via the discovery of artifacts. In the context of art, we are able to identify what is important by their existence in society.  If they hold no substance or purpose, then they would have automatically been removed and forgotten.

Moreover, it is interesting because the play is written in a time frame that takes place over 7 decades. We saw a lot of art at the London museum that incorporated collaging. The images and texts of the art were frequently set in a chaotic manner, but once you step back, it reveals a greater picture within itself. It reminded me of the life of Teresa Harris. If we focus on her overcoming those barriers and obstacles as opposed to the societal constraints of her time, we as the audience are able to realize a bigger picture. She is not only a survivor, but a breakthrough individual that has change the future for many women. Her life is like a collage in a sense where her struggles ended up resulting in a greater outcome—victory.

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