20 November 2012
Intimate Apparel Script Analysis
Intimate Apparel is set in the year of 1905 however the season is not provided within the text. The passage of time can be determined throughout the play between the scene and act. The passage of time is briefly mentioned within George’s letters to Esther. For example, one can infer that the passage of time between act 1 scene 1 and scene is 2 months because within the first few lines of George’s second letter, he states “I received your letter. Its two months in the coming…” Although one could determine the time within the text, the hour of day for each scene nor act cannot be determined. Being that time is not a key feature within the text, it can be subtly represented on stage through lighting changes to represent the transition from day to night as well as clothing to represent the changes is season, if there are any changes at all. These features could help the audience understand the time of day as well as the year of the play without the overbearing features of voice overs or clocks. The action of the play occurs in Manhattan, New York although there are no geographical features described; the audience would naturally have a visual of the New York landscape. There are a multitude of locales for each scene within the play however only specific details such as furniture are mention, not specific layouts of each room. In act 1 scene 1, the action takes place in Esther’s simple, unadorned bedroom while in scene 2; the action takes place in Mrs. Van Buren’s elegant boudoir. In act 1 scene, the action takes place in Mr. Marks cramped boudoir, which serves as a fabric shop for his customers. In the 4th scene, the action occurs in Mayme’s boudoir, which also serves as a “parlor” which contains a canopy bed and a piano. In scene 5 the scene has 2 locales: Esther’s boudoir then Mr. Marks boudoir then in scene 6 the action occurs in Mayme’s boudoir then in Mrs. Van Buren’s boudoir. The first two scenes in the second act are set in Esther’s boudoir then in Esther and George’s boudoir, while scene 3 occurs in Mrs. Van Buren’s boudoir, then in Mayme’s boudoir. The action in scene 4 and 5 occurs in Mayme’s boudoir while scene 6 takes place in Mr. Mark’s boudoir. The final scene takes place in Esther’s boudoir. Being that there are multiple locales on stage, one set will not suffice to represent them all. Each locale would have to be divided with blackouts and spot lights on the locale within the scene being shown. Only the essential furniture pieces and props are needed to represent each boudoir on stage. The set pieces and props can contribute to the play by showing the distinction between each person’s boudoir and the intimacy they have for the rom as well as Esther. Relationships play a major role within the play due to the intimacy of each scene being shown with someone’s bedroom in their undergarments. Mrs. Dickson and Esther aren’t related but they have known each other since Esther was 17. Mayme and Mrs. Van Buren are both clients of Esther while Esther is a client of Mr. Marks, she also has taken an interest in Mr. Marks although he is arranged to be married. George is a suitor of Esther and eventually become her husband. The occupational groups are clearly depicted within the play. Esther is a seamstress while Mrs. Dickson is a landlord for a rooming house, in which Esther resides. Mayme is a prostitute who dreams of being a classical pianist while Mrs. Van Buren is a wealthy housewife. George works as a migrant worker on the Panama Canal and Mr. Marks owns a fabric shop. With the variation of occupations demonstrated within the play shows the different social ranks each character carries. Esther, Mayme, and George are all lower class citizens while Mrs. Dickson and Mr. Marks are more middle class. The only upper class individual represented in the text is Mrs. Van Buren. With each character coming from...
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