Drake University’s Electra | 2019

In Drake University’s production of Electra, I spotted an array of vocal components throughout the play.

Volume

I think the volume the actors used during the production was suitable for the space we were in. Although each actor used different volumes, it still fit the space and the play. However, I noticed one actor’s voice was a little quiet. She also stumbled on a few words and her words were a little muffled at times. I believe this actor was a chorus member named Mariah Crawford. Moreover, I also noticed that the volume of the actors was appropriate in different situations. For example, there were many scenes where Aegisthus, who was played by Eric Fredrickson, yelled at other actors or in general. When he yelled, it was very controlled, which is more than appropriate for the stage. Another instance when a contained yell occurred was when Clytemnestra, who was played by Peyton Johnson, ran out of the studio in hopes of avoiding her death. Once again, this is the absolute best way to yell on stage. Another thing I wanted to mention about volume is when actors proceed to display different emotions, their voices get quieter and/or louder, but I could still hear them clearly and crisply which shows a lot of control and awareness over one’s voice. Something else pertaining to the volume I mentioned was when the chorus actors were speaking in unison, they did a very good job of not drowning each other out. They all spoke at similar if not the same level of intensity. Once again, this goes to show how in tune the actors are with one another, and the control and awareness each actor has over their voice.

Pitch

Moving on to the pitch, one of the main things that stuck out to me regarding pitch, is that each actor made a wonderful character choice of how their character speaks. Each character has their own unique pitch in their voice which conveys the versatility of this production. All of the pitches the actors chose were very appropriate for their characters and I thought all pitches sounded very pleasant. I don’t think I noticed any range that was flat. However, something I noticed when I first heard Electra speak, who was played by Brenna Leilich, was that the way in which she was speaking sounded a little choppy to me at first, but after she continued to speak, it didn’t sound as outlandish. I wonder if that was a character choice or not. The rate at which every actor was talking was just right from what I could hear. However, I did notice that Peyton Johnson, who played Clytemnestra, was talking at a particularly slow rate during her interview. I feel like there were some beats that were unnecessary or that could have been shorter. In terms of articulation, everyone was easy to understand with the exception of chorus member Mariah Crawford. I noticed that she mumbled over some words and slurred some consonants. Therefore, the vocal techniques used in this production really shaped the show.

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