Così Practice Essay:
What does Lewis learn by directing Così Fan Tutte?
In the famous playwright ‘Così’ written by Louis Nowra and published in 1992, Lewis Riley, the play’s protagonist discovers more about himself than ever before. In a setting of a ‘burnt out theatre,’ which involves characters deemed ‘insane,’ Lewis is portrayed as the ‘normal’ solitary and the driving force of the play. Through his journey from being an unconfident ‘director’ and idealistic on Australia’s current involvement in the Vietnam war, to becoming independent and a firm believer in his own values, Lewis finds himself gradually accepting the mentally ill patients, realising what true love is and comprehending that both men and women can be unfaithful. Lewis develops whilst directing Così Fan Tutte.
Throughout Così, Lewis makes a remarkable change which ultimately leads to his acceptance of the mentally ill patients. At first Lewis refers to the patients as “…mad. It’s madness” however as the play deepens, Lewis’ change of character is noticed, especially by his girlfriend, Lucy – “Working with these people has changed you.” After regretting his place in the asylum Lewis finally forms a bond and affinity with the patients. This is evident when he protects Doug, from being transferred to a closed ward, and their performance, Così Fan Tutte, from being abolished. This change is also noticed when Lewis chooses the production of the play over the moratorium, a protest in regards to the Vietnam War, and his kiss with Julie, a patient at the asylum who is a drug addict. This kiss marks the finalisation of Lewis’ transition in accepting the patients and also represents Lewis’ world and the asylum’s world coming together. Lewis learns a lot about himself during the course of the production.
During the production of the play, Lewis recognizes the presence of love. As he once believed that “Love is not so important nowadays” Lewis alters his views and realises true love does exist...
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