The Pillowman (from my point of view)

Posted by Carly Novek, Art History Major, Class of 2015

This Friday is the opening night of the play The Pillowman. I was very lucky to join Silagh last Friday evening for one of the full rehearsals. Before I dive in deeper, I should point out that theater is an area of the arts I appreciate, but don’t know too much about. I’m personally more into the fine arts-drawing, painting, design- because that is where I consider my skill set to be in. Nonetheless, I’ve always wished I was able to act and know the rush of what it must feel like to perform on stage in front of an audience.

I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect from the play, except for knowing it was written by Martin McDonagh, who is almost like a perfect blend of Arthur Miller and Quentin Tarantino. Where this may make some people skeptical, I personally love dark humor and sarcasm and could not wait to see how the plot of the show would unfold. With that, I also think many of my peers would like it as well for the same reason.

I had never seen a show at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to compare, but I guess in my experience seeing high schools shows and shows on Broadway, I didn’t expect the sense of intimacy I felt throughout the performance. Diamond Theater and it’s u-shape set up that set the stage basically inside definitely was an aspect of that close sensation, but it was also the small cast and story-like telling of the entire play.

Though it was just a rehearsal, the students all knew their lines down pat. I have no idea how they can memorize so much and say it so easily WHILE still evoking such dramatic feeling. I guess thats why they are the ones on stage, while I get to simply enjoy it and watch it all unfold. Each actor took on their role in such a believable manner. Both the large parts and small parts made the bigger image possible–and that was without all the lighting and legitimate costuming, which I’m sure in the upcoming performances will bring the show to entirely new level.

Overall, the show depicts the power of storytelling, and the essence of when both reality and imagination fuse together. It’s a story of admitting fault, realizing impacts others/decisions have on you, and lastly the ability to make choices. Though most (hopefully) of the students here, and other faculty and such seeing the show, are not story tellers who influence murders of children, the general themes of the play are relatable. The show is long (the first act itself is about 90 minutes,) but moves quick as something “exclusive” continues to develop through the plot. The play is suspenseful, dark, and yet humorous.

In conclusion, I applaud each of the actors for not only their skill, but for bringing the play alive in such a way as I got to see the other night. I’m sure they’ll kill it in the upcoming performances.



My name is Carly Novek and I am a junior here at Lehigh University. I am an art history major here, concentrating in marketing, and aspire to one day work on the business side of either the art of fashion industries. With that, i am super fortunate and happy to announce here on the blog that i have the opportunity to start up a movement for the Lehigh arts. Silagh White had approached me this summer to get involved with social media at zoellner, and i could not resist the offer. After meeting several times, we’ve come up-well took from the engineers- the idea of giving the arts a voice, but a student voice. I can’t wait to not only be a part of this, and a founder, but to see how this builds over time. 

More about me, if you really want to know, would be that I am actually pretty new to Lehigh, at least as a student. I transferred here last spring from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where i was double majoring with communications and art history. While there, i realized the love i already had for the arts truly became a passion, and knew i wanted to one day be a part of the field. Though Lehigh isn’t exactly known for the arts, i want to be part of the movement to make it known that it DOES exist here, and we not only have incredible events and galleries run by zoellner and LUAG, but that there are some seriously talented students here as well. Many members of my family have gone here through the years, and honestly they all thought i’d be the last one of me and my two sisters to end up here because of being more of the “artsy” one. I want to be part of the change of the assumption of what Lehigh brings to the table, and showcase the talent and existence of the arts here at the university.