“Working with these people has changed you”.
Whilst Lewis undergoes a significant transformation within the play “cosi”, he is not the only character to benefit from the experience. Discuss
Set in a time where free love is at its peak and raging opinions on war flood the media, Cosi follows the journey of a University student, Lewis, whose perception of the world, along with his morals, has been guided by minds of the mentally ill. Placed into an environment where manic personalities are at large, Lewis the young director has taken up a challenge of directing a group of ill minded individuals to perform the opera Cosi fan tutte, a challenge which in time benefits the patients along with Lewis himself. Starting in a “burnt out” theatre, Cosi is first symbolic of a range of expectations that are to be subverted during the play, along with the perceptions and beliefs that are to be changed. The situation is hopeless to begin with. This setting also reflects the broader social and political setting of the play where society is "burnt out" from the Vietnam War and creates our expectation that what Lewis is undertaking is both foolish and doomed to failure, “Is this where we're performing?” As the journey of the characters progress through their performance in the opera, it becomes apparent that the connections formed with Lewis have had a positive effect on the social skills and confidence in many of the patients in Cosi. He is first a student espousing the views of his peers and of his times about the sexual revolution and the Vietnam War, but comes to reject these as the patients - Roy, Julie, Cherry develop his perspectives
Placing himself in a situation where expectations are slim, Lewis first begins his challenge hesitant of what exactly he will be faced with while also remaining vulnerable to anti-social personalities of the patients in the asylum. Entering the burnt out theatre with a ‘chink’ of daylight, Lewis first introduces hope for the patients...