Play Critique

Your Play Critique is a long essay (2-3 double-spaced, typed pages); written about a play that you have gone to see during this course, and that demonstrates your grasp of the concepts taught in this course. STEP ONE:  The first thing that you have to do is go to a theatre and see a live play during this 8-week course; (plays seen before the course begins will not be accepted). There are performances on the RCC campus every semester (listed in the syllabus) and these are the easiest plays to write about. If you can’t attend one of the available RCC productions, please scroll down to “Where Can I Go to See a Play?” (also in this folder).Hint: Students in the past have failed this assignment because they’ve waited until the final week to see a play. Don’t make that mistake! Plan to see a play in the first four weeks of the course. STEP TWO: While at the play, you should be jotting down notes about the production so that you can refer to them while writing your report.  Things to note are: the location of the theatre, the title of the play, the playwright, cast members, directors, designers, and things about the play and the space that really catch your attention; both in a positive and in a negative way. Hint: Keeping the performance “program” will be a good source of information for you while writing your paper. STEP THREE:  Write your paper focusing on the things that you’ve learned through the text book readings, but please offer your own interpretation and opinion about what you saw. The areas that you must write about (in any order that you choose) are:Theatrical Space: What was the playing space and how did that aid or detract in telling the story? What type of stage was used? Direction: How did the director interpret the play? Were there places that you noticed the director helping or hurting the production? (Remember that this is very open-ended since the director plays a large role in everything that you experience while at a play.) Acting: Did the performances aid in telling the story? Choose two actors and get specific about how their acting interpretation affected the characters and overall story.  Costume/Hair/Makeup Design: What did the clothing, hair, and makeup say about the characters? Were you impressed by the design? Did it help tell you who each character was. (Give several examples.) Set Design: What did the overall world of the play look like? What kind of a set was it? Was it realistic or non-realistic? Did it employ symbolism? How did it help you receive the play? Prop Design: Were there any props that were used that stuck out at you? How did the prop(s) look? How did their use affect your belief and immersion in the play? Lighting Design: How did the useof light affect the story? Give specific examples from the play to illustrate how the lighting design helped or hurt the play. Sound Design: Were there any sound effects? Recorded music cues? Soundtrack? If so, how did they help tell the story? If not, how did the sound affect you? Could you hear people? Were there ever any props that were used to create sound that helped tell the story? Opinions/Personal Thoughts: It’s important that you have an opinion about the play you saw and each of the elements so your opinions should be dispersed throughout the paper. But remember, it’s not enough to just have an opinion, you also have to EXPLAIN your opinion using actual things that happened in the play.

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