Drama As Literature
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Theater Assignment for A. P. English, First Semester


True students of literature do not neglect the theater as one place where they can experience quality literature in a vibrant way. Dramatic works are written to be performed; one must view them in order to fully appreciate them. We will be studying plays during second semester; however, you need to see a play this year in order to round out your literary education. You must see one live stage production between now and the start of Winter Break. It can be a school, college, community or professional production. Keep your ticket stub and your program to submit with your write-up. Below are the questions you are to answer in order to fulfill the assignment. Aim for ¾-page for each of the 4 questions, (typed, D/S). DUE DATE: Monday, Jan 3 at the latest. (You may hand it in earlier!) - 40 pts. total

THE PLAY AS LITERATURE (20 pts.)

1. Discuss important relationships the protagonist has with two different supporting characters (antagonists, foils, confidantes). How does each work to illuminate the protagonist? How does each affect the narrative arc or tension in the play? [NOTE: For The Laramie Project, you will not be able to discuss a protagonist because there isn't one! Instead, focus on Laramie, WY, as a town. Discuss two different characters' experiences in Laramie and how Laramie, as a place with a distinct ethos/aura, has affected each character's viewpoint or attitude. Then explore how this idea of PLACE creates the narrative arc and tension in the play.]

2. Discuss the main uses of irony (both dramatic and situational) in the play. Focus on at least 3 specific examples.

THE PRODUCTION (20 pts.)

3. Comment on the set design. Did it enhance or hinder the production? Pay attention to entrance/exit capability, levels, color, visibility, use of lighting, music and overall effect in setting the correct mood or “feel” for the show. Was anything done especially creatively or cleverly in the use of the theater’s space or with technical effects?

4. Comment on two specific scenes in the play, one you found especially well done and one you felt was weaker. (A “scene” might be between two blackouts, or from one character’s entrance to another’s exit, etc.) What made the scenes work or not? Focus on the actors’ line delivery and timing, their movement or placement on stage, and the use of technical effects such as lighting, music and sound, and props.

LOW-COST AREA PRODUCTIONS THIS FALL (most high school shows around $5-6)



BG:
Hersey:
Elk Grove:
Prospect:
Meadows:
Wheeling:
Stevenson:
St. Viator:
Palatine:
Fremd:
Schaumburg:
Conant:
Hoffman Estates:

Harper:

Metropolis: Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol (See their website for prices and more info. These shows are professional and more expensive.)

Marriott Lincolnshire Resort Theater: The Music Man, Nov. 3-Jan. 9 (See website for tickets and pricing... they are VERY expensive but well worth it.)