A. P. English – Hutchinson/Paul 2nd Semester Drama Assignment

Due: Monday, April 25 - 60 points


Film adaptations of great novels and plays have become the norm. Such adaptations can closely mirror the original crucible_film.JPGwork, or they may be very different. Imagine the task of the screenwriter, the director, and the cinematographer as they work to bring a beloved play to the screen – and all the choices this team must make! With this in mind, choose a play by one of the great Modern American playwrights below, and find a copy to read in any library or order it online. Read the play carefully, imagining how it would be staged, following the dramatic arc, noting conflicts, foils ironies, etc. After you read it, you will then need to locate a copy of the film version of the play, either through Netflix, your library, or Blockbuster. (Or you can go in with a couple of classmates and purchase a copy from Amazon!) Then complete the activities outlined below.

Eugene O’Neill (Long Day’s Journey Into Night, The Iceman Cometh)

Lillian Hellman (Little Foxes, The Children’s Hour)

Thornton Wilder (Our Town)

Tennessee Williams (The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire,
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Night of the Iguana, Summer and Smoke, The Rose Tattoo)

Arthur Miller (Death of a Salesman, The Crucible)

William Inge (Picnic, Come Back Little Sheba, Bus Stop)

Lorraine Hansberry (A Raisin in the Sun)

Edward Albee (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, A Delicate Balance)

Neil Simon (Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple,
Prisoner of Second Avenue, Biloxi Blues,
Broadway Bound, Lost in Yonkers. NOT Brighton Beach Memoirs!)

John Guare (Six Degrees of Separation)

David Mamet (Glengarry Glen Ross)

Sam Shepard (True West, Fool for Love)

I.) COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS – Approx. 1 page each

A.) Compare the play to other works of literature. (25 pts.)

- Discuss connections you see between this play and 2 other works of literature. Are any of the characters similar to those in other novels, plays, or short stories? How so? Do you see similar themes? Motifs? Foils?
- Trace the play's main themes in the “grand conversation” about the human condition. (Ex: notions of good vs. evil, God, family, love, living a meaningful life.) How does this later work add to or build upon the conversation begun by the earlier writers we've studied?


B.) Compare the play’s text to the film version. (25 pts.) gg_film.JPG

- What are the settings used in the film? How did the director expand on the possibilities in the narrative to include a wider variety of settings?
- Does the film follow the exact script from the text, or did the director and/ or screenwriter make changes to the dialogue? Were scenes removed, added, or moved around? Analyze why.
- Consider the elements of cinematography used in the film, and comment on their effectiveness in helping establish characterization, plot, tone, or themes. These include camera work (angles, pans in or out, movement); uses of music; segues between scenes to show passage of time or change in setting; use of color and shading, etc.

II.) CREATIVE WORK (10 pts.) monologue_actress.jpg

Write a soliloquy of approximately 2/3-page in length for one of the characters. This may be a major or minor character. Note where in the play the soliloquy would be inserted. Be sure to use the character’s authentic voice and diction, and let the character be thinking about what would be foremost on his or her mind at this moment in the play. Give us some added insight into the character that you believe the author has suggested but not stated in the play. The soliloquy should not be dull and summative – let it include a build of emotion and perhaps reveal a few little details that the author left out!