elements of theatre
In this course, we’ll discuss many different elements of theatre from a variety of different perspectives. For this paper, you should focus on ONE specific element discussed in the course and then analyze how it also appears in or relates to the performance you attended. Write a two-page (approx. 400-word) essay, following these guidelines:
1) PERFORMANCE DESCRIPTION: As concisely as possible, describe the performance you attended. Describe the space, the audience, and the style of the performance, as well as a brief description of the play’s plot and any pertinent information (title, author, director, etc.). If appropriate, use concepts and terms discussed in class.
2) TOPICAL FOCUS: Describe the one specific element you’re going to use to connect this production to a play covered in the course. This topical focus could be a type of character (mother, soldier), a specific dramatic action (a marriage proposal, a murder), a physical element (a setting, costume, or prop). If it helps to explain your element, you can discuss an aesthetic method or technique (the fourth wall, subtext, vermfremdungseffekt), but be sure to maintain your focus on the specific element, rather than a theoretical concept. Use a quote from the plays, theoretical texts, or other historical sources from the course materials to support your analysis. Be as clear and descriptive as possible.
3) CONNECTION: How, then, does this specific element appear in or relate to your performance? Use all your powers of observation to describe as clearly and colorfully as possible how you saw and experienced this element in the theatre. How, exactly, does this element function in the performance? What effect might it have?
4) CONCLUSION: What’s your personal perspective on this specific element? What conclusions can you draw by comparing/contrasting how this element appears in the course materials and how it appears in the contemporary production you attended? Go deep, and make your insights as original as possible.
The essay must be written completely in your own words. No form of plagiarism will be tolerated.
Pay attention to correct spelling, grammar, and sentence structure. Your thoughts deserve the clearest and strongest expression possible, and good writing is good thinking. Proofread your paper before turning it in.
Any student wishing to write the essay, following the guidelines but applying it to any theatre performance, including any show you’ve seen in the recent past, can do so for up to 5 points of extra points