What we’re up to:
- Choosing the Play.
- Discussion and Questions.
- Choosing the Scene and beginning memorization.
Ok, if you haven’t already, groups need to choose their play. I’ll help.
Next, you’ll finish your readthrough and answer the following question on paper in a small group discussion:
- What is the main question this play seeks to answer? What are the offered answers and what seems to be the answer that is landed on by the end?
- Describe the world that the play creates. Are events guided by character choice or do the characters seem to be at the whim of some vengeful fate/God? Is this a believable or fanciful world? Explain.
- What is the inciting incident which gets the story started? What is the final conflict that is resolved by the end?
- How–if at all- do the characters change during the course of the play? Why do they change/fail to change? What does that say about the ideas the play seems to be dealing with?
- What are the crucial themes of the play? What abstract ideas–honor, loyalty, family, gender, love, etc.–reverberate through the actions and discussions of the play?
- How should this play–ideally–be staged? Should their be an elaborate set or a minimal one? Props? Lighting? Special effects?
- How does the medium of the dramatic play differ from other media? What advantages does it have over other media? What are some of the drawbacks? How does this play exploit the advantages? Would this work as a movie or TV show? Why/ why not?
The American Play assignment:
- Prepare a scene from your chosen play in which every student has at least 50 lines memorized. You can double parts, move/cut lines, or otherwise make alterations in order to make the workload more or less equal.
- Together, write a short plot summary and a statement of the play’s theme. Explain how the playwright uses character, language (dialogue and stage directions), and/or setting to communicate that theme. Each character should write a one paragraph explanation of your character’s motivation (what do they want in this scene and why) and contribution to the theme.
- Together, plan blocking (movement) that is visually interesting and conveys important information about character, relationships, conflicts, and themes. Consider how to use levels, stage areas, setting, and proximity to communicate this.
- Contribute basic costumes, props, and set elements to make the scene come alive. Keep it simple, but make creative choices. If you have essential elements that you cannot create in class, you can explain this before the beginning of your scene.
- Scenes are due the last week of school: June 20th-24th.
- Grade are not based on acting ability but rather the completion of the written part (#2), accuracy of memorization, and the skill in which the blocking contributes to the audience’s understanding of plot, character, and theme.