Theatrical Written Assignment

[Before reading this assignment, keep in mind that I don’t expect you to be a theatre director, playwright, or designer.  I am looking for the choices you make and how you support those ideas.  Okay?  So take a breath, and enjoy this creative application project.  Most of my students have named this as their favorite assignment of the course.]

Choose an issue of great importance to you (environment, war, taxes, abortion, animal rights, gender issues, sexual politics, race issues, or any other issue that elicits a strong point of view). Imagine that you are creating a theatre production in any of the styles of theatricalism: expressionism, epic theatre, absurdism, or any combination of those three styles.  STATE your point of view on the issue. Then, DESCRIBE at least three design or staging elements you would use in your production.

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[If you are totally lost on theatricalism, you may choose the style of realism, but it must be complete realism, not selective realism.  If you choose this style, keep in mind the difficulties of having multiple settings in your play; imagine having to change all those scenic elements during a blackout on stage.  Consequently, you may need to sacrifice any setting that would be hard to put on a stage, like a city park or a beach.]


Here is an example (using a topic that is not available to you for this project): the need for reform in education

For theatricalism, I am specifically using the style of Brecht’s Epic Theatre where words are often projected on the set, where actors keep the audience aware that they are actors so that only intellectual rather than emotional connections are made, and where props are handled symbolically rather than realistically.

Point of view:  In addition to teaching on the university level, I have also taught grades 7 though 12.  Based on my experiences, I believe that the education system (grades pre-school through 12th grade) is damaged.  Blame can’t be placed on teachers; most teachers are dedicated professionals working within a flawed system.  The problem is societal and financial.

Three design or staging elements that might be in my production:

1.                  Projections on the back wall of the stage – statistics of high school students who are not performing at grade level, for example the number of high school students who are still reading on an elementary school level yet are going to graduate anyway [This would be to make the audience aware of the startling numbers of students who are graduating without having achieved the basic of an education.]

2.                  Staging a scene in which the actors wear signs to indicate each character being played – three character scene – mother, student, teacher – in which the discussion of “should Johnny fail” is being debated – within the scene, the actors keep changing which one is playing which character [The switching of actors playing each role would give the audience a chance to really listen to the words being said rather than just watching the conflict.  It could also give the actors a chance to show difference points of view for each of the characters.]

3.                  Four textbooks on strings from the ceiling over the stage, being lowered and pulled back up like someone fishing,  and ten students all trying to get one of the textbooks while the teacher just keeps talking and writing on the chalkboard with her back to the students [This image is to show that education just keeps moving on even when the students are not able to grasp the information. It also show the lack of quality textbooks available in some of America’s schools.]

    AP Rubric for this assignment

 Compose in a Word document with the title AP7 Last name, First name. Submit your document, using the “Browse My Computer” button. Remember to finish by clicking the Submit button at the bottom of the page.


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