Plays are meant to be performed, rather than read. The purpose of dramatic arts often extends far beyond the words written on a page; staging, lighting, costumes intonation, expression, and audience experience are all part of the experience of a theatrical production. To develop your understanding of the cultural role of the dramatic arts, you will view a production of a play this week and write a reflection to explain your viewing experience.
Choose a play from the suggestions below that you would like to view and find a version online, YouTube, DVD or iTunes, Amazon, Netflix, etc.
- A Midsummer Night’s Dream
- Romeo and Juliet
- As You Like It
- Taming of the Shrew
- The Tempest
- Much Ado About Nothing
- The Comedy of Errors
- King Lear
Then address one of the following:
Write an analysis of the play that you viewed. Include at least one quote from the play in your essay. In your essay, address the following:
- Identify the performance that you have selected.
- Describe the staging, lighting, costumes, and characters of the performance. How do these match or revise the written version of the play? You do not need to read the entire play, but you should skim the text.
- What type of mood and tone does the performance create? How?
- What parts of the play are easier to understand through performance? What are some details that stood out through performance?
- What are your feelings about this performance? What did you take away from viewing it?