Assignment: After attending the live theatrical performance (which was either a required performance, one chosen from the approved Theatrical Performances document posted in the Theatrical Performances tab to the left, or one approved by the instructor), write a 3-5 page response/review paper. Your paper should include specific examples of what engaged/disengaged you during this performance and why (i.e., acting, directing, set/costume/lighting/sound design, and the audience). Include citations regarding specific ideas/theories from Theatrical Worlds to back up your observations, opinions, and assertions. In conclusion, what did you learn about yourself and theatre as a result of viewing this performance and completing this assignment? How can you apply and compare what you learned to your own major or field of study?
In your assessments of performances, practice a perspective that isn’t dismissive, that contains a constructive, generous regard for other peoples’ work, as well as points of criticism. This assignment is an opportunity for you to practice seeing. Seeing does not begin with the filter of opinion but with a willingness to observe and be informed by what is. As an observer, the most constructive thing you can do for your fellows is to simply and clearly reflect what you see.
You, as an audience member, are looking to enlarge your own capacity to see, hear and respond to the work of the theatre in all its manifestations. What has the performer intended? What is the piece saying, or trying to say? What is the relationship between the form or style of this piece and its content? How may it relate to you and your own circumstances?
Practice articulating what you observe through reference to theatrical principals rather than simply your own likes and dislikes (If you do state your likes or dislikes, articulate why). Practice calling upon metaphors to communicate your impressions; look for the images and impulses at the core of a work, rather than coming up with ideas for “fixing” or improving upon what you see.
In all this, you are learning to articulate your immediate responses in ways which others can hear, which is crucial to your own developing perspective on theatre.
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