Play Critique Lesson
The Format and Instructions in your textbook is simply a guide, not something that has to be followed point by point. The book says that you must make a statement about the effectiveness of 2 production elements, ignore that. I require you to cover at least 3 the production elements on pages 24 and 25. You may cover all the elements if you would like: Acting, Directing, Set Design/Scenic Elements, Lighting, Costumes. You may also cover other production elements, Singing, Dancing, Choreography, Sound, Props, Etc.
Thoroughly read pages 22-25 before attending a play, and again before writing your critique
Title Page: Please include a title page that states your name, when and where you saw the play, and the word count of your document.
Please also include at the end of your paper: Your picture ID (This can be your Student ID or Driver’s License- please darken your Student ID number or Driver’s License number for your safety) with program, ticket stub or photo of you at the theatre (if they do not provide ticket or program).
Play Attendance & Critique:
The play critique must be at least 1,500 words (For format and guidelines refer to pages 22-25) Please also follow what is asked for in this Lesson Plan as there are some required elements for online learning.
In almost all cases, when attending a play, you will be given a ticket stub and a play program. You must scan them or take a photo of them and insert the photo into your critique. You must also include your photo ID in the scan or photo. Your SCF ID is probably best. Critiques without a scan or photo of the ticket stub, program and ID (as a single scan or photo) inserted onto the end of the critique will be given the grade of zero.
Some theatres, like the URBANITE in downtown Sarasota, do not give programs, nor have traditional tickets. At such a theatre, a selfie that clearly shows yourself inside the theatre will suffice in lieu of the program and ticket stub. That selfie needs to show you inside the theatre with something in the background that indicates you were there. Take this selfie before, at intermission, or after the show. DO NOT take it during the show. (Note, the Urbanite offers very inexpensive student tickets)
Please look at the uploaded file with this page to see example of how to put your picture ID and ticket stub into the body of your paper.
Plays attended MUST be either college, professional or community theatre productions. ONLY 1 MUSICAL IS PERMITTED. If any student has doubt regarding the appropriateness of a certain production, ask the instructor BEFORE attending. ANY full-length play at any college, professional or community theatre is acceptable. You only need ask if the play doesn’t fit that description.
Critiques must be submitted electronically, to the assignment drop box in Canvas. Paper copies and/or emailed copies will not be accepted. No assignments in this class will be accepted via email.
Use NO source material!! This is your critique/analysis of the performance. If you are found using outside sources to write your analysis you will receive a 0 for the assignment. All written assignments in this class are checked using Turnitin, an anti-plagiarism web service.
In general, the breakdown of the paper should be: (Please follow this breakdown)
Identify the goal of the play*
Overall impression of the play
(These above 3 items should collectively be between 15% and 20% of your critique)
Summary of Plot. (This should be no more than 30% of you critique)
Format, Spelling, and Grammar
Production Elements – 3 required (Acting, Directing, Set Design, Lighting and Costumes) (This should be the largest portion of your paper / 30-35%)
Conclusion (at least 50 Words) Please restate the goal of the play and if it was achieved)
I am looking for YOUR opinion and analysis of the play. There are no right and wrong answers when it comes to your opinion and analysis. The only thing you can really do wrong is to not analyze the play (see bottom of page 23).
The three biggest mistakes that students make are:
1-write too much about the storyline (plot) and too little on production elements.
2-not write 1,500 words.
3-not have an opinion
*The goal of a play is what the audience is supposed to learn or take away from the performance. The goal of most plays is something deeper than “The goal was to entertain the audience” or “The goal was to make you laugh”. Although, for some comedies and some musicals, the goal might be able to be summed up so succinctly. Even in those cases, you could explain why you think the goal was that simple.
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