Thr 102 Play Analysis
Theatre 102 Play Analysis
Fall 2012 Professor Richard Kalinoski
Meeting time and place : Tuesday/Thursday 8 to 9:30 AC North 213
“The Educated differ from the Uneducated as much as the living from the dead.” Aristotle
Theatre as a part of the Liberal Arts
The liberal arts engage students in the study of the human condition by exploring the disciplines broadly defined by the sciences, the arts, culture, literature and history. THEATRE is a small component of these human endeavors but its reach is ambitious. Theatre has been historically dedicated to the act of imitating, replicating and representing our lives. In many ways it is the ultimate “liberal” art if one understands the word “liberal” to mean generous or broadly encompassing. In the Western world theatre evolved from religious practice and story telling….and was afforded a place of reverence and respect by early civilizations: The Greeks, the Romans, the Egyptians.
Theatre’s mandate is to explore any and all facets of our lives. It demands intellectual rigor and multifarious artistic inspiration because theatre is primarily interested in uncovering the truth about how we live. It is this search for truth that puts theatre into the very core of liberal pursuits. Theatre is a genuine liberal art.
Tuesday and Thursday 1:30 to 3 PM 218 ACW (arts communication west) and by appointment:
920 424 0937 e-mail: email@example.com
Students are encouraged to speak to me during office hours to discuss their progress in the course. The office hours are for you… make use of them.
1. The Wadsworth Anthology of Drama W.B. Worthern 6th Edition isbn 978-1-4282-8814
2. Required attendance at performances of plays:
1. More Fun than Bowling by Steven Dietz September 26 at 7:30; 27 at 7:30: 28, 29 at 7:30 and 30 at 2:00 PM. All performances in the Fredric March Theatre. Student priced tickets are $4.00.
2. The Christmas Schooner; November 14-18; 14 thru 17 at 7:30 PM
and 18 at 2:00 PM. Student tickets $4.00.
On play analysis in general: The act of reading plays is an act of the imagination—there is more to a play than what is suggested on the printed page. There is performance.
Performance of a play causes the play to come into its intended existence. Merely reading a play is always going to be insufficient for realizing the play’s potential. A script of a play is in some ways a plan for it. Not until actors motivate, move and speak the lines (and actions) of a play can a play be said to be realized. Our work in this class fortunately combines both reading plays and witnessing them. The plays presented by the theatre department this semester will be critical to our ANALYSIS of what a play is. We will also be addressing how a play may look in performance and what challenges an artistic team may face in presenting it. Seeing a produced play is valuable in ways that cannot
always be readily identified. Attending a play is an act of faith.
OBJECTIVES OF THE CLASS:
In simple language the most important objective of this class is to help students improve and increase their understanding of the way a play works—how it communicates. In educational terms this can be expressed as follows:
a. students will be able to articulate the meaning of plot, character, thought, spectacle, diction and music—the essential components of a play.
b. students will be able to write thoughtfully about the components of a performance of a play by attending two main stage productions, thinking about them, discussing them and completing an essay about them.
c. students will be able to demonstrate (by speaking and writing) an understanding of the implications of the interpreters of the playwright’s craft---actors, directors and designers.
SPECIAL PROJECT: You will be expected to identify a play from the accepted canon of plays (of the world) and present an analysis of that play to the overall class. You must have your play approved by your professor on or before October 30, 2012(the absolute final deadline is November 3—after which you may not change the play you wish to analyze). Part of your presentation will be a picture you will draw of your main character (you must determine who your main character is). You will reveal to the class the motivation of your main character and describe (with your visual aid) the personality of the main character.
Extra credit: You may earn extra points (to be added to your test/quiz grades) if you volunteer for either of the main stage productions this semester—this includes if you are cast in The Christmas Schooner. Depending on the number of hours you devote to a production you may earn up to 40 extra points: examples follow.
Crew position (make-up, costume, run crew, running light or sound board) = 30 points
Cast in play= 40 points
The breakdown of grades in this class.
Class participation 15%
Written responses 25%
Oral presentation 15%
Note: particular emphasis is given to written responses to the plays you will see because performance is a key ingredient in the class. Note below that you can earn a 59 on a given quiz or test and still pass.
93 to 100 = A
90 to 92= A-
87-89 = B+
83-86 = B
80-82 = B-
77-79 = C+
73-76 = C
70-72 = C-
65-69 = D+
59-64 = D
Below 59 = F
ESSAY RESPONSES TO PLAYS:
You will earn a letter grade on your responses to the performed plays. The letter grade will be shaped by both your insights and the mechanics of your written communication with approximately 60% insights and 40% mechanics (spelling, proofreading, usage, diction etc.). Understand that diction refers to your choice of words in your essay response. Do not rely entirely on your computer to proofread for you.
Attendance: This is an 8 AM class. A class which starts so early in the day is a challenge to some students. I urge you to accept the challenge and come on time. If you are ill don’t come to class. If you accrue more than 3 unexcused absences your entire grade will be lowered by one increment (an a turns into a b, a b turns into a c…..). Come to class.
THE SCHEDULE OF CLASSES :
September 6, 2012 First day of class
In class profiles of students.
Notes …on the origin of theatre. Primitive peoples; the need to explain, shelter, clothing, food. Power and powerlessness. Efficacious worship. Ritual. Audience.
The nature of entertainment. The psychology of being present. Diversion; boredom
and excitement. Theatre as a re-constructor of the human story.
Assignment : None.
September 11 Aristotle and the Dithyrambic chorus six elements of drama ; influence of the Greeks on theatre and Western culture.
Group work in experimental theatre.
assignment : page 1163—and entire play, Trifles by Susan Glaspell.
Reading in class of Trifles. Discussion. Assignment: pages 13 to 20 in main text—on the Greeks.
September 18 Discussion of Greek culture and theatre. Assignment: pages 75 thru 82, Oedipus the King
September 20 Reading and discussion of Oedipus Rex. Assign: pages 83-90—handout on writing essay response to More Fun Than Bowling
September 25 Reading and discussion of Oedipus Rex More Fun Than Bowling opens next day, September 26. Assign: 90—93—to the end of the play.
September 27 No class—attend More Fun Than Bowling
October 2 Comments about More Fun Than Bowling; Quiz 1 on Oedipus the King Assign: pages 260-264 on Elizabethan theatre; collect responses to More Fun Than Bowling.
October 4 Discussion of Elizabethan theatre. Assign: Hamlet pages 355 thru 359.
October 9 Quiz 2 on beginning of Hamlet; discussion and reading from Hamlet ; assign: pages 360 thru 364
October 11 Discussion and reading from Hamlet; assign : 365--370
October 16 Discussion and reading from Hamlet. Assign 370—377.
October 18 Discussion and reading from Hamlet. Assign 378--384
October 23 Discussion and reading from Hamlet. Assign 385—390.
October 25 Quiz 3 on Hamlet thru act 4 act 4 scene 5. Reading from
Hamlet. Assign: 391 thru 395.
October 30 READING from Hamlet. Assign 396 thru 400-end of play. Discussion of Hamlet. Group work on Hamlet.
November 1 Film in class; Shakespeare in Love. Assign: Death of a Salesman 1240 thru 1265
November 6 Film in class. Shakespeare in Love. Discussion of film. Assign Death of a Salesman 1266—1274 to the end.
November 8 Test on Hamlet and Shakespeare.
November 13 Film: Death of a Salesman
The Christmas Schooner opens next day; (November 14-17 at 7:30; November 18 at 2 PM) Assign: Read entire play, Angels in America. Pages 1366—1396.
November 15 No class; attend The Christmas Schooner
November 20 Finish screening of Death of a Salesman. Collect responses to
The Christmas Schooner. Discussion of THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER.
November 27 Quiz 4 on Death of a Salesman Intro notes on Angels in America.
Reading from Angels in America.
November 29 reading from Angels in America
December 4 Test 2 on Angels in America and Death of a Salesman
December 6 Oral presentations.
December 11 Oral presentations.
December 13 Oral presentations.
Profile questions for Play Analysis and Children’s Theatre
September 6, 2012
- How far do you live from campus?
- What is that place which is the place furthest from your home town you have ever visited?
- How many plays have you been in—in the last 5 years?
- How many plays have you seen in the last 5 years?
- Name your favorite play.
- Name a famous film actor.
- Name a famous film actress.
- Name the best film you have seen in the last year.
- What sport do you play if any?
- What is your favorite sport to watch?
- What was your favorite class in high school?
- Why do people not go to the theatre?
- What is your favorite part of seeing a play?
- Name an American playwright alive today.
- Name a non-American playwright alive today.