Write a 500-750-word review about a play that you watch either in-person or online. The point of this assignment is to demonstrate what youve learned in the course. Do not use quotes from the textbook this time, but use terms that youve learned.
Your Theatre Review should demonstrate the following: A clear visual image of the show, using descriptive language
A critical opinion about it, using evaluative criteria
An understanding of how all the elements of theatre work independently and together
FINDING A SHOW TO REVIEW Although experiencing theatre in person is always the preferred way of seeing it, you have the option of writing a review of a show that you see live or on video. There are very strict rules about what kind of show you can use for this assignment, which youll find below.
FINDING AN IN-PERSON SHOW TO SEE Live theatre is starting to return to Los Angeles. You can find a good list of whats playing here. Many of these shows are being presented in outdoor theaters.
Goldstar is a good place to go to find cheap tickets, as well as a good list of everything thats happening.
Make sure that you plan ahead. Because there are fewer shows, there may be fewer tickets to them.
FINDING A RECORDED SHOW TO WATCH This must be a filmed performance of a live show. What you watch has to come as close to the experience of going to a theater and seeing a show as possible. In other words, there is a filmed Broadway version of the musical Into the Woods, as well as a film version of Into the Woods that was released in 2014. You can use the Broadway version, but you cannot use the movie version. If you write your review on the movie version, youll receive zero points on this assignment, as it wasnt created as theatre.
Here are some suggestions about which shows to watch:
Heres a list of 16 Broadway shows you can watch from home.
There are many amateur shows on Youtube. If any show that was mentioned in the course sounded interesting, theres a good chance that theres some production of it somewhere online.
I highly recommend What the Constitution Means to Me on Amazon Prime Video.
If youd like, you can review the LA Mission College production of Chavez Ravine, which youll find here: https://vimeo.com/412187522 (Links to an external site.)
The film versions of Hamilton on Disney and of Shrek: The Musical on Netflix are both really well-filmed performances. However, hundreds of students in this course have reviewed them. As much as we want you to enjoy these shows, were begging for mercy here.
WHAT YOU CANT REVIEW No music concerts, escape rooms, circuses, dance shows, comedy shows, improv or sketch shows, sporting events, poetry readings, play readings, Zoom performances or anything of the like. If the show you see doesnt have a script or design, it will be hard to write your review.
If you have a question about whether something will be appropriate for this assignment, please ask me.
PLAGIARISM If you try to copy someone elses reviewor even any part of a reviewand claim it as your own, it is considered plagiarism. This is fairly easy to discover, as every single professional review is posted online. If you are caught plagiarizing, youll receive a zero on the assignment and, at the professors discretion, an F in the course. Youll also be reported to Academic Affairs.
GUIDELINESYou can find examples of professional theatre reviews all over the internet.
Use MLA format (if you dont know what that is, look it up), 12 pt font, double-spaced.
Since you wont be receiving a program, youll need to search for the company credits of the show. Youll need to use them to discuss the artists by name. You will lose points by saying The direction was aimless and sloppy, rather than Hal Princes direction was aimless and sloppy.
Your review should be written primarily in the third person, for instance:
Third person sentence: Mary Smiths lighting design evokes the great shadow work of film noir.
First person sentence: I really liked Mary Smiths lighting design, which evoked the great shadow work of film noir.
Simply typing your thoughts out and submitting it without re-reading, proofreading, or revising for clarity is sloppy and not college-level work. Once youve written your review, it wont take you much longer to revise it, and it could boost your grade by an entire letter grade.
If youre reviewing a show that is based upon a movie, do not compare how well the play replicates the movie on stage. This is not a criteria for a theatre review.
Do not use the word amazing. Its absolutely meaningless.
HOW TO WRITE YOUR REVIEW Below you will find twenty prompts to respond to in your review. There are no yes, no, or simple answers. Formulate a response to all of the questions and expand upon them.
What you turn in needs to be an essay, rather than a series of answers.
In order to receive points for all 20 prompts, you must address each of them. For instance, if there was no scenic designer for the show, you need to write something like,There was no scenic designer for this production, but the theatre space itself provided enough visual interest to complete the world of the play. Rubrics provide an explanation for full or partial credit. If a criteria listed is not addressed, you will receive a zero for that section.
Please write about each of the following in the order that they appear below. It will make your review more comprehensible.
WRITE YOUR THEATRE REVIEW USING THE FOLLOWING OUTLINERemember: the point of this review is to demonstrate all that youve learned in the course. Name the title of the show and the streaming service or theatre space where you watched it. Use proper names and make sure that they are spelled correctly and, for the title, formatted properly.
Sum up the show and your thoughts on it in one short sentence. For example This fast-paced musical comedy journey through the drug-addled mind of Johnny Cash will leave you with more questions than answers.
Name the theatrical genre of performance. Choose from the types of theatre in Chapter 1, for instance: musical comedy, comedy, or classic play.
Name the playwright and/or creator/s of the text of the show. If its a musical, cite the artists who wrote the music and lyrics.
Research the theater company, playwright, and/or director. Explain how the artists backgrounds can give you insight into the production you saw.
Summarize the story or performance in no more than three sentences. If it was a traditional story, name the main character, discuss what they are trying to accomplish, and the conflict that they encountered. This needs to be written by you, not copied and pasted from the internet.
Discuss the theme of the play, as you see it. What is the production saying about human beings or society? How does the production reflect who we are today?
Name the main actors, the characters they played, and discuss their performance, using at least one specific example of a moment in the show. Dont use the words facial expressions.
Name the director and discuss their staging and composition and how it helped to tell the story. Use a specific example. Then, discuss one transition in the show and how well they facilitated it. Refer back to the chapter on the director, if necessary.
Name the kind of theater space (proscenium, thrust, arena, etc) that the show was performed in and how the director used the space to tell the story. Refer back to the chapter on theatre spaces, if necessary.
Name the scenic designer and discuss their work. Describe the scenic design, using terminology from the chapter on the designers. Describe one particular scenic element and how it was used to create the world of the play. Remember! Props are objects that the actors hold in their hands; scenic elements are walls and stairs and big pieces.
Name the lighting designer and discuss their work. Describe the kind of moods the lighting evoked and describe one particular effect in detail. NOTE: If you write about this as lightning, you will receive 0 points.
Name the costume designer and discuss their work. Describe at least one costume in detail and how it helped to reveal the character.
Discuss your reaction to the show. Describe one particular moment, element, or performance that stood out. If there was an audience present, discuss how your reactions aligned with theirs.
Sum up your entire experience and offer a recommendation.
Submit your paper on time.
Sentence structure and grammar.
Spelling and formatting. Titles of shows are italicized.
Proper use of MLA format. If you dont know what this is, Google it!
Amount of care you put into your work. If there are obvious mistakes, if your sentences dont make sense, or if it appears to me that you didnt re-read or revise your review, you will lose points.
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