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Written Response for a Play

“Written Response for a Play”Julia Rosenblatt, Theatre Program CoordinatorSuggested Partners: Hartford Stage, HartBeat Ensemble, TheaterWorks, Sea Tea Improv Comedy Theater

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THR102 Theater History THR110 Acting 1THR112 Voice and Diction

All theater majors are required to see two plays per semester at Hartford Stage, HartBeat Ensemble, TheaterWorks, and Sea Tea Comedy Theater.

Students have to write a response for each show they see. The response questions that they answer depends on which course/s they are taking. As an example, I have attached three different response forms.

I have found it too difficult to schedule class trips to see plays because they generally do not occur during my class time and my students' schedules differ greatly. Therefore, each semester, I create a list of the plays they can see, ticket deals that are available and contact information for each theater. I check in with the theaters at the beginning of the semester to make sure that students can get free or $5 tickets.

Seeing live theater on a regular basis is essential for students studying theater. Without this experience, the skills they are learning are simply theoretical. The response questions that they answer give context to the learning outcomes of the course.

PLAY RESPONSE PROMPTS #1 (THEATER HISTORY)

Please answer each number with a few sentences or a paragraph TYPED.

PRODUCTION INFORMATION Title of Play:Date:Playwright:

Theatre:1. PLOT SUMMARY. (Be brief)

2. THEME. Meaning. What are the playwright, director, and designers saying to us? What is the point of the story or plot? Include comments on form -- tragedy, comedy, melodrama, and so on. Support your statement from an action, dialogue or scene from the play.

3. DIRECTOR. Director (Name):Did they director have a clear vision for their interpretation of the script? Were all elements unified well? (Consider pacing, blocking, composition, and so on. Be specific)

4. DESIGN ELEMENTS. How did set, prop, costume, sound and lighting design add to the production? Did they reinforce the director’s vision?

5. ACTING. Name three actors, the roles they played, and what you thought of their performance. Give specific examples.

PLAY RESPONSE PROMPTS #2 (ACTING I)

Each student is responsible for seeing two plays on their own. For each show, students must turn in a brief response sheet answering the questions below. Between a few sentences and a paragraph is expected for each numbered series of questions. It must be typed. Students can do this at any time throughout the semester, but all responses are due by December 10th. A listed of suggested theaters and shows will be provided by the second week of the semester.

PLAY RESPONSE QUESTIONS Student Name:Name of Theater:Show Title:

Show Date:Choose two performers:

1. Were their characters believable? What made them believable or not?

2. How did the performers voice, movement and non-spoken acting interpret the role? What actions contributed to the character created?

3. How did the performers relate to one another? Did they listen and respond naturally, or did they look like they were acting? How do you know?

4. How did the actors and acting choices affect your appreciation of the play?

PLAY RESPONSE PROMPTS #3 (VOICE AND DICTION)

You are required to see two plays online. Within the first couple of weeks of the semester, I will give you links and opportunities to watch live theater that has been recorded and is streaming on the internet. You will need to watch two plays and turn in a Play Response for each show. These can be turned in hard copy or emailed to me at any time during the semester. However, all Play Responses must be turned in to me by May 11th.

PLAY RESPONSE QUESTIONS Student Name:Show Title:

Choose three performers:

1. How did the performers use their bodies and their voices to interpret the role?

2. How did the performers’ voice and/or speech differ from each other? What did their voice and/or speech tell you about each character?

3. How did the actors physical and vocal choices affect your appreciation of the play?

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