Live Performance Paper Assignment Sheet
For your information in writing the paper, you need to choose a live performance. If you can please choose a live performance of any “cirque the sole” performance in any country. But if you can’t, please inform me of what live performance paper that you choose before writing the paper. And also tell me where it plays at (place).
This assignment asks that you choose a live theatre performance to attend with the intention of analyzing it and then writing a review/evaluation of the performance. Yes, that means you have to attend a play, of your choice, and then write an analytical 3-4 page paper evaluating it (writing a review of it). In your paper, you need to include:
• The name of the play, its writer(s), the director, the date of the production, and the location of the theatre (or space) where you saw it
• A brief plot summary so that a reader who hasn’t seen the play will understand the general elements of the plot
• An analytical evaluation of how well and to what extent the setting, props, music, lighting, and sound effects work together cohesively
• An analytical evaluation of the acting, dialogue, and directing
• A discussion of the theme(s) of the play and how those themes were developed
• A judgment or recommendation – would you recommend others see this play? Who, specifically, might enjoy it? Who might it not be appropriate for? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the production? (Don’t forget to have reasons and specific examples for why you’re making the judgment you are!)
Please write your paper in standard academic essay format, including an introduction and conclusion. You will need detailed examples from the play to support your analysis and assertions, so be sure to take a notebook and take very detailed notes during the performance (but please be discreet).
Given that this is a critique/review paper, you’ll be putting in your evaluation of the play, which will involve a degree of your educated opinion, but it should be grounded in analysis not personal preference. For example, if you don’t happen to like children, and the play you viewed had children in it, you can’t claim it was a poorly executed play. However, you could say that you felt the pacing of the script was too slow in places and that the pacing caused the play to drag in parts that didn’t support the theme. Or, you could claim that the child actor in the play was a poor choice because he delivered his lines in a stilted fashion that drew attention to the fact that he was acting, which ruined the few scenes he was in. Whatever your evaluation is of the play, you have to use detailed examples from the play to support your ideas (and be very specific).
To guide you in the writing of this critique/review/evaluation, please read, BEFORE you attend the performance: A Short Guide to Writing About Literature, 12th edition, by Sylvan Barnet and William Cain, Pearson/Longman Press, 2012, ISBN: 0205118453
• Pages 73-79 in our Short Guide book. It gives you guidelines for how to write the review, as well as a sample.
• Chapter 8, “What is Evaluation” in our Short Guide book.
• Chapter 11, “Writing about Drama” in our Short Guide book.
In order to find a theatre performance to attend, you’ll need to look, well in advance, at your local newspaper and theatre guides.
If you live outside of Seattle, you’ll need to look online or in the newspaper at the theatre schedule where you live. Any theatre production will do, so local community theatres done in schools, churches and community centers, as well as large-scale professional productions are all possibilities. You have all quarter to find and attend a performance, so “I couldn’t find a production to attend!” isn’t an excuse. Most theatres give deep discounts to students, so check with the theatre before paying full-price. You’ll likely need your Student ID card, so again, plan in advance to come to NSCC and get your ID made if you don’t have one already. You might want to see if other students in the class are interested in attending a performance together, as a group.
Your Live Performance paper will be graded based on the below criteria. To what extent the student . . .
• Identifies the name of the play, its writer(s), the director, the date of the production, and the location of the theatre
• Briefly summarizes the plot
• Analyzes and evaluates the theatrical elements such as the props, music, lighting, sound effects acting, dialogue, and directing
• Discusses the theme(s) of the play and how, and to what extent, those themes were developed
• Understands the elements of a review/critique/evaluation and makes a clear judgment, supported with detailed evidence
• Indicate whether or not the play is recommended, and to whom (and for what reasons)
• Crafts a 3-4 page paper that uses a standard academic essay format with an introduction and conclusion
Writes in grammatically correct prose that has been carefully proofread and edited