Script Analysis, Week 4 Notes
Script Analysis, Week 4 Notes THEA 13000 01
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Anastasia Arvanites on Monday September 19, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to THEA 13000 01 at Ithaca College taught by Steve TenEyck in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 2 views. For similar materials see Script Analysis in Theatre Arts (Tha) at Ithaca College.
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Date Created: 09/19/16
A Raisin in the Sun Plot Structure: POA: “C’mon now boy…” – Ruth waking up Walter on couch Inciting Action: Check arrives, Ruth tells Mama she’s pregnant, W asks M for $, M puts down payment on house Climax: Walter says they’re moving, offer to move, W finds out his $ was stolen New Stasis: Moving, W in charge, Beneatha going to Africa, M trusting W Previous Action: Premise: We need to understand the lives of the characters have lived before the point of attack in order to understand the current action Exposition: Previous action/antecedent action/backstory o Special kind of narrative to inform audience to the background to a particular situation o Involves all that happens before the play o “Revelation of Previous Action” Cautions: Background story shouldn’t be dull or undramatic o Different characters interpret the past in different ways (be sure you know what’s fact) o Determine which facts are important and highlighted them o Turn them into present actin o Look for ways that exposition propels the story forward Historic Technique: (Opening scene of Hamlet) o Backstory emerges early as long speeches o Popular in plays written before 19 century o Focuses attention/covers all backstory early o Can be boring/hard to make vital/lots for audience to take in Modern Technique: (Opening scene of The Wild Duck) o Early part of 19 century—more sophisticated ways of revealing backstory o This was the introduction of the “well-made play” – cause and effect o Most of backstory is still at beginning of play, but broken down into smaller pieces o Shared among several characters o “Below the stairs” scenes—servants talk about previous time (Ibsen) Modern-Retrospective Method: o A subset of Modern technique o Distributed exposition in fragments throughout the entire play is more interesting o On-stage action moves forward while past unfolds o Avoid revealing important backstory until last possible moment (not really new—Oedipus, DOAS, A RITS is an example) o Most of the plays we read today fall under this category Minimalist Technique (Deep background Story): o Exposition is hidden in text, “radical extension of the retrospective method” o Some theatre of the absurd fit this model o Audiences tend to find it confusing o “Curiosity and attention can be heightened if the audience is not allowed in on the secret” o This type of play requires good and careful table work Methods of Identification: o Events: Something significant that happened to a character in the past Provides source of onstage conflict “The plot thickens: Remember that events are being described through character’s eyes o Character Descriptions: consider both the describer and the describe o Feelings: Current and Past Note feelings in backstory are also an important clue to their character Ball: o Exposition: info that everyone knows and that only some know o Look for exposition that’s directly relevant to the action o Failure to read carefully results in weak staging o Best way to present exposition is to use past to propel present action o Good playwright uses theatricality to highlight important expository passages Take home: o Interpretations of past shown by characters are often incomplete o Determine value of facts and meaning apart from what characters say about it o Make past action part of present action o Identify exposition and what’s most important
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