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by: Crystal Schoen

TheatreToday THEA3225

Crystal Schoen

GPA 3.88


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Class Notes
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This 0 page Class Notes was uploaded by Crystal Schoen on Monday November 2, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to THEA3225 at California State University - East Bay taught by ThomasHird in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 11 views. For similar materials see /class/234362/thea3225-california-state-university-east-bay in Theatre at California State University - East Bay.


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Date Created: 11/02/15
THEA 3225 7 Theatre Today Fall 2011 Hird Page 1 of 5 OBJECTIVES This class aims to help students become better and more appreciative play viewers You should develop your understanding of the audience experience and improve your ability to express ideas related to the plays you see At the conclusion of the class you should be able to talk about productions as art and support your personal opinions with good reasons Your family friends and colleagues will probably be impressed with this ability You will get more recognition in situations where your ability to be interesting and intellectual is important The class will test and stretch your critical thinking ability and help you to evaluate your world including the past and foreign places through the lens of artists writers and performers You will be able to use but not depend on any skills of literary criticism you have learned previously However this class is more about what you see and how words are expressed so literary criticism is not called for and in fact somewhat discouraged Watch for the following important topics where is theatre available when where play types ticket costs company types how to be a good participant39 what to expect of theatre39 AND MOST IMPORTANTLY how to recognize and EXPRESS the contributions of the artistic and production team members Since theatre is a collaborative art it can be difficult to identify the work of each individual who helped make the production For most students both introduction to production and experience with playgoing prove to be the best means of learning to differentiate all the contributions These will be the main means of this class both to present the production process and to send you to see plays then to observe and write about the work Following each play you should have ample opportunity to PRACTICE BOTH VERBAL AND WRITTEN EXPRESSION of your own observations In this class it will be important to remember that everything on stage is planned either to communicate or to reinforce one or more specific ideas The actors and artistic team try to control attention and responses While they want us to enjoy ourselves the entertainment aspect of theatre they also want us to understand or discover something the intellectual or cultural value Thus you need to begin to see the often subtle reasons for every action and aspect of the production Your job this quarter will be to TRAIN YOURSELF TO OBSERVE and to consider how every element of the production connects to a theme by contrasting comparing reinforcing or clarifying it I will help by taking you backstage to discover some of theatre39s tricksofthe trade e course is designed to be linear in progress I do not expect good grades on the first paper Thus the grading is heavily weighted to the last paper The classroom presentations and exercises are designed to get you up to speed as the quarter progresses GE OUT COMES 1 Students will demonstrate through oral and written work how foundational works in the humanities illuminate enduring urnan concerns and the intellectual and cultural traditions within which these concerns arise including both classical and contemporary artists andor theorists 2 Students will demonstrate a developing understanding of the interaction among historical and cultural contexts individual works and the development of humanities over time 3 Through oral and written work students will demonstrate their ability to critically employ concepts theories and methods of analysis used in the humanities to interpret and evaluate enduring human concerns 4 Students will critically re ect on the formation of human goals and values and will articulate an understanding of the creativity re ected in works of the humanities that in uenced the formation of those values A S SIGN ME NT S I Optional Reading If reading helps you learn I recommend THEATRE 7 A BRIEF EDITION Robert Cohen any recent edition or another introductory theatre book Cohen might not be in the Bookstore because you can get a cheaper copy online or easily find similar books If you find something cheap consult with me about whether it will help I like Cohen s general chapters typically the Introduction and 13 plus the chapters about the director actors and designers Some editions also include a chapter on criticism that might help you pay attention to the production aspects you can include in your papers Pay attention both to the author39s OVERALL ARGUMENT about what theatre is and to the CONTRIBUTIONS OR TECHNIQUES OF THE VARIOUS PRODUCTION PERSONNEL The more you can read even online about production personnel like the director actor set designer light designer costume designer etc the sooner you will come to understand their contributions to what you see on stage and want to discuss in your papers THEA 3225 7 Theatre Today Fall 2011 Hird Page 2 of 5 H Playgoing and Reviewing See FOUR plays and write four papers one about each play The simple instructions for your first paper are included below For papers 24 follow the formats for writing which will presented later Since the course emphasizes progress Y OUARE REQUIRED TO RETURNALL PAPERS AT THE END OF THE QUARTER for final course grading lwill pick shows for you to see but you may choose up to two on your own Try to see at least one show that qualifies as outside your own cultural boundaries These assignments attending plays and writing about them are the major expense of the class Consider attending shows together so that you can discuss them with someone else right away Notes You may hand in two papers on any deadline date except the last one However I strongly suggest you spread out the papers according to the deadline schedule Explore cultural boundaries in your third or fourth paper Attach your tickets to your papersTurn back all returned papers at the end of the quarter 1 need them all for consideration of your course grade You may have all your papers back at the beginning of next quarter See me in my office at that time To make things easier unless I contradict in class any show at the following theatres are approved Shotgun Players Berkeley httpwwwshotgunplayersorg Berkeley Repertory Theatre Berkeley expensive httpwwwberkele eporg Not Rita Moreno 7 Life wilhautMakeup American Conservatory Theatre ACT SF expensive httpwwwactsforg AfricanAmerican Shakespeare SF httpwwwafricanamericanshakesorg Hapgood Theatre Antioch wwwhapgoodtheatreorg AuroraTheatre Berkeley expensive wwwauroratheatreorg Contra Costa Musical Theatre Walnut Creek expensivewwwccmtorg Diablo Theatre Ill AdditionalRecommended Reading Find a library copy and read A RAISTN TN THE SUN by Lorraine Hansberry Finish before the classroom viewing You will benefit greatly from advance reading of this and any play you go to see IV Short overnight Assigam ents Following are several short assignments which should prove helpful Post your replies on the appropriate Blackboard Discussion Board and notice that in some cases you must submit hardcopy These will be graded 43 points for quotreceived on time meets requirements of the assignment 12 points for late incomplete 0 points for quotnot receivedquot and negative points for more than one missing short assignment 1 For the second class meeting collect one current THEATRE not film CALENDAR from a local or regional newspaper best to look just before the weekend or on Sunday OR two ads for current THEATRE not music film or dance productions An online calendar for theatre will do but only if it lists more than 12 choices Pick two of the plays and find additional information about the performances in the listing ad online is a good resource Respond in the DiscussionBoard by Wednesday midnight to at least the following for both plays play title theatre company producing the play name and location of the theatre dates and times of future performances cost of tickets contact information for purchasing tickets and what you can learn about style or content of the production Then include two additional pieces of information Bring you listing or ads to class meeting for submission 2 For the second class meeting collect one theatre PRODUCTION REVIEW full length from either a newspaper a magazine or online Be careful not to pick a PR piece Such articles usually include interviews or explain the play not what the reviewer SAW at a performance Complete the following exercise on a hardcopy of the review and then comment on the Discussion Board by Wednesday midnight Bring the hardcopy to the next class meeting for submission lLine through sentences that cover background about the playwright director actors their previous productions or the reviewer s own credentials 2Underline sentences that explain the plot story or discuss the script in literary terms 3Circle any words or sentences that cover the writer s opinion of the performance It was good or bad Or for example Joe gave a great performance Sue was moving especially if the writer doesn t give reasons for their opinion Bring your marked up review to class for submission In the Discussion Board forum you can cover a the usefulness of the marked sections to deciding whether you might attend yourself b what you think about the amount of the review devoted to the marked sections c whether the remaining unmarked sentences actually deal with the performance itself d whether the review is about the performance or the script or something else e whether anyone can trust that the writer is giving you good enough THEA 3225 7 Theatre Today Fall 2011 Hird Page 3 of 5 information to decide whether you should or would like to attend or 0 whether any explanation of values in the show were supported by examples 3 For class on the th week in the Discussion Board by midnight two days before the class meeting write three paragraphs In one explain the instructor39s term quotproduction element quot In one explain quotproduction value In the last explain the relationship between the terms quotthesisquot quotthemequot and quotissuequot as used in class 4 For class on the th week in the Discussion Board by midnight two days before the class meeting write one long paragraph with a complete definition of quottheatrequot as you have come to understand it 5 For the last class begin preparing for the review class and studying the material covered to date In the Discussion Board by midnight two days before the class meeting write three questions concerning topics that need clarification or that would be interesting to cover in more depth GRADING Points will be assigned for each of the following ur papers First 539 Second or rewrite 1039 Third or rewrite 1539 Fourth 30 Final exam 10 Short assignments and exercises up to 15 accumulated points will apply Participation TOTAL POINTS 100 A88 B75 C50 D3539 Credit55 Notes 1 YOU MAY CONSIDER CREDITNO CREDIT GRADING FOR THIS CLASS 2 s and 39s will be assigned to students who have clearly done better or worse than others in their grade category 3 Your contribution to the discussion and other aspects ofthe class is important Iwant you to ask questions offer comments and describe the theatre you have seen Since you cannot participate if you are not present your participation grade will be lowered for lack of attendance Otherwise participation includes contributions to discussion and classroom activities You should especially notice two obvious opportunities to participate in discussion The rst few minutes of many classes will be set aside for either written or oral comments on a play or article Brie y explain what you saw or read and then recommend or attack it Also several periods are speci cally reserved for quotdiscussionquot CLASS SCHEDULE Week 1 Course introduction syllabus review possible theatre tour Lecture Defining theatre Sept 23 First two assignments explained First show and paper explained Week 2 No class meeting see a play on your own this week or in time to submit Paper 1 in Week 4 Sept 30 Notice the list of suggested theatres above or productions highlighted in class Week 3 Exercisediscussion What is playing NOW Review characteristics of the listed theatres Oct 7 Analyze professional review writing styles as opposed to college essay style Note Assn l amp 2 due on Blackboard by midnight two days before this class meeting Week 4 Lecturedemonstrations ActingDirectingDesign elements DUE PAPER 1 Oct 14 Course concepts Production Element Production Value Theme Issue Week 5 No class meeting see a play on your own this week or in time to submit Paper 2 in Week 6 Oct 21 Week 6 Discussion Review of submitted papers and how to write a better production review paper Oct 28 Begin viewingA Raisin in the Sun for production concepts DUE PAPER 2 Week 7 Discuss production concepts as found inA Raisin in the Sun Nov 4 Review Production Elements Production Values ThemeThesis Issue Begin Exercise Produce your own Little RedRidinghaad in class Note Assn 3 due by midnight two days before this class meeting Week 8 Meet in classroom at 700 before The Laramie Project Attend play on campus at 8 Nov 11 Brief optional meeting after the play Week 9 Performances and discussion Little RedRidinghaad carries your message Nov 18 Review Production Elements Production Values ThemeThesis Issue DUE PAPER 3 Note Assn 3 due by midnight two days before this class meeting THEA 3225 7 Theatre Today Fall 2011 Hird Page 4 of 5 Week 10 HOLIDAY Nov 25 Week 11 Review What is theatre and other questions from your assignments Dec 2 Possible final exam last hour of class DUE PAPER 4 Note Assns 4 and 5 due by midnight two days before this class meeting For assignment 5 avoid subjects previously reviewed Dec 9 Alternate FINAL EXAM HOW TO WRITE YOUR FIRST PAPER Write an original essay of 300500 words commenting on the performance you attend Staple your paper at the top left corner with your ticket on top of the first page At the top rightside of your paper write Your name ClassSectionPaper 1 the name of the play you saw and the name of the theatre and or company which performed the play Exam 1e staple here with ticket on top Your Name THEA 1005 lXPaper 1 Goodbye Cruel World Redwood Theatre SPECIAL NOTE Besides submitting a hardcopy printout post your paper to Blackboard as explained in class Submit the le in either MS Word or RTF format You won t have to submit any other papers online OTHER NOTES Whichever format you choose write this paper as you would any college level paper Among all the papers from this class I will nd good examples to emulate and some problems that need to be avoided in the future So my comments will point out both useful and ineffective approaches We will learn together Future papers will differ from this outline as you get better at writing the best style of paper The requirements for future papers will be covered in class reinforcing the following aspects that you shouldavoid in all papers I m asking for short essays so save yourself the trouble and AVOID the following issues in your papers 1 Don t use appreciative or critical words or phrases For example you don t need to say you liked or hated it Don t say the star was great or the set was beautiful Just say why so that understand opinion without your actually saying it 2 Don t give any background information about the play the performers or previous productions You are not an expert and the class is not about research 3 Don t discuss the play as a work of literature This class is about theatre the play in performance and what the performance elements add to your understanding 4 Don t talk about the theatre the audience or getting to the theatre Just discuss the performance itself 5 Except as instructed above for the first paper only do not retell the story It is acceptable to explain just enough plot to help make a specific point about directing acting or design Otherwise remember that probably know the play or can find out without your help 6 Don t quote lines from the script except maybe as transition into or out of visual examples 7 If you want an F or to be recommended for suspension copy from published reviews I will help you see that they are written in a different style anyway You may write in one of the following two formats PREFERRED The best paper will be about some theme or issue that the show communicated to you including an explanation of the aspects of the show not the play script or words spoken by the actors that helped you recognize and understand the theme If you don t explain your take on the theme THEA 3225 7 Theatre Today Fall 201 l Hird Page 5 of 5 at the beginning of the paper conclude with itIfyou do not understand these instructions for the preferred format use the following format OK Write an opening paragraph explaining the issues and one message covered by the production Which elements of the show aside from the dialog11e especially helped get these ideas across to you How was the message connected to or supported by the acting set or costume aspects you will discuss Next write one paragraph of two to three sentences covering the script and or story Write the next two paragraphs one eachabout two different characters that seemed to be most important or interesting to you Cover the following What made them special What was important about their predicaments or what problem did they have that spoke to youEspecially cover Was there something interesting that the actor actress DIDthe way they moved or talked or acted to make the character interesting or to make the character s situation clear Explain the qualities that the actoractress gave to the character and how these qualities came across That is what did they do to present or achieve such qualities Write one paragraph covering an interesting part of the scenery that stood out to you Explain why this part of the scenery was in the show Why did it look the way it did size color weight style etc Could you in any way even by an outrageous stretch of imagination connect the look of the element to the situation or problems of the characters you already mentioned Write another paragraph about an interesting aspect of a costume Answer the same questions as you did for the scenery element How did the costume help explain the character or give you insight into the character their role in society or their problems Write another paragraph about the lights and sound Answer the same questions as for scenery Write a concluding paragraph


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