Musical theater review

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Please write a review of a muscial theater: Sister Act( not the movie)

Introduction. Tell your reader what you saw, where and when. Describe in detail what kind of play this was (drama, comedy, Shakespeare history play, farce – be as specific as possible). Tell your reader what your general response to the production was. Did you find it an enjoyable experience? Why exactly? Did it give you food for thought? About what and why? What did you learn about modern theatre practices?

The Direction. The director is the person who, in the end, is responsible for what you see on stage. What meanings in this play were emphasised. How did the design, staging, and character and acting style choices draw attention to these? Were these choices successful in creating the impact on the audience you thought the director and creative team intended? Did the theatre itself and the playing area suit the production? Why or why not? Were the stage pictures interesting and/or attractive as well as meaningful? Was there an interesting and varied use of stage space? Was the focus generally where it should be? What did you think about the pace of the production?

The Acting. Discuss the acting. Was it of a particular kind? Stylised in some way, using masks, very physical, reminded you of circus performers, very melodramatic, realistic or ��fourth wall’ (these are only a few of the possibilities). What can you say about the kind of acting in this production compared with the kind of work you’ve seen in other productions and done yourself? Was the style of acting appropriate to the kind of play and style of production? Why or why not? Which performances did you particularly admire? Be very specific in saying why.

The Design. How did the design contribute to the production’s meanings? Describe the sets, lights and costumes. What kind of a statement did each of these make.

Conclusion. You might want to elaborate on your production. What did you particularly like about the production? How did it illuminate your understanding of life?

Review of a Theatre Performance:

A Worksheet

This worksheet is intended to help you write a theatre review. It is important to remember, though, that the text and its production should strongly influence the structure of the essay. Above all, you must answer the specific question you are given.

Background to the visit. What play? What company? Your particular interest in the production? The theatre, its size and décor, its audience/actor arrangements, its impact on you?

The text and its interpretation What kind of play? Resembles which other plays you know or have seen? Uses what kind of dramatic conventions? What are its primary meanings? Directorial interpretation focuses on which of these?

Set design as interpretation What kind of set? Historical period? Dramatic convention? (e.g. symbolist, constructivist, absurdist influences.) Palate? Shapes? Symbolic statements made by specific pieces, including props? How were the play’s meanings conveyed through these?

Staging as interpretation Set changes handled how? Exits and entrances placed where? Playing areas constructed how? Patterns of movement used symbolically? (Consider both for individual characters and for acting as a whole). Pace (overall, variations in?) How were the play’s meanings conveyed through these?
Costume design as interpretation Historical period? Belonging to a theatrical convention? Representative of a social order? Palates? Textures? How do these choices help us understand individual characters, their relationships to each other and the play’s meanings?

Sound and lighting as interpretation Description of sound, including its source (e.g. live or recorded, on or offstage, integral to text or a directorial choice); mood or atmosphere created; circumstances created (e.g. dawn with sound of birds and rising sun.) Description of lighting, including sources, colours and intensity. How are the sound and lighting used to convey the play’s meaning?

Acting as interpretation ��Period’ convention used? Style (e.g. broadly farcical, naturalistic, Brechtian?) Special conventions (e.g. doubling, narrator?) Special vocal or physical qualities of acting as a whole (incl. dialects?) Strengths and weaknesses of individual actors within these parameters?

Impact on audience Discuss the impact of this production on you as a member of the audience and compare your response to others in the audience (e.g. were they amused where you weren’t?); summarise the reasons for your feelings, referring to your discussion of the acting, directing, design elements and the text itself. You might conclude by considering how your appreciation of the theatre was developed and/or by how your understanding of an aspect was extended.

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