African American Theatre
Structure: 6 pages, 12 point font, double spaced, one inch margins.
Read Native Son, a play written by Richard Wright and Paul Green! You will need to know the play in order to understand and analyze
the reviews and articles. Most editions of plays come with very good secondary sources on the play identified in the introduction.
Seek out the source and you could use it as one of the sources for your paper. You will need to find a minimum of 6 sources– 2
reviews and 2 scholarly sources are required Be aware that reviews of movies, ballets and operas with the same title of your play will
not be accepted.
You will write about the playwright.
The goal of your paper will be to address the cultural context in which the playwright lived. IN this case, both playwright. You will
then make an assertion about the playwright you are assessing as it relates to the cultural context of an event that can be supported
by the media within the last 365 days.
THIS PAPER MUST NOT CONTAIN MORE THAN 5 SENTENCES OF PLOT SUMMARY.
(It is assumed readers have read the play)
I. INTRODUCTION–MINIMUM 1 PAGE, MAXIMUM 2 PAGES
The first two pages maximum should be a recount of historical information about your playwright.
Please assume your reader have read the play already so you don’t need to write more than two sentences about the plot.
Intro should end with a paragraph that states an assertion.
II. BODY–MINIMUM 4 PAGES, MAXIMUM 10
These pages will:
• address the cultural context of the playwright
• discuss additional writings to support your thesis
• highlight scholarly sources (i.e. from books and academic journals) that deepen your understanding of the playwright you are
researching, AND supports your assertion
• clarify the event that occurred within the last year to which the play is being connected
III. ANALYSIS–MINIMUM 1 PAGE, MAXIMUM 2 PAGES
The final section of the paper will be an evaluation of the current climate and the playwright relevance to today. Why should we
mount this play right now? How could the play, playwright or theater connect with todays audience?
Part I: Bibliography (35 points)
PRIMARY SOURCES: You will need to find a minimum of 2 reviews. (I recommend trying ProQuest Newspapers first). When you have generated
a list of potential reviews from one of the databases, you will need to open the articles to verify what you found is actually a review
of a Theatre production. If the article is a review-it will mention the date and place where the production happened, and it will
describe the play, the acting and probably also the scenery and costumes. Your goal is to find reviews for different productions-so you
will have to make sure your reviews are for productions in different places and at different times. You may find other sources that
are not reviews-articles that are more profile pieces on one of the people involved in the production-an actor or playwright or
director-that are meant to generate interest in an upcoming production. Those may be used as sources in your paper (and you may put
them in the Bibliography), but they do not count as reviews.
SECONDARY/SCHOLARLY SOURCES: Once you have your reviews (which are your primary sources- first-hand accounts of history) your next step
is to find your 2 scholarly sources(minimum), or secondary sources. These sources must be from either books or scholarly academic
journals that focus on the history of the playwright you have gathered reviews for.
Please note–many scholarly journals publish play reviews–but for this assignment these are only considered reviews/primary sources
and not secondary sources. They are excellent primary sources, however, and I encourage you to find some!
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